Reality TV Shows

About Reality

Reality TV arose as a named genre of programming in the 1990s with the introduction of a number of series that featured the unscripted interactions of ordinary people, as opposed to actors or celebrities. Early reality series were a unique form, but the genre has expanded to include shows that infuse other genres—game shows, documentaries, etc.—with unscripted elements.

The earliest reality series were ground-breaking in that they stepped outside the conventions of traditional programming in an attempt to focus on the real lives of their characters. MTV’s The Real World, arguably the first modern American reality series, featured a group of non-actor young people living together in a house; the group’s daily activities were filmed via cameras scattered throughout the house, and there was no script or plan for how the events in the house would play out.

Very quickly, aspects of reality TV were adopted into other types of shows. Survivor merged reality TV with the game-show genre; participants in the show were engaged in a competition, but their interactions were filmed and presented in manner that emphasized the unscripted drama between them. This hybrid reality-game show became a very popular subgenre, and it eventually encompassed a wide range of competitions, including those involving music, dance, cooking and weight loss.

The reality formula eventually evolved to include unscripted shows that claimed to present the every-day lives of celebrities. Other reality series followed the professional—and, to a certain degree, personal—lives of ordinary people such as police officers, fishermen or others in hazardous occupations. The reality genre also sometimes connects itself with fiction genres, as in paranormal-investigation series, where real-life investigators go about their business and the show attempts to use their activities to generate suspense.

About This Genre
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
90 Day Fiance
90 Day Fiance
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Floribama Shore
Floribama Shore
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
South Beach Tow
South Beach Tow
The Voice
The Voice
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
The Challenge
The Challenge
Married to Medicine
Married to Medicine
Love Island
Love Island
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
The Curse of Oak Island
The Curse of Oak Island
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
Ink Master
Ink Master
T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle
T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors
Dancing with the Stars: Juniors
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Love After Lockup
Love After Lockup
Below Deck
Below Deck
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
Step Up: High Water
Step Up: High Water
30 For 30
30 For 30
The Real Housewives of Orange County
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
1000 Ways to Die
1000 Ways to Die
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
The Real L Word
The Real L Word
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real World
The Real World
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
Paranormal Lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown
Shahs of Sunset
Shahs of Sunset
Crikey! It's the Irwins
Crikey! It's the Irwins
Botched
Botched
Ready to Love
Ready to Love
Dating Naked
Dating Naked
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Pit Bulls and Parolees
The Little Couple
The Little Couple
Lizard Lick Towing
Lizard Lick Towing
Gold Rush
Gold Rush
Forged in Fire
Forged in Fire
World's Strictest Parents
World's Strictest Parents
Intervention
Intervention
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Dog The Bounty Hunter
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Dr. Pimple Popper
Dr. Pimple Popper
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Duck Dynasty
Duck Dynasty
The First 48
The First 48
Alaskan Bush People
Alaskan Bush People
Cake Boss
Cake Boss
Cathouse: The Series
Cathouse: The Series
Counting On
Counting On
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
The Last Alaskans
The Last Alaskans
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid XL
Below Deck Mediterranean
Below Deck Mediterranean
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Deal or No Deal
Deal or No Deal
The Hills
The Hills
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Party Down South
Party Down South
The People's Court
The People's Court
Bridezillas
Bridezillas
Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch
Deadly Women
Deadly Women
60 Days In
60 Days In
Live PD
Live PD
My Super Sweet 16
My Super Sweet 16
Hustle in Brooklyn
Hustle in Brooklyn
Street Outlaws: Memphis
Street Outlaws: Memphis
The Great Christmas Light Fight
The Great Christmas Light Fight
The Jeff Dunham Show
The Jeff Dunham Show
Tanked
Tanked
The Real Housewives of Dallas
The Real Housewives of Dallas
16 and Pregnant
16 and Pregnant
Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper
Property Brothers
Property Brothers
The Simple Life
The Simple Life
Seven Year Switch
Seven Year Switch
Mountain Men
Mountain Men
The Dead Files
The Dead Files
Growing Up Hip Hop
Growing Up Hip Hop
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Graveyard Carz
Graveyard Carz
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette