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
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
Floribama Shore
Floribama Shore
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
90 Day Fiance
90 Day Fiance
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
Dr. Pimple Popper
Dr. Pimple Popper
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
The Bachelor
The Bachelor
Love After Lockup
Love After Lockup
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Jersey Shore: Family Vacation
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Ex On The Beach
Ex On The Beach
Love Island
Love Island
60 Days In
60 Days In
Bringing Up Bates
Bringing Up Bates
Married to Medicine
Married to Medicine
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
Love & Hip Hop: Miami
Love & Hip Hop: Miami
Botched
Botched
1000 Ways to Die
1000 Ways to Die
Step Up: High Water
Step Up: High Water
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
The Curse of Oak Island
The Curse of Oak Island
The Rap Game
The Rap Game
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
The Challenge
The Challenge
Ink Master
Ink Master
Say Yes To The Dress
Say Yes To The Dress
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?
Temptation Island
Temptation Island
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars
The Voice
The Voice
Bachelor in Paradise
Bachelor in Paradise
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Family By The Ton
Family By The Ton
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
Married at First Sight
Married at First Sight
Moonshiners
Moonshiners
30 For 30
30 For 30
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Dog The Bounty Hunter
Live PD
Live PD
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
The Incredible Dr. Pol
The Incredible Dr. Pol
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
I Am Jazz
I Am Jazz
Below Deck
Below Deck
Duck Dynasty
Duck Dynasty
Caribbean Life
Caribbean Life
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Cake Boss
Cake Boss
Counting On
Counting On
Project Runway All Stars
Project Runway All Stars
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles
Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles
Gold Rush
Gold Rush
Intervention
Intervention
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Gordon Ramsay's 24 Hours to Hell & Back
Growing Up Hip Hop
Growing Up Hip Hop
The Last Alaskans
The Last Alaskans
The First 48
The First 48
My Big Fat Fabulous Life
My Big Fat Fabulous Life
T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle
T.I. & Tiny: Friends & Family Hustle
Braxton Family Values
Braxton Family Values
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Paranormal Lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown
America's Got Talent
America's Got Talent
Bridezillas
Bridezillas
Don't Be Tardy
Don't Be Tardy
The People's Court
The People's Court
Street Outlaws: Memphis
Street Outlaws: Memphis
World's Strictest Parents
World's Strictest Parents
The Dead Files
The Dead Files
Dating Naked
Dating Naked
Property Brothers
Property Brothers
The Simple Life
The Simple Life
The Profit
The Profit
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
Desert Flippers
Desert Flippers
Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch
The Next Step
The Next Step
Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen
Top Chef: Last Chance Kitchen
Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid XL
Diesel Brothers
Diesel Brothers
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath
The Real World
The Real World
Mob Wives
Mob Wives
Ready to Love
Ready to Love
Top Chef
Top Chef
Finding Bigfoot
Finding Bigfoot