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
Teen Mom 2
Teen Mom 2
Love Island
Love Island
The Voice
The Voice
Black Ink Crew
Black Ink Crew
RuPaul's Drag Race
RuPaul's Drag Race
Bad Girls Club
Bad Girls Club
Teen Mom
Teen Mom
Love & Hip Hop
Love & Hip Hop
Basketball Wives
Basketball Wives
American Idol
American Idol
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
The Real Housewives of Atlanta
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Keeping Up with The Kardashians
Chrisley Knows Best
Chrisley Knows Best
Ex On The Beach
Ex On The Beach
Braxton Family Values
Braxton Family Values
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown
Teyana & Iman
Teyana & Iman
Ghost Adventures
Ghost Adventures
Are You The One?
Are You The One?
Jersey Shore
Jersey Shore
Ink Master
Ink Master
America's Next Top Model
America's Next Top Model
Paranormal Lockdown
Paranormal Lockdown
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Teen Mom: Young + Pregnant
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Welcome to Sweetie Pie's
Dancing with the Stars
Dancing with the Stars
Antiques Roadshow
Antiques Roadshow
Basketball Wives: LA
Basketball Wives: LA
Little People, Big World
Little People, Big World
Party Down South
Party Down South
Southern Charm
Southern Charm
The Challenge
The Challenge
Geordie Shore
Geordie Shore
Mountain Monsters
Mountain Monsters
Love & Hip Hop: Miami
Love & Hip Hop: Miami
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
Below Deck Mediterranean
Below Deck Mediterranean
Total Bellas
Total Bellas
The Bachelor
The Bachelor
Impractical Jokers
Impractical Jokers
Deadliest Catch
Deadliest Catch
Laguna Beach
Laguna Beach
Little Women: Atlanta
Little Women: Atlanta
Botched
Botched
The Real Housewives of New York City
The Real Housewives of New York City
Naked and Afraid
Naked and Afraid
The Real World
The Real World
Bringing Up Bates
Bringing Up Bates
Don't Be Tardy
Don't Be Tardy
Below Deck
Below Deck
Lizard Lick Towing
Lizard Lick Towing
Cathouse: The Series
Cathouse: The Series
The First 48
The First 48
Life of Kylie
Life of Kylie
The Bachelorette
The Bachelorette
Trading Spaces
Trading Spaces
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle
Shark Tank
Shark Tank
Ghost Hunters
Ghost Hunters
Hardcore Pawn
Hardcore Pawn
Sister Wives
Sister Wives
Gold Rush
Gold Rush
Alaskan Bush People
Alaskan Bush People
Fast N' Loud
Fast N' Loud
MasterChef Junior
MasterChef Junior
A Haunting
A Haunting
South Beach Tow
South Beach Tow
Pretty Wild
Pretty Wild
The Dead Files
The Dead Files
Cake Boss
Cake Boss
The Real Housewives of Orange County
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Bar Rescue
Bar Rescue
The Hills
The Hills
The Real Housewives of Potomac
The Real Housewives of Potomac
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
Black Ink Crew: Chicago
American Pickers
American Pickers
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
The Real Housewives of New Jersey
Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings
Street Outlaws: No Prep Kings
Snooki & JWOWW
Snooki & JWOWW
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Growing Up Hip Hop: Atlanta
Big Brother
Big Brother
Swamp Loggers
Swamp Loggers
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Pit Bulls and Parolees
Fixer Upper
Fixer Upper
College Hill
College Hill
Long Lost Family
Long Lost Family
Pawn Stars
Pawn Stars
Finding Bigfoot
Finding Bigfoot
Married to Medicine
Married to Medicine
Dr. Pimple Popper
Dr. Pimple Popper
American Ninja Warrior
American Ninja Warrior
Naked and Afraid XL
Naked and Afraid XL
Nightwatch
Nightwatch
The Incredible Dr. Pol
The Incredible Dr. Pol
World's Strictest Parents
World's Strictest Parents
Ridiculousness
Ridiculousness
Mob Wives
Mob Wives