Reality television has made a splash in popular culture in many ways. Love it or hate it, reality TV has set the entertainment industry on fire with record-high ratings. This widespread cultural phenomenon has lasted for decades since the 2000s. The best reality TV shows have given the world so much to talk about. To this day, the most polarizing genre in television history continues to set trends and win hearts.
One of reality TV’s most notable impacts is changing how people consume and interact with television. These shows are often unscripted and unplanned, so viewers can see real people in real situations instead of actors playing characters. This has made reality TV more relatable and engaging for many people. It has created an interactive, entertaining, and participatory viewing experience.
Reality television also changed how people perceive fame and celebrity. Many reality TV shows focus on regular people who are thrust into the spotlight rather than professional actors or musicians. It has democratized the concept of fame, making it more accessible to a broader range of people. Likewise, reality TV impacted how people approach competition. Many reality TV shows are structured so contestants must compete in challenges and activities to win prizes. This has made competitiveness a more prominent part of popular culture, influencing how people think about success and achievement.
Reality TV is indisputably popular. Even those who claim they despise reality TV still excuse themselves from watching at least one from time to time. It’s entertainment you don’t need to think about, with outrageous characters or concepts set in unexplored, unique worlds only found on cable. Do you need some ideas for the most popular reality television shows?
Here is a list of the 40 best reality TV shows of all time.
List of Most Popular Reality TV Shows
- Survivor (CBS)
- The Amazing Race (CBS)
- Big Brother (CBS)
- The Bachelor (ABC)
- Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
- Top Chef (Bravo)
- The Great British Baking Show (BBC)
- Hell’s Kitchen (FOX)
- RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
- American Idol (ABC)
- The Voice (NBC)
- America’s Got Talent (NBC)
- The Masked Singer (FOX)
- Love Island (ITV)
- Love Is Blind (Netflix)
- Project Runway (Bravo)
- America’s Next Top Model (The CW)
- The Real Housewives (Bravo)
- The Apprentice (NBC)
- The Apprentice UK (BBC)
- The Biggest Loser (USA Network)
- So You Think You Can Dance? (FOX)
- The Real World (MTV)
- The Challenge (MTV)
- The Circle (Netflix)
- Storage Wars (A&E)
- Trading Spaces (TLC)
- Naked and Afraid (Discovery Channel)
- Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW)
- 90 Day Fiancé (TLC)
- Teen Mom (MTV)
- Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!)
- Are You The One? (MTV)
- I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! (ITV)
- Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Bravo)
- Shark Tank (ABC)
- Dragon’s Den (BBC)
- Undercover Boss (CBS)
- Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC)
- Home Town (HGTV)
Best Reality TV Shows of All Time
|May 31, 2000
Best Reality TV Show
Survivor is a popular reality television game show that first aired on CBS in May 31, 2000. It is based on the Swedish show Expedition Robinson, which was created by Charlie Parsons. The show features a group of contestants stranded on a remote island or location. They must compete in challenges and vote each other off the island to be the last remaining “survivor” and win a cash prize.
Each Survivor season lasts about three months. The contestants, or “castaways,” are divided into two or more teams. They compete in physical challenges to earn rewards or immunity from being voted off the island. The losing team must attend a “tribal council” where they vote off one of their own members from the competition. This process continues until only a few castaways remain. At that point, the remaining contestants compete in individual challenges to determine the ultimate winner.
Survivor always brings twists, turns, and drama, as a group of strangers get dropped alone on an island, each competing for prize money while attempting to survive with the minimum in food, fire, and shelter. Survivor has over 40 seasons, believe it or not. No list would be complete without including this reality TV show, one of the most successful. Survivor has been a huge hit with audiences. It is credited with popularizing the concept of reality television.
The Amazing Race (CBS)
|The Amazing Race
|September 5, 2001
Most Popular Reality TV Show
The Amazing Race is a reality television game where teams of two people race worldwide against other contestants. The teams compete in various challenges, such as mental and physical games. They are required to navigate through a series of cities and countries, following clues and completing tasks to advance to the next leg of the race. The team that arrives at the final destination first is declared the winner. They receive a large cash prize as their award.
The Amazing Race sends the racers on a race worldwide, collecting clues and winning challenges. Over the years, the show has featured various teams, including married and dating couples, siblings, friends, and even a father-son duo. It’s given TV audiences introductions to cultures far away, showing local customs and off-the-beaten-path attractions. As it wins millions of viewers per episode, The Amazing Race remains as popular.
One of the unique aspects of The Amazing Race is that it takes place in real time. The competitiveness adds to the excitement and suspense as viewers watch the teams compete against the clock. Additionally, the show often features exotic locations and challenging tasks. Viewers can enjoy a glimpse into different cultures and lifestyles around the world. Since premiering on CBS in 2001, The Amazing Race has become one of the most popular reality TV shows in history. It has won numerous awards, including Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program.
Big Brother (CBS)
|July 5, 2000
Best Reality TV Show in Summer
Big Brother is a reality television show that airs on CBS. The show involves a group of people, known as “Houseguests”. These contestants are isolated from the outside world while living together in a house equipped with cameras and microphones. Each week, the houseguests compete in challenges and vote each other out of the competition. The last remaining HouseGuest is declared the winner.
The show first premiered on CBS in 2000 and aired over dozens of seasons in the past two decades. Each season features a new group of HouseGuests entering the house and competing against each other for the grand prize throughout the summer. Over the years, the show has featured contestants from different backgrounds, cultures, and walks of life.
Big Brother is entertaining because it offers viewers an inside look at the lives and relationships of the houseguests. The show’s format allows viewers to know the houseguests on a personal level. The audience also follows their favourite players’ interactions and strategies as they try to outlast each other in the house. The show also features shocking twists and surprises that keep the viewers engaged.
The Bachelor (ABC)
|March 25, 2002
Best Dating Reality TV Show
The Bachelor is a popular reality television show on the ABC network. The show follows a single bachelor looking for true love among a group of eligible bachelorettes. Each season begins with the bachelor going on a series of dates with the bachelorettes, getting to know them better. He is trying to determine which women he feels a connection with. As the season progresses, the bachelor must make difficult decisions about sending some bachelorettes home until only a handful of women remain. During the finale, the bachelor must propose to one of these remaining women. He may potentially spend the rest of his life with the winner.
Created in 2002, The Bachelor is the most successful reality TV dating show, with millions of viewers tuning in every year. Though it may seem repetitive to watch, watching love play out in a reality tv competition is entertaining. The Bachelor has been on the air since 2002. The show is known for its dramatic moments, emotional breakdowns, and often-controversial decisions by the bachelor. Many of the relationships formed on the show do not last. Yet, several couples have pursued long-term partnerships and even marriage. In addition to the main show, The Bachelor has spawned numerous spin-offs, including The Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise, and Bachelor Pad.
Despite its popularity, The Bachelor has faced criticism for its portrayal of dating and relationships. Critics have argued that the show reinforces outdated gender stereotypes and puts too much emphasis on physical attractiveness. Additionally, the show has been accused of lacking diversity. Earlier seasons do not accurately represent the complexities of real-world relationships. Still, The Bachelor remains a fan favourite and has a loyal following among reality TV lovers. We know the premise is worthy of heavy criticism – so is the show. We dare you to watch an episode and tell us you weren’t entertained!
Dancing with the Stars (ABC)
|Dancing with the Stars
|June 1, 2005
Best Dance Reality TV Show
Dancing with the Stars is a television series that premiered on ABC in 2005. The show is a competition in which celebrities are paired with professional dancers. The teams compete against each other in a series of flamboyant dance performances.
Each episode of Dancing with the Stars features the celebrities and their partners performing a specific style of dance, such as the tango, salsa, ballet, or waltz. The performances are judged by a panel of experts, who provide feedback and score the dances based on a set of criteria. After each episode, the couples with the lowest combined scores from the judges and viewer votes are eliminated from the competition.
Dancing with the Stars has been praised for its entertaining blend of dance, celebrity, and competition. The show has also been credited with introducing many viewers to the world of competitive dance. It also showcases the talent and dedication of professional dancers. In addition, Dancing with the Stars has revitalized the careers of some former celebrities, bringing them to the spotlight. Over the years, his popular reality show has spawned numerous international versions.
Top Chef (Bravo)
|March 8, 2006
Best Cooking Reality TV Show
Top Chef is a popular reality television show that airs on the Bravo network. The show features a group of talented chefs competing against each other in a series of culinary challenges. Each episode includes at least one elimination challenge. The chefs must prepare a dish or dishes for a panel of judges. The judges then taste and evaluate the food. Afterwards, one or more chefs are eliminated based on their performance.
Bravo is a channel filled with reality competitions. The most successful is Top Chef. Several culinary challenges between chefs are hosted, with a panel of professional chefs judging the results. Top Chef has been on the air since 2006, developing into a critical and commercial success. The show has won numerous awards, including a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Reality-Competition Program. In addition to the main show, several spin-offs have been launched off the original Top Chef. These counterparts include Top Chef Masters, Top Chef: Just Desserts, and Top Chef Duels.
The format of Top Chef has been imitated by many counterparts, but it remains one of the most popular culinary competition shows. The show is known for its high-stakes challenges and the intense competition between the chefs. Many of the contestants have gone on to become successful chefs in their own right. Some have even opened their own restaurants! Despite the cutthroat nature of the competition, the show often highlights moments of camaraderie and teamwork among the chefs.
The Great British Baking Show (BBC)
|The Great British Baking Show
|August 17, 2010
Best UK Reality TV Show
The Great British Baking Show, also known as The Great British Bake Off, is a popular reality television show that airs on the BBC in the United Kingdom. The show features a group of amateur bakers competing against each other in a series of challenges. Each episode includes at least one baking challenge. The bakers must prepare a variety of baked goods, such as cakes, bread, or pastries. Then, the bakers are judged on the taste, texture, and appearance of their culinary creations. One or more bakers are eliminated based on their performance.
The Great British Baking Show has been on the air since 2010, gaining a massive following in the UK and abroad. The show has a loyal and dedicated fanbase. It has won numerous awards, including a BAFTA for Best Features. In addition to the main show, there have also been several spin-off series, including The Great British Baking Show: An Extra Slice and The Great British Baking Show: Masterclass.
The format of The Great British Baking Show is unique in that it emphasizes friendly competition and camaraderie among the bakers. Unlike many other reality competition shows, there is no prize money at stake, and the bakers are not professional chefs. Instead, the focus is on showcasing the bakers’ passion for baking and their creativity in the kitchen. The judges and hosts of the show are known for their warmth and encouragement of the bakers. It often includes heartwarming moments among the competitors.
The Great British Baking Show has inspired many different spin-offs, including holiday editions and Americanized versions. It is the most successful baking show in reality TV history, with airings across BBC America, PBS, CBC, and ABC – the latter being the home of the American version. Regardless of what version you find yourself trying, they all come out with more or less the same result. Bakers will love it!
Hell’s Kitchen (FOX)
|May 30, 2005
Most Popular Cooking Reality TV Show
Hell’s Kitchen is a reality TV show that airs on FOX. The show is a cooking competition that features a group of aspiring chefs who compete against each other in a series of challenges and elimination rounds. The contestants are led by the show’s host, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. He is known for his fiery temper, tough criticism, and entertaining antics.
Hell’s Kitchen features culinary challenges that the contestants must complete to prove their culinary skills. These competitions may involve simple tasks, such as preparing a specific dish or ingredient. Occasionally, they participate in complex challenges, such as running a restaurant for a night or catering a special event. The contestants are judged on their performance in these challenges. The weakest chefs are typically eliminated from the competition.
In addition to the challenges, Hell’s Kitchen features a restaurant setting. The contestants must work as a team to prepare and serve meals to customers. The restaurant is run by Chef Ramsay and his team of sous chefs, who provide guidance and feedback to the contestants as they work. The goal of the restaurant is to provide a high-quality dining experience for the customers. The contestants collaborate to create and execute a successful menu. The restaurant also serves as the setting for the show’s elimination rounds, where the weakest chefs are sent home.
RuPaul’s Drag Race (VH1)
|RuPaul’s Drag Race
|February 2, 2009
Best LGBTQ+ Reality TV Show
RuPaul’s Drag Race is a popular reality television competition that first premiered on February 2, 2009, on the Logo network. The show features a group of drag queens competing in a series of challenges. The winner is crowned “America’s Next Drag Superstar.” RuPaul’s Drag Race has become a cultural juggernaut, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the performances and follow the drama of the competition.
The format of RuPaul’s Drag Race is similar to other reality competition shows. A group of contestants compete in a series of challenges that test their skills in various areas, such as singing, dancing, acting, and fashion. A panel of experts judges the challenges, with the contestant receiving the lowest scores being eliminated from the competition. As the competition progresses, the remaining contestants compete in challenges until only a few remain. The final round typically involves the remaining contestants vying for the judges and audience’s votes.
RuPaul’s Drag Race has been a major hit, not only with LGBTQ+ audiences, but with viewers of all backgrounds. The show has been praised for its representation of the drag community and for the talents of the performers. Unfortunately, some critics argue that the show reinforces negative stereotypes, perpetuating the idea that drag is primarily about imitating and mocking women. Nonetheless, RuPaul’s Drag Race has won the hearts of its niche and mainstream audiences.
The search for America’s next drag superstar’ has become incredibly popular and rejuvenated VH1’s programming. It has won awards and raised awareness for drag queen culture. RuPaul’s Drag Race lays claim to being the reality TV show for fans of eye-shocking makeup, dressing up glam-style, and outrageous costuming!
American Idol (ABC)
|June 11, 2002
Best Singing Reality TV Show
American Idol is a popular television singing competition that originated in the United States. The show typically features a group of aspiring singers auditioning for a panel of judges, with the winner being determined by audience votes. The first season of American Idol premiered on June 11, 2002, attracting millions of viewers. It has become one of the most popular reality TV programs on television.
In American Idol, contestants audition by singing a song of their choice for the judges. They provide feedback and decide whether or not the contestant should advance to the next round. As the competition progresses, the contestants perform songs on a live stage as the audience votes for their favourites. The lowest vote-getter is eliminated until only a few musicians remain. The final round typically involves the remaining contestants performing a series of songs in front of a live audience, who then vote to determine the winner.
Over the years, American Idol has launched the careers of many successful singers, including Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Adam Lambert. Some critics claim this reality TV show is overly commercial. It places too much emphasis on the judges and audience votes rather than the quality of the contestants’ performances. Despite this, American Idol remains an enduring part of American popular culture, even after it switched networks from FOX to ABC.
The Voice (NBC)
Most Popular Singing Reality TV Show
The Voice is a television series that premiered on NBC in 2011. The show is a singing competition in which talented vocalists compete for a recording contract and the title of “The Voice.”
Each season of The Voice begins with a series of auditions where the singers perform for the show’s coaches. The coaches, who are all successful musicians, sit with their backs to the stage. They can only hear the singer’s voice. If a coach likes what they hear, they can press a button to “turn their chair” and face the singer, indicating that they want that singer on their team. The singers then choose which coach they want to work with, and the teams are formed.
The rest of the season consists of a series of performances and eliminations, as the coaches and their teams compete against each other. The performances are judged by a panel of experts, and the viewers can vote for their favourite singers. At the end of the season, one singer is declared the winner and is awarded a recording contract. The Voice has been praised for its unique format and for showcasing a wide range of talented vocalists.
America’s Got Talent (NBC)
|America’s Got Talent
|June 21, 2006
Best Reality TV Show with Performances
America’s Got Talent is a popular television talent show from the United States. The show features a variety of performers, including singers, dancers, comedians, magicians, and other entertainers. They compete to win a cash prize and a headlining show in Las Vegas. The first season of America’s Got Talent premiered on June 21, 2006. Every season, millions of American viewers watch the performances and vote for their favourites.
The show begins with performers auditioning for a panel of judges. They provide feedback and decide whether or not the performer should advance to the next round. As the competition progresses, the performers are eliminated until only a few remain. The final round involves the remaining performers competing for the judges’ and audience’s votes. A winner is determined in a spectacular finale.
America’s Got Talent has been a launching pad for many successful performers, including magicians Siegfried and Roy, ventriloquist Terry Fator, and acrobatic dance group Attraction. However, some critics have argued the show is overly commercial and promotes flashy performances than showcasing genuine talent. Despite this, America’s Got Talent remains a popular spectacle every year.
America’s Got Talent wasn’t the runaway hit everybody expected, but it still won millions of hearts. The talent competition has brought in names from every entertainment and media category imaginable. A part of its charm is that you never quite know what to expect when you turn it on, with everyone from country singers to acrobats having their time on stage.
The Masked Singer (FOX)
|The Masked Singer
|January 2, 2019
Most Popular Reality TV Show with Performances
The Masked Singer is a popular television singing competition that originated in South Korea. Since then, it has been adapted for several other countries, including the United States. The show features a group of performers wearing elaborate costumes and masks that conceal their identities. Each week, the contestants reveal who they are after being eliminated from the competition. The first season of The Masked Singer premiered on December 27, 2015.
The structure of The Masked Singer is similar to other singing competition shows. Contestants perform a series of songs in front of a panel of judges and a live audience. The judges provide feedback and score the performances. Then, the contestant receiving the lowest score is eliminated and reveals their identity. As the competition progresses, the remaining contestants continue to perform and are eliminated until only a few remain. The final round involves the remaining contestants competing for the judges’ and audience’s votes.
The Masked Singer is a show that eased its way into the public consciousness, growing first-run ratings to nearly 9 million people per episode. In one short year, it’s become one of the most talked-about reality TV shows on cable, surpassing in popularity other singing competitions. The Masked Singer has been a surprise hit with viewers for its unique format and the excitement of trying to guess the performers’ identities. Some critics claim that the elaborate costumes and masks are a distraction from the quality of the performances.
Love Island (ITV)
|June 7, 2015
Most Popular Dating Reality TV Show
Love Island is a reality TV show that originated in the UK and has been adapted in several other countries. The show is a dating competition that takes place in a luxurious villa on a tropical island. A group of single people (usually in their 20s) are brought together to find love. Each week, the contestants must pair up with someone else in the villa. Afterwards, the couples must compete in various challenges and activities to win rewards and stay on the island.
During their stay, the contestants find a romantic partner and win the competition by being the last couple standing. The contestants are encouraged to form romantic connections with each other. These relationships are often intense, sassy, and volatile. This reality TV show is known for its steamy moments and wild parties. It often generates a lot of buzz and discussion on social media.
In addition to the romantic aspect of the show, Love Island features challenges designed to test the contestants’ physical and mental strength. These activities can range from simple games to more elaborate physical tasks. They often require the contestants to work together as a team. The winners of these challenges are typically rewarded with special privileges, like extra time with their romantic partner. They may also go on a swanky date with someone else in the villa.
Love Is Blind (Netflix)
|Love Is Blind
|February 13, 2020
Best Dating Reality TV Show on Netflix
Love Is Blind is a popular reality television dating show that premiered on Netflix on February 13, 2020. The show is based on a unique concept. A group of single men and women are put into “pods” where they can only communicate with each other through a wall. They never see what the other person looks like. Over several weeks, the contestants get to know each other through conversation and emotional connection. Eventually, the contestants leave the pods and meet each other face-to-face. They must decide whether or not to pursue a romantic relationship in the real world.
Love Is Blind’s unique format has proved to be highly successful. The show has been the subject of much buzz and discussion. Many viewers praise its unique approach to dating and relationships. Unfortunately, Love Is Blind critics have argued the show reinforces negative stereotypes about gender and attraction. Yet, others claim it’s an innovative reality TV show that challenges traditional ideas about love and relationships. Despite the polarizing views, Love Is Blind has seen numerous couples with enduring relationships after the show.
Project Runway (Bravo)
|December 1, 2004
Best Fashion Reality TV Show
Project Runway is an American reality television show on the Bravo network. The show is a competition for fashion designers, who compete to win a cash prize and other opportunities in the fashion industry. Each season begins with a group of aspiring designers. They are then given a series of challenges, in which they must create and present their own fashion designs. These challenges often have specific themes or requirements. Some favourite tasks include using unconventional materials or producing a garment for a celebrity client.
The judges on the show evaluate the designers’ work and provide feedback and critique. At the end of each episode, one or more designers are eliminated from the competition based on the judges’ decision. The last remaining designer is declared the winner and receives the cash prize or other opportunities. Project Runway is known for its innovative fashion design, snarky remarks, and high-energy atmosphere. As the competition escalates, drama and tension often arise among the designers.
America’s Next Top Model (The CW)
|America’s Next Top Model
|May 20, 2003
Best Modeling Reality TV Show
America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) is an American reality television show that airs on the CW network. The show is a competition for aspiring models, who compete for the chance to win a cash prize and other opportunities in the fashion industry.
Each season of ANTM begins with a group of contestants, who are selected to participate in the competition. The contestants are then given a series of challenges, in which they must demonstrate their modeling skills. These challenges often involve photo shoots, runway shows, and other tasks that test the contestants’ abilities as models.
The judges on the show evaluate the contestants’ work and provide feedback and critique. At the end of each episode, one or more contestants are eliminated from the competition based on the judges’ decision. The last remaining contestant is declared the winner and receives the cash prize and other opportunities. ANTM is known for its high-energy atmosphere and the drama and tension that can arise among the contestants.
The Real Housewives (Bravo)
|The Real Housewives
|October 14, 2010
Best Trashy Reality TV Show
The Real Housewives is a reality television franchise that premiered on Bravo in 2006. The franchise consists of numerous series that takes place in different cities worldwide, from New York to Orange County. Each series follows the personal and professional lives of affluent women living in various cities around the globe.
The Real Housewives features a group of glamorous female contestants, called “Housewives”, as they go about their daily lives. Their group typically comprises of between 4 and 7 women. As the women navigate their friendships, careers, and personal relationships, the show highlights their dramatic confrontations and emotional moments. The series also often includes luxurious vacations and other lavish experiences, as the women enjoy their wealth and privilege.
The Real Housewives franchise has been highly successful and has spawned numerous spin-off series, including The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of New York City, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and The Real Housewives of Orange County. This reality TV franchise gained a dedicated following. The viewers love the portrayal of over-the-top luxury, glitz, and drama.
The Apprentice (NBC)
|January 8, 2004
Best Business Reality TV Show
The Apprentice is a popular reality television show that first premiered on January 8, 2004, on the NBC network. The show features a group of aspiring businesspeople competing in a series of challenges designed to test their skills in various areas, such as sales, marketing, and project management. The ultimate goal of the show is for the remaining contestants to impress the show’s host, Donald Trump, and win a job working for his company.
Every week, the group of contestants compete in challenges that test their business acumen. These tasks are typically designed to mimic real-world business situations. For instance, they may sell products, deliver pitches, or design products. One or more contestant is fired each week with the signature phrase, “You’re Fired!”. The final round typically involves the remaining contestants competing for the approval of Donald Trump, who decides the winner of “The Apprentice.”
The Apprentice has been praised for its depiction of the business world and the challenges faced by aspiring entrepreneurs. The reality TV show has also been controversial. Some say it reinforces negative stereotypes about business. In addition, it promotes an overly cutthroat and ruthless approach to success.
The Apprentice UK (BBC)
|The Apprentice UK
|February 16, 2005
Best Business Reality TV Show in the UK
The Apprentice UK is a British reality television show that airs on the BBC. The show is a business-themed competition where over a dozen of aspiring entrepreneurs compete against each other. In the early seasons, the prize is to become the “apprentice” to the show’s host, businessman and former politician Lord Alan Sugar. In later seasons, the prize shifts to gaining funds to start a business partnership with Lord Sugar.
Like its American counterpart, The Apprentice UK follows a similar structure for the competition. The contestants participate in a series of challenges designed to test their business skills. These challenges may involve creating and selling a new product, developing a marketing campaign, or managing a business. At the end of each episode, the contestants must present their work to a panel of judges. They then decide which team performed the best and which individuals excelled. One or more contestants are fired at the end of each episode.
The Apprentice UK is known for its fast-paced and intense atmosphere. Contestants often face tough criticism and unexpected circumstances. Despite the high stakes and competition, The Apprentice UK is also known for its entertaining and often humorous moments. The contestants must work together and try to outsmart each other in order to win. The show has been a success in the UK, spawning numerous international versions in other countries.
The Biggest Loser (USA Network)
|The Biggest Loser
|October 19, 2004
Best Reality TV Show About Weight Loss
The Biggest Loser is a popular reality television show that first premiered on October 19, 2004, on the NBC network. The show features a group of overweight contestants competing in various challenges and workouts designed to help them lose weight. The show is based on the concept of “competitive weight loss”. The contestant who loses the highest percentage of weight each week is rewarded, while the least successful contender is eliminated from the competition. The first season of The Biggest Loser was a major hit, attracting millions of viewers.
Each season, a group of contestants are selected to participate in the show and are put through a series of challenges and workouts designed to help them lose weight and improve their health. The challenges are typically overseen by professional trainers whosupport the contestants. The contestants are also given access to healthy meals. They are encouraged to make lifestyle changes to help them lose weight after the show ends. The Biggest Loser aired for over a decade on NBC and has undergone a reboot.
With a focus on health and wellness, The Biggest Loser has been praised for its unique approach to weight loss. Supporters claim it provides valuable information and inspires viewers who want to lose weight. It also encourages healthy habits and lifestyle changes. Yet, critics argue its focus on rapid weight loss and extreme exercise can be unhealthy and unsustainable. The show also reinforces negative stereotypes about overweight and obese individuals. Although not without controversy, The Biggest Loser is a fascinating experience that many viewers enjoy.
So You Think You Can Dance? (FOX)
|So You Think You Can Dance
|July 20, 2005
Best Reality TV Show About Dancing
So You Think You Can Dance is a reality television dance competition that airs on FOX. The show features a group of dancers competing against each other in various dance styles, including ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, and hip-hop. The judges and a live audience vote to determine which dancers will advance to the next round of the competition. A handful of dancers are left to compete in the finale.
The dancers on the show are young and talented. They come from a variety of backgrounds and levels of dance training. Some are professional dancers who have already made a name for themselves in the dance world, while others are amateurs looking to break into the industry. Each week, the dancers are given new routines to learn and perform. They must work together as a team to impress the judges, securing their spot in the competition.
In addition to the competitive aspect of the show, So You Think You Can Dance also features guest performances from professional dancers and choreographers. These performances inspire the contestants and often showcase the latest trends and styles in the dance world. Overall, the show is a celebration of the art of dance. It provides a platform for talented dancers to showcase their skills.
The Real World (MTV)
|The Real World
|May 21, 1992
Best 1990s Reality TV Show
The Real World is an American reality television show that airs on the MTV network. The show is a pioneer of the reality TV genre. It features a cast of strangers living together in a house and being filmed by cameras 24/7. Each season, a group of young adults live together in a house in a different city. The housemates are chosen to represent a diverse range of backgrounds, personalities, and experiences. They are not told what to do or say on camera. The cameras capture their daily lives, including their relationships, conflicts, and activities.
The Real World is known for its raw and unscripted portrayal of its cast members. The contestants often face challenges and conflicts as they navigate the complexities of living together. Known for its grittiness, this reality TV show deals with issues such as sexuality, race, and addiction. Despite its long-running success, The Real World has faced criticism for its uninformed portrayal of certain topics.
The Challenge (MTV)
|June 1, 1998
Best MTV Reality TV Show
The Challenge is an American reality television show that airs on the MTV network. The show is a spin-off of the network’s long-running reality competition series The Real World, and features former cast members of both The Real World and the road-trip-themed spin-off show Road Rules competing in a series of challenges.
Each season of The Challenge features a group of contestants competing in physical and mental challenges, with the goal of winning a cash prize. The challenges often involve tasks such as endurance, strength, and problem-solving, and are designed to test the contestants’ abilities and endurance. The show also includes elements of competition and strategy, as the contestants must work together and form alliances in order to succeed.
The Challenge is known for its intense and physically demanding challenges, as well as the drama and conflict that can arise among the contestants. The show has been a ratings success and has spawned numerous spin-offs and international versions. It has also become a cult favorite among fans of reality TV.
The Circle (Netflix)
|January 1, 2020
Best Netflix Reality TV Show
The Circle is an American reality television show that airs on the Netflix streaming service. The show is a competition in which a group of contestants live in separate apartments and communicate only through a social media platform called “The Circle”. The contestants can choose to either play as themselves or create a fictional persona, and they must compete to become the most popular and win a cash prize.
Each episode of The Circle features challenges and competitions that the contestants must participate in, in order to earn rewards and influence on the social media platform. The contestants are also able to rate each other and block those they don’t like, which can affect their standing in the game. The ultimate goal of the game is to avoid being blocked by the other contestants and become the most popular person on The Circle.
The show is known for its unique format and its exploration of themes such as identity, popularity, and social media. The contestants on The Circle must navigate the challenges of playing as themselves or as a fictional persona, and must decide how much of their true selves to reveal to the others. The show has been praised for its engaging and thought-provoking take on reality television.
Storage Wars (A&E)
|December 1, 2010
Best A&E Reality TV Show
Storage Wars is a popular reality television show that first premiered on December 1, 2010, on the A&E network. The show follows a group of professional buyers who bid on abandoned storage units in the hopes of finding valuable items that they can resell for a profit. The show is based on the concept of “storage auctions,” where abandoned storage units are auctioned off to the highest bidder. The first season of Storage Wars was a major hit, attracting millions of viewers and becoming one of the most popular programs on television.
Storage Wars is based around a collection of people who professionally bid on Californian unclaimed storage lockers. They bid cash-only at auction to claim the contents without fully knowing what’s inside. A surprising hit for A&E, Storage Wars is a different type of reality TV that helped develop an entire programming category for a channel that aims for an older demographic.
The format of Storage Wars is simple but effective. Each episode, a group of professional buyers are shown a storage unit that has been abandoned by its owner and is being auctioned off. The buyers are given a brief opportunity to look inside the unit and assess its contents before bidding on it. Once the auction is over, the winning buyer has the right to open the unit and see what is inside. The contents of the unit are then appraised by experts, and the buyer must decide whether or not to keep the items and try to sell them for a profit.
Storage Wars has been a major hit with audiences, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the drama of the auctions and see what valuable items the buyers are able to uncover. The show has also been the subject of controversy, with some critics arguing that it promotes a wasteful and materialistic culture and that the contents of the storage units are often staged or planted by the producers.
Trading Spaces (TLC)
|October 13, 2000
Best TLC Reality TV Show
Trading Spaces is a television show that aired on the TLC network from 2000 to 2008. The show featured pairs of neighbors who would swap homes and redesign one room in each other’s house with the help of a professional designer. The goal of the show was to see how much the designers could transform a space on a limited budget of only $1,000.
Each episode of Trading Spaces began with the two pairs of neighbors meeting each other and discussing their design plans for the room they would be working on. The neighbors would then leave their homes and allow the designers to get to work, using the $1,000 budget to purchase materials and make any necessary renovations. At the end of the two days, the neighbors would return to their homes to see the finished room for the first time.
The show was popular for its fun and lighthearted approach to home design, and it helped to introduce many people to the world of interior decorating. The designers on the show were known for their creativity and their ability to make beautiful and functional spaces on a budget. Despite ending in 2008, Trading Spaces remains a beloved and influential show in the world of home design and decorating.
Naked and Afraid (Discovery Channel)
|Naked and Afraid
|June 23, 2013
Best Discovery Channel Reality TV Show
Naked and Afraid is a popular reality television show that first premiered on June 23, 2013, on the Discovery Channel. The show features a group of contestants who are stranded in a remote location and must survive on their own with no food, water, or shelter. The catch is that the contestants are completely naked, with no clothing or equipment to help them survive. The show is based on the idea of “primitive survival,” with the contestants relying on their wits and skills to find food, water, and shelter and stay alive.
Naked and Afraid takes two survivalists, dropping them in the middle of the wilderness naked, where they try to survive for 21 days. The survivalists must produce potable water, clothing, shelter, and food during that time. The contestants are also completely naked, with no clothing or equipment to help them. As the days pass, they must face challenges such as hunger, thirst, and exposure to the elements, as well as dangerous animals and other threats. It’s a heck of a concept, and not surprisingly, it’s continued to see growth in ratings as new viewers continue to find this underrated reality TV show.
Naked and Afraid has been a major hit with audiences, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the drama and excitement of the contestants’ survival challenges. The show has also been the subject of controversy, with some critics arguing that it is exploitative and reinforces negative stereotypes about nudity and the human body. Nonetheless, it is one of the most popular reality TV shows on the Discovery Channel.
Penn & Teller: Fool Us (The CW)
|Penn & Teller: Fool Us
|January 7, 2011
Best The CW Reality TV Show
Penn & Teller: Fool Us is a popular television magic show that first premiered on July 15, 2011, on the ITV network in the United Kingdom. The show is hosted by legendary magician duo Penn & Teller, and features a variety of aspiring magicians who perform a magic trick for the hosts. If Penn & Teller are unable to figure out how the trick is done, the magician is declared the “winner” and gets to perform their trick on the duo’s Las Vegas show. The first season of Penn & Teller: Fool Us was a major hit, attracting millions of viewers and becoming one of the most popular programs on television.
In Penn & Teller’s Fool Us, the magician duo invites magicians to come and perform their best magic tricks in front of them to prevent Penn & Teller from guessing how it was accomplished. The winners, or those who succeed at keeping the trick’s secret, are then rewarded with the chance to perform it live in Las Vegas. For fans of professional magic or amateur magicians, reality TV is fun, to the point, and easy to watch.
Each episode, a group of aspiring magicians are invited to perform a magic trick for Penn & Teller. The magicians have a limited amount of time to perform their trick and must try to “fool” Penn & Teller with their deception. If Penn & Teller are unable to figure out how the trick is done, the magician is declared the “winner” and gets to perform their trick on the duo’s Las Vegas show. If Penn & Teller are able to figure out the trick, the magician is “fooled” and must go home.
Penn & Teller: Fool Us has been a major hit with audiences, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the performances and try to figure out how the tricks are done. The show has also been praised for its promotion of the art of magic and for providing a platform for aspiring magicians to showcase their talents. Despite this, Penn & Teller: Fool Us has also been the subject of controversy, with some critics arguing that it reinforces negative stereotypes about magicians and their craft. Despite this, Penn & Teller: Fool Us remains a popular and entertaining part of television culture.
90 Day Fiancé (TLC)
|90 Day Fiancé
|January 12, 2014
Most Popular TLC Reality TV Show
90 Day Fiancé is a popular reality television show that first premiered on January 12, 2014, on the TLC network. The show follows a group of couples who have applied for or received a K-1 visa, which allows a foreign fiancé to travel to the United States to marry their American partner within 90 days. The show documents the couples’ relationships and the challenges they face as they prepare for their weddings and adjust to life together in the United States. The first season of 90 Day Fiancé was a major hit, attracting millions of viewers and becoming one of the most popular programs on television.
One of TLC’s biggest hits in the past decade was 90 Day Fiance, a reality show about couples applying for a K-1 visa. Usually, this involved an American citizen marrying their foreign fiancé, portraying the route of getting to marriage, obtaining American citizenship, and the difficulties of remaining married. It has spurred six spin-offs and counting and continues to dish out multiple seasons annually.
The format of 90 Day Fiancé is simple but compelling. Each season, a group of couples are selected to participate in the show and are followed as they navigate the challenges of their relationships and the K-1 visa process. The couples are typically shown going through the process of applying for the visa, preparing for their weddings, and adjusting to life together in the United States. The show also documents the couples’ personal struggles and conflicts, as well as the reactions of their friends and family members.
90 Day Fiancé has been a major hit with audiences, with millions of viewers tuning in to watch the drama and excitement of the couples’ relationships and their experiences with the K-1 visa process. The show has also been the subject of much discussion and analysis, with many viewers and critics praising its portrayal of the complexities of cross-cultural relationships and the challenges faced by couples in the K-1 visa process. Despite this, 90 Day Fiancé has also been the subject of controversy, with some critics arguing that it reinforces negative stereotypes and promotes a misleading and distorted view of international relationships.
Teen Mom (MTV)
|December 8, 2009
Most Popular MTV Reality TV Show
Teen Mom is a reality TV show that airs on MTV. The show follows the lives of several young mothers who are trying to raise their children while dealing with the challenges of adolescence. Each episode of the show focuses on a different mother and her family, and documents their daily struggles and triumphs as they navigate the challenges of parenting and growing up.
The mothers on Teen Mom are typically in their late teens or early 20s, and come from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances. Some of the mothers are still in high school or college, while others are working or taking care of their families full-time. The show explores the difficulties that these young mothers face, such as financial struggles, relationship problems, and the challenges of raising a child while still trying to pursue their own goals and dreams.
In addition to the personal stories of the mothers and their families, Teen Mom also explores larger social issues, such as the challenges of being a young parent, the impact of teenage pregnancy on education and career opportunities, and the stigma surrounding teenage mothers. The show often generates a lot of discussion and debate on social media, and has been praised for its candid portrayal of the challenges that young mothers face.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!)
|Keeping Up with the Kardashians
|October 14, 2007
Most Popular Reality TV Show on E!
Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a television series that premiered on E! in 2007. The show follows the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian-Jenner family, a large and well-known family that includes media personality and entrepreneur Kim Kardashian West, her sisters Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian, and her half-sisters Kendall and Kylie Jenner.
Each episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians follows the family members as they go about their daily lives, including their work, relationships, and personal pursuits. The show often focuses on the family’s lavish lifestyle and their many high-profile relationships, as well as the drama and conflicts that arise among the sisters.
When we talk ‘love it or hate it’ reality TV, Keeping Up with the Kardashians is the first thing that comes to mind. Controversial in design, they’re the family half of America can’t stop watching while the other half basks in the love of hating them. Despite the intellectual criticism aimed towards the Kardashian family, the reality TV show has, directly and indirectly, generated hundreds of millions of dollars, and with almost a dozen different spin-offs of shows connected to it.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians has been highly successful and has become one of E! network’s longest-running and most-watched series. The show has also spawned numerous spin-off series and specials, and has launched the careers of several of the family members, including Kim Kardashian West. Despite criticism for its focus on the superficial aspects of the family’s lives, the show has gained a large and dedicated following.
Are You The One? (MTV)
|Are You The One?
|January 21, 2014
Most Popular Dating Reality TV Show on MTV
Are You The One? is an American reality television show that airs on the MTV network. The show is a dating competition in which a group of single men and women are brought together in a tropical location and must try to identify their “perfect match” among the group.
Each season of Are You The One? begins with the contestants being introduced to each other and given the opportunity to get to know one another. Throughout the season, the contestants participate in challenges and activities that test their compatibility with each other, and they can also choose to go on dates with one another. The ultimate goal of the game is for the contestants to correctly identify their perfect match and win a cash prize.
Are You The One? is known for its unique format and its exploration of themes such as love, relationships, and dating. The contestants on the show must navigate the challenges of trying to find their perfect match and deal with the drama and conflicts that can arise among a group of single people living together. The show has been a ratings success and has spawned numerous spin-offs and international versions.
I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! (ITV)
|I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!
|August 25, 2002
Best Survival Reality TV Show
I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! is a reality TV show that airs on ITV in the UK. The show features a group of celebrities who are stranded in a remote location, typically in a jungle or other wilderness setting. The celebrities must compete in various challenges and activities in order to survive and win rewards, and the public votes to determine which celebrities will be eliminated from the competition.
The challenges on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! are designed to test the celebrities’ physical and mental strength, and often involve activities such as eating disgusting foods, enduring extreme weather conditions, or completing physical challenges. The celebrities are also required to live in a camp together, where they must work together as a team and provide for their own food and shelter.
In addition to the challenges, I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here! also features a number of other elements that are designed to entertain and engage the audience. These elements can include special guest appearances, behind-the-scenes footage of the celebrities, and segments that showcase the beauty and wildlife of the location where the show is filmed. Overall, the show is a mix of competition, adventure, and entertainment, and has become a popular and enduring franchise in the UK and other countries.
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (Bravo)
|Queer Eye for the Straight Guy
|July 15, 2003
Most Popular LGBT Reality TV Show
Queer Eye for the Straight Guy was a popular television show that aired on the Bravo network from 2003 to 2007. The show featured a group of five gay men, known as the “Fab Five,” who offered advice and expertise on various topics, such as fashion, grooming, interior design, and culture, to help straight men improve their appearance and lifestyle. The goal of the show was to challenge traditional gender roles and stereotypes, and to promote acceptance and inclusivity.
The Fab Five consisted of fashion expert Carson Kressley, interior designer Thom Filicia, grooming specialist Kyan Douglas, culture expert Jai Rodriguez, and food and wine connoisseur Ted Allen. Each episode featured a different straight man, who the Fab Five would help “makeover” in various aspects of his life. This often included giving the man a new wardrobe, grooming him, redecorating his home, and introducing him to new experiences and cultural activities.
The show was a major success and won an Emmy award for Outstanding Reality Program in 2004. It also spawned several spin-offs and international versions, and was remade by Netflix in 2018 with a new Fab Five. The original series remains a cultural touchstone and is widely credited with helping to increase visibility and acceptance of the LGBTQ+ community.
Shark Tank (ABC)
|August 9, 2009
Most Popular Business Reality TV Show
The Shark Tank show is a reality television series that airs on the ABC network. It features a panel of successful businesspeople, called “sharks,” who listen to pitches from entrepreneurs and decide whether or not to invest in their businesses. The entrepreneurs present their ideas to the sharks and answer their questions in an effort to convince them to invest their own money in the business. The sharks may also offer advice or suggestions for improving the business plan.
Each episode of Shark Tank features a variety of entrepreneurs, from those with well-established businesses looking for additional investment to those who are just starting out and seeking their first round of funding. The entrepreneurs come from a variety of industries, including technology, fashion, food and beverage, and health and wellness.
The sharks use their own money to invest in the businesses they believe have the most potential. They often negotiate with the entrepreneurs to get a percentage of the company in exchange for their investment. The show provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs to showcase their ideas and potentially secure funding to help grow their businesses. It also allows viewers to learn about different businesses and industries, as well as the challenges and rewards of entrepreneurship.
Dragon’s Den (BBC)
|October 3, 2006
Most Popular Reality TV Show About Business
Dragon’s Den is a reality TV show that airs on BBC Two in the UK. The show features a group of successful businesspeople, known as “dragons,” who listen to pitches from aspiring entrepreneurs and decide whether to invest their own money in the businesses. Each episode of the show features several entrepreneurs who pitch their ideas to the dragons, and the dragons must decide whether to invest in the businesses based on their potential for growth and profitability.
The dragons on Dragon’s Den are typically successful businesspeople who have a proven track record of success in their respective fields. They come from a variety of industries, including technology, retail, and finance, and they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the show. The entrepreneurs who pitch to the dragons are typically young, ambitious, and eager to make a name for themselves in the business world.
In addition to the pitches and investment decisions, Dragon’s Den also features segments that provide insight into the world of entrepreneurship and business. These segments can include interviews with successful entrepreneurs, discussions of business trends and strategies, and advice for aspiring entrepreneurs. Overall, the show is a unique and engaging blend of competition, education, and entertainment, and has become a popular and enduring franchise in the UK and other countries.
Undercover Boss (CBS)
|February 7, 2010
Best CBS Reality TV Show About Business
Undercover Boss is a reality television series that premiered on CBS in 2010. In each episode, a high-level executive from a company goes undercover at various locations within their own organization, assuming the guise of an entry-level employee. The executive typically works alongside regular employees, performing tasks such as serving customers, cleaning, and other entry-level duties.
Undercover Boss is an adaptation of a similarly named UK TV show. The concept takes a person from upper-level management, disguises them, and then puts them into an entry-level position at their company. Though the show’s proven to be quite inspirational at times, in other cases, it’s received criticism for the seeming class v. class disconnect between upper-level boss and employee.
During the course of the episode, the executive gets to see firsthand what life is like for their employees and learns about the challenges and successes they face on a daily basis. The executive also has the opportunity to interact with employees and hear their feedback and suggestions for improving the company.
At the end of the episode, the executive reveals their true identity to the employees they worked with, and often makes changes or improvements based on what they learned during their undercover assignment. The show has been praised for its ability to give executives a better understanding of their employees and their work, and for providing employees with a platform to voice their concerns and suggestions.
Dr. Pimple Popper (TLC)
|Dr. Pimple Popper
|January 3, 2018
Best Health Reality TV Show
Dr. Pimple Popper is a television series that premiered on TLC in 2018. The show follows the work of Dr. Sandra Lee, a dermatologist and skin care specialist who has gained popularity on social media for her videos of extracting blackheads, cysts, and other skin irregularities.
An unexpected success, if there ever was one, TLC won big in 2018 when it debuted Dr. Pimple Popper. A show featuring dermatologists, Internet celebrities, and poppers of extraordinarily large and ill-shaped pimples, Dr. Sandra Lee, it’s a reality TV show with visuals you won’t find anywhere else. Pimples, cysts, and skin removals; what a delight! Truly something unique, it’s got to be seen to be believed.
In each episode of Dr. Pimple Popper, Dr. Lee treats patients with various skin conditions, ranging from mild to severe. She uses a variety of techniques to extract the problem areas, including squeezing, scraping, and cutting. The show often focuses on the gross and satisfying aspects of the extractions, and Dr. Lee’s gentle and empathetic approach to her patients.
While the show has been criticized by some for its graphic content, it has also gained a large and dedicated following. Many viewers find the extractions satisfying and therapeutic, and Dr. Lee has been praised for her skill and compassion as a dermatologist. The show has also raised awareness about various skin conditions and the importance of proper skin care.
Home Town (HGTV)
|March 21, 2017
Best Home Renovation Reality TV Show
Home Town is a television series that premiered on HGTV in 2017. The show follows husband-and-wife team Ben and Erin Napier as they help families find, buy, and renovate homes in their hometown of Laurel, Mississippi.
HGTV has done remarkably well turning out a reality-based home renovation show after the home renovation show. Home Town involves a husband and wife team that focuses on renovating Southern-style homes in small-town Mississippi. This show goes against the grain of standard HGTV shows of high-expense, modern-contemporary renovation and eschews it in exchange for something more homegrown, down-to-earth, and country.
Each episode of Home Town follows a similar format, with the Napiers meeting with a family to discuss their home search and renovation needs. The couple then goes on a tour of available properties, helps the family make a purchase, and works with local artisans and craftsmen to renovate the home.
Throughout the renovation process, the Napiers focus on preserving the character and history of the home, often incorporating local materials and antiques into the design. The show has been praised for its authentic depiction of small-town life and the couple’s dedication to preserving the charm and character of the homes they renovate.