The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (2022)

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Ah, reality television. A stellar way to ignore the state of the world and focus on what's important: other people's drama. The genre has been around since the '70s, but didn't get popular until the '90s when MTV gifted us the powerhouse that was and forever will beThe Real World (opens in new tab). After that, we saw a boom of reality TV content. From Bunnies revealing what it's really like to live in the PlayboyMansion to belting your heart out for a golden ticket to Hollywood, networks couldn't get enough of the stuff.

And while reality TV is great and all, there's also alotof it. FromThe Bachelor (opens in new tab)toTop Chef, we've got a wide variety of shows on this list for pretty much every person on earth. Without further ado, these are the best reality shows of all time—not in chronological order, don't yell at us if you think this is a ranking!—and where to find them. Some of them are lost in the abyss that is YouTube. Others just require a Hulu subscription. Either way, you're about to be entertained for hours on end. Who knows, maybe you'll find your next new favorite show.

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (1)

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'Laguna Beach'

When was it on?Let's go back...back to the beginning, when the show premiered in 2004 on MTV and concluded in 2006.

What's it about?The show follows the lives of eight high schoolers living in Laguna Beach, California, and made Kristin Cavallari and Lauren Conrad the people they are today.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Please binge-watch every season immediately, if not to hear Kristin iconically shout, "STEPH-ENNN!"

Where can I watch it?You can watch re-runs on MTV or on Amazon Prime below.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (2)

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'The Hills'

When was it on?The show premiered on MTV from 2006 to 2010.

What's it about?Though the show uses the term "reality" loosely,The Hillsis a follow-up toLaguna Beachand follows the lives of Lauren Conrad, Audrina Patridge, Whitney Port, Heidi Montag, and more.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Seasons 1-5 are the best. After Conrad leaves in the middle of the fifth season, Kristin Cavallari becomes the main star of the seriesuntil the show concludes at the end of season six.

Where can I watch it?You can watch re-runs on MTV or on Hulu below.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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'Keeping Up With the Kardashians'

When was it on?The series premiered on E! in 2007 and will air its 20th and final season in 2021.

What's it about?Do we really need to answer this?

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?For some great nostalgia andiconic lines (opens in new tab)("Kim, would you stop taking pictures of yourself? Your sister's going to jail!"), the early seasons are the best.

Where can I watch it?*Ryan Seacrest voice* Only on E!

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (4)

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'Love Is Blind'

When was it on?Before the world shut down in March 2020, we received the gift of Netflix'sLove Is Blind.

What's it about?Couples go through several rounds of dating without ever knowing what the other person looks like. Once they finally meet each other in real life, they must decide whether they want to follow through with their engagement and, ultimately, marriage.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?So far there's only one season, so you should definitely binge-watch that.

Where can I watch it?Netflix.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (5)

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'Survivor'

When was it on?The show premiered in 2000 and has been running for 40 seasons (!!!) and counting.

What's it about?Contestants compete on an island with limited resources to survive. The winner receives a cash prize.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Here'sa list (opens in new tab)of all 40 seasons ofSurvivorranked.

Where can I watch it?On Paramount Plus, CBS, Amazon Prime Video, or Hulu below.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (6)

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'Jersey Shore'

When was it on?The show ran on MTV from 2009 to 2016 for six seasons. Spin-off shows include four seasons ofSnooki & JWOWW(2012-2015)and three seasons ofJersey Shore: Family Vacation (2018)that's still on the air.

(Video) Top 10 Addictive Reality TV Shows

What's it about?Known as one of MTV's most-watched television shows,Jersey Shorefollowed eight roommates who spent their summer working and living together in Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Following seasons of the show included new locations like Miami, Florida, and Florence, Italy. The show gave us new lingo (Gym, Tan, Laundry, anyone?) and probably helped self-tanner sales.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Season two in Miami is, without a doubt, one of the best of the six seasons. It gave us the anonymous letter to Samantha written by Snooki and JWOWW, Angelina leaving for good, new relationships, and so much more.

Where can I watch it?MTV has every episode free if you sign in with your cable provider, or you can head on over to Hulu.

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (7)

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'Queer Eye'

When was it on?The original series aired on Bravo for five seasons from 2003 to 2007. The reboot began on Netflix in 2018.

What's it about?This makeover series, originally titledQueer Eye for The Straight Guy(they dropped the "straight guy" part for the revival, which is all-inclusive), focuses on the Fab 5, a group of queer and gay men who each have an individual focus on fashion, style, personal grooming, interior design, and culture, perform a makeover on a person in need.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Just watch the entire revival. If you get through the first episode without crying, you are a stronger person than I.

Where can I watch it?The fourth and fifth seasons of the original series are available for purchase onAmazon Prime (opens in new tab), and the revival is streaming now on Netflix.

watch now (opens in new tab)

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'The Real World'

When was it on?The show ran for 32 seasons on MTV (1992-2017).

What's it about?The show that started it all! The opening credits described the show better than I could: "This is the true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house, work together, and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real." And oh, it gotsoreal.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?The Real World: San Franciscois easily the most famous season, and the impact Pedro Zamora had on AIDS awareness in the 90s changed everything. Oh, and it also features one of the best uses of Lisa Loeb's "Stay," possibly ever.

Where can I watch it?Seasons 1-32 are all available on Amazon Prime.

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The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (9)

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The 'Real Housewives' Franchise

When was it on?The Real Housewives of Orange County, premiered in 2006; followed by in New York City and Atlanta in 2008, New Jersey in 2009, Washington, D.C. and Beverly Hills in 2010 (D.C. aired for a single season), Miami in 2011 and aired for three seasons, Potomac and Dallas in 2016, as well as the international installments,The Real Housewives of Athenspremiered in 2011, Vancouver in 2012, Los Angeles (in French) in 2013, Melbourne in 2014, Cheshire in 2015, Auckland in 2016, Sydney, Toronto, Hungary in 2017 and South Africa in 2018.

What's it about?The simplest way to put it is... rich women doing things. It's better than it sounds.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Oh, god. Dip your feet in the water withBeverly Hills's first season, and then go from there.

Where can I watch it?Every American installment (except Dallas) is available to stream on Hulu.

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'The Bachelor' Franchise

When was it on?The Bachelorbegan airing in 2002 on ABC and has aired for 23 seasons, and has given us plenty of spin-offs: several spin-offs includingThe Bachelorette(which began airing in 2003 until 2005, and then returned in 2008 and has aired 14 seasons),Bachelor Pad,Bachelor in Paradise, andThe Bachelor Winter Games.

What's it about?A single suitor has a pool of romantic interests to pick from and find the person of their dreams through a sea of eliminations.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Oh, man. Season 17, Sean Lowe's season, is a safe place to start.

Where can I watch it?Two seasons ofThe Bachelor (opens in new tab)andThe Bachelorette (opens in new tab)are available on Amazon Prime, and the most recent two seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

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'Girls Next Door'

When was it on?The show ran for six seasons on E!, from 2005 to 2010.

What's it about?The first five seasons focused on Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt, and Kendra Wilkinson, who were then-girlfriends of Hugh Hefner, founder ofPlayboymagazine. The show allowed viewers to look into the lives of Playmates from the female gaze showing the day-to-day life of living in the Playboy Mansion to what went into planning aPlayboyparty.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Season 1, without question!

Where can I watch it?While you'll have to buy most of the seasons on Amazon, some fans of the show have uploadeda couple of episodes (opens in new tab)on YouTube, including the first one.

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'My Super Sweet 16'

When was it on?The show ran for 10 seasons between 2005 and 2017.

What's it about?One of MTV's better reality shows documented the lives of wealthy teenagers planning a birthday extravaganza. While most of the episodes focused on the big 1-6, other episodes included lavish quinceañeras, one titledMy Super Swag 18,and a Super Sweet 21.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?A personal favorite is season two, due to episode seven having a 2006 Rhianna cameo.

Where can I watch it?Seasons two through ten are available on MTV.com, and you don't even need a birthday invite to get in.

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(Video) Some of the Greatest Ever Reality TV Fights and Arguments

The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time (13)

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'American Idol'

When was it on?The show ran on Fox from 2002 to 2016 for fifteen seasons and then was revived two years later on ABC.

What's it about?In case you've been living under a rock, the show's premise is auditioning for a panel of celebrity judges and competing to see who will be —you guessed it—the nextAmerican Idol.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Eh, all of them. It's hard not to be in awe of this amount of talent. But my personal favorite, forever, is the original, Kelly Clarkson.

Where can I watch it?This is a case where it's okay just to get lost in a YouTube hole on the American Idol channel, but the most recent episodes are streaming onABC (opens in new tab), too.

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'The Simple Life'

When was it on?The show ran for five seasons on Fox (2003–2005) and E! (2006–2007).

What's it about?It's the show that blessed us with Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, and we have never been the same since. The show followed the two socialites as they were taken from the comfort of their lives in Beverly Hills and put into rural environments and given manual jobs, all to comedic effect.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner? Season 2, the "Road Trip" season, is end-to-end hilarious.

Where can I watch it?The entire show is available to watch onAmazon (opens in new tab).

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'Million Dollar Lisiting' Franchise

When was it on?Million Dollar Listing Los Angelespremiered in 2006, followed byMillion Dollar Listing New Yorkin 2012 anda single season ofMillion Dollar ListingMiamiin 2014.

What's it about?Bravo shows us the lives and work of some of the best real estate agents in the most expensive cities. It's what you always wanted HGTV'sHouse Huntersto be.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Former fashion-model turned real estate agent Steve Gold joined the New York cast in season six. You'll thank me later.

Where can I watch it?Sign in with your television provider on Bravo to watch all seasons for free.

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'America's Next Top Model'

When was it on?The most legendary and iconic of reality shows premiered in 2003. The first six seasons (a.k.a. "cycles") aired on UPN, then the following sixteen cycles were aired on The CW until the series was first canceled in October 2015. The series was revived in 2017 with cycle 24 and is currently airing on VH1.

What's it about?Tyra Banks hosts this competition for aspiring models to compete for the title of "America's Next Top Model" and the opportunity to begin their career in the modeling industry.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Season 6. Trust me. I know what I'm talking about.

Where can I watch it?The first twenty-two seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

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'Love Island UK'

When was it on?The U.K. phenomenon has had six seasons since 2015. Other versions of the show have been mimicked in Australia, Finland, Germany, Poland, Sweden, and the United States.

What's it about?If I'm being honest, it's basically a bunch of hot Instagram people (with accents!) living in a villa together in Spain under constant surveillance trying to "couple up" and be the winning couple (chosen by the public) to win £50,000.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Watch the latest season, since each season averages around 50-something episodes.

Where can I watch it?Get ready to crack on (you'll understand soon) with a friend's or your own Hulu account, because they have all six seasons ready to binge.

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'Project Runway'

When was it on?Project Runwayfirst aired on Bravo for the first five seasons beginning in 2004, followed by Lifetime for the next eleven seasons (as well as seven seasons ofProject Runway: All-Stars). It returned to Bravo for the seventeenth seasonin 2019 and has aired two new seasons since.

What's it about?Aspiring fashion designers compete for a chance to break into the fashion industry compete in various weekly design challenges.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Seasons 2, 4, and 12. Take your pick.

Where can I watch it?Seasons eight to sixteen are available for purchase on Amazon.

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'Are You The One?'

When was it on?The show premiered on MTV in 2014 and has eight seasons.

What's it about?Twenty singles have 12 weeks to find their deemed “perfect match,” based on a series of algorithm tests they completed before coming on to the show. If everyone finds their perfect match, the group will leave with $1 million. The show’s eighth season featured their first group of sexually fluid singles ever.

(Video) Top 20 Most Controversial Reality Shows Ever

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Season six is a personal favorite of mine—it was the first time they didn't film in a tropical setting—but any season is a good place to start.

Where can I watch it?Since Netflix cares about our well-being, you can watch seasons one and two if you have an account.

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'Flavor of Love' / 'I Love New York'

When was it on?Flavor of Loveran for three seasons from 2006 - 2008 on Vh1;I Love New Yorkran for two seasons from 2007-2008 on Vh1.

What's it about?If you've ever used this GIF of Tiffany "New York" Pollard indignantly saying "BEYONCE?" you can give your thanks toFlavor of Love. After falling in love with Brigitte Nielsen onThe Surreal Life, Flavor Flav decided reality tv found him love once, why not try it again? Pollard, after coming in second placetwiceonFlavor of Love, was gifted her own spin-off,I Love New York. Neither series was successful in their goals of finding love, though.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Oh, season 1 for sure.

Where can I watch it?Flavor of Loveis available for streaming on Hulu.

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'Top Chef'

When was it on?The show premiered on Bravo in 2006 and has aired seventeen seasons.

What's it about?Top Cheffeatures professional chefs competing against each other in various culinary challenges for prizes while being judged by a panel of chefs and food and wine industry people. It's the Olympics of TV food competitions.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?All of them, but if you're really short on time, start with Top Chef:Las Vegas orTop Chef: Chicago.

Where can I watch it?Every season is available to stream on Hulu.

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'Say Yes To The Dress'

When was it on?The show has run for nineteen seasons on TLC since 2007.

What's it about?Following the day-to-day in Kleinfeld Bridal, one of the most notable bridal salons in the world, as brides come in and choose a dress for the best day of their life. Its makeover meets self-care.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Just find a marathon on. You don't need to watch this one by season.

Where can I watch it?Seasons 14-17 are available to stream on Hulu.

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'Shark Tank'

When was it on?Shark Tankbegan its run on ABC in 2009, and has aired 12 seasons.

What's it about?Aspiring entrepreneurs get a chance to pitch investors, or "sharks" for the opportunity to invest in their company.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Another "catch it on a marathon" one — you can even start from whatever episode's on this week.

Where canI watch it?Every season is available for streaming on Hulu.

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'RuPaul's Drag Race'

When was it on?The show has run for 12 seasons beginning in 2009.

What's it about?Drag queens compete to see who is best and who lip-synchs for his or her life and "sashays away."

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?If you can get through the "Vaseline" filter of season 1, feel free to start from the beginning, as the series becomes more self-referential as the series goes on. But if you can't, start with season 4 and bounce around from there.

Where can I watch it?Seasons one through six are available to stream on Hulu.

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'The Great British Baking Show'

When was it on?The show first aired in the UK in 2010, with the first four seasons airing on BBC Two, moved to BBC One for the next three seasons, and then with the seventh season, the show moved to Channel 4. On the other side of the pond, most episodes aired on PBS starting in 2012.

What's it about?The most charming show on television, this devastatingly British competition series follows amateur bakers as they compete against each other in a series of rounds with different themes, hoping to impress a group of judges with their baking skills

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Season 1 on Netflix is season 5 in the UK world, but really, with this show, you can start wherever. A personal favorite is the third "collection" (a fancy way of saying "season") on Netflix.

Where can I watch it?In the US, you can find (most) of the seasons on Netflix.

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(Video) Top 10 Reality Shows

The 'Love & Hip Hop' Franchise

When was it on?Love & Hip Hop: New Yorkfirst started airing in 2011, followed in 2012 byLove & Hip Hop: Atlanta,Love & Hip Hop: Hollywoodin 2014,andLove & Hip Hop: Miamiis the most recent, premiering in 2018.

What's it about?The series follows the lives of hip hop and r&b musicians, performers, managers, and producers living in, well, New York, Atlanta, Hollywood, and Miami. You can thank the show for giving us Cardi B.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?New York, season 4 because of the love triangle between Peter Gunz, Tara and Amina. Atlanta, season 1. Hollywood, season 2. And Miami's only had one season!

Where can I watch it?All episodes are available to stream on Vh1 with a cable login, or for purchase oniTunes (opens in new tab)andAmazon (opens in new tab).

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'Below Deck' & 'Below Deck: Mediterranean'

When was it on?The show has aired on Bravo for eight seasons starting in 2013.Below Deck: Mediterraneanbegan its run in 2016.

What's it about?Below Deck,or as I like to call it,Maids on a Boatfollows a young yacht crew of a multi million dollar charter boat in the Caribbean as they handle their jobs serving guests and the interpersonal communication issues. Sounds boring? Imagine being young, hot, and trapped at sea. Yep, it getsreal.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Every season has its shining moments, but without question, start at season three, and try not to buy a mermaid suit.

Where can I watch it?Every season is available to stream on Peacock for free.

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'Vanderpump Rules'

When was it on?Vanderpump Rulesstarted its run in 2013 and has aired for eight seasons.

What's it about?Following the trials, tribulations, and tequila drinking of the employees of Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant, SUR.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?SEASON ONE EPISODE ONE AND YOU ARE SO WELCOME.

Where can I watch it?The entire series is available on Hulu.

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The '90 Day Fiancé' Franchise

When was it on?The original show,90 Day Fiancé,premiered in 2014 and has aired eight seasons. The first spin-off,90 Day Fiancé: Happily Ever After?,began airing in 2016 and has aired five seasons, and the second spin-off,90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days,premiered in 2017 and has aired four seasons.

What's it about?90 Day Fiancé, or as I like to call it,90 Day OGfollows couples who are in the K-1 visa process, which means that as foreign fiancés of American citizens, they have 90 days to decide if they're going to get married before the visas of the foreign half of the couple expire and they must leave the United States.Happily Ever After?(The question mark is imperative.) follows couples from previous seasons and their relationships post-marriage.Before the 90 Daysfollows six couples as the American counterpart goes abroad to be with their partner before the K-1 Visa process begins.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Definitely start with90 Day OG,and start with season 2. You won't regret it.

Where can I watch it?Every season of (opens in new tab)90 Day OG, Before the 90 Days, and Happily Ever Afterare available on Hulu.

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'The Circle'

When was it on?The Circle began in the UK in 2018, before Netflix came out with their various international versions. We'll focus on the US version, which first premiered on New Year's Day 2020, and is still ongoing.

What's it about?In this social media popularity contest, a group of contestants living in separate apartments communicate through a platform called the Circle. They can play either as themselves or a catfish, and none of the players see each other in-person unless they're eliminated. Through the Circle, they form alliances, vote for the most popular players, and eliminate the least popular, with the last person standing winning $100,000.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?The first season shows the contestants at their most trusting, before the show started streaming and the game play became more calculated.

Where canI watch it?All three seasons are available on Netflix.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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'Selling Sunset' / 'Selling Tampa'

When was it on?The flagship show of the Selling franchise, Sunset, began in 2019, with the fifth season rumored to come out this year. The first spinoff, Tampa, just premiered this year, and a Newport Beach series is in the works.

What's it about?Each series follows a group of glamorous real estate agents as they sell million-dollar mansions and deal with life drama. For Sunset, think Million Dollar Listing but with the filmography of The Hills–they have the same creator, Adam DiVello–and the ultimate villain, Christine Quinn. Tampa has the same concept but follows an entirely different, all-POC brokerage in the Florida city.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?Season 1 shows the seeds of Sunset's long-running storylines, including Christine's feud with Chrishell and Christine and Mary's estranged friendship. Or, if you want more workplace drama than interpersonal, check out Tampa.

Where canI watch it?All episodes of both shows are available on Netflix.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

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'Catfish'

When was it on?Catfish got its start as an acclaimed indie documentary from 2010, following host Nev Schulman's own investigation into his online relationship. The MTV show based on the doc first aired in 2012 and has been going strong since.

What's it about?Each episode is an investigation into an online relationship where one person suspects the other of being a catfish. Hosts Schulman and Max Joseph (2012-2018) or Kamie Crawford (2018-present) lead the accuser through an investigation, usually discovering that their partner's name and photos were fake. Each episode ends in a confrontation between the subject and whoever has been dating them–and usually deceiving them and taking their money–from behind a screen.

What's the best season to watch as a beginner?All of the early seasons are *chef's kiss* but most of the most memorable episodes come from seasons 3 and 4, including the famous "Antwane & Tony."

(Video) Top 10 MTV Reality Shows of All Time

Where canI watch it?All eight seasons are available to stream on Hulu.

WATCH NOW (opens in new tab)

FAQs

Who is the best reality show? ›

Top 50 Reality-TV Movies and TV Shows
  1. The Great British Baking Show (2010– ) TV-PG | 60 min | Reality-TV. ...
  2. Love Is Blind (2020– ) ...
  3. Survivor (2000– ) ...
  4. The Kardashians (2022– ) ...
  5. Top Gear (2002– ) ...
  6. Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (2014– ) ...
  7. Below Deck Mediterranean (2016– ) ...
  8. Clarkson's Farm (2021– )

Which is the world's biggest reality show? ›

The Real World (MTV/Facebook Watch, 1992-2019)

Who is the first reality show? ›

The first TV show to regularly feature members of the public as its stars was America's Candid Camera which premiered on ABC in 1948 (it was then called Candid Microphone and was a TV version of an established ABC radio show of the same name which began in 1947).

What is the longest running reality show? ›

20–29 seasons
Number of seasonsSeriesGenre/subject
26Grand Ole OpryMusic
26The BachelorRomance, reality
26America's Most WantedReality
25Camera ThreeAnthology
27 more rows

Who is the most famous reality TV family? ›

The Kardashians might be the most famous family on Earth. Their reality show is one of the longest running and most viewed in the US. Many wonder why they are even famous, while the constant fights, break-ups, backstabbing, and all around bad behavior have kept the show going for 19 seasons.

Which reality show has highest prize money? ›

All-time top 25 winnings list
RankNameShow(s)
1Ken JenningsJeopardy!, $4,522,700
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?, $500,000
Grand Slam, $100,000
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, $100,000
40 more rows

Why is reality TV popular? ›

From "The Bachelor" to "Queer Eye" to "Love is Blind," experts say viewers have used reality TV to both process how they were feeling during times of lockdown or physical distancing, and as a means of escape, where they could watch people go about their daily lives.

How much of reality TV is real? ›

Reality television is totally fake.

Mike Fleiss, the wildly successful creator of “The Bachelor,” claimed in 2012 that 70 to 80 percent of reality shows are “fake.” Most of the time, though, the material isn't fabricated. It is roughly planned and then edited for time, clarity and continuity.

Why do you like reality TV? ›

When you watch reality TV, you yourself determine what is real and what is fake. In other words, you are the one who gets to create and then experience authentic moments. Moreover, because there are fake elements to the show, by contrast, the real (or authentic) moments feel even realer to you!

What makes a good reality show? ›

4 Qualities of Great Reality TV Worlds

Reality TV World or Documentary Setting is Visual. Reality TV World or Doc Setting Feels Like a Discovery. Reality TV World or Location Itself Can Cause Drama. Reality TV World or Documentary Setting Fits Somewhere on the TV Landscape.

What is an example of reality TV? ›

One example of a culture fusion show is The Real World on MTV. MTV usually takes about seven young adults and houses them in an extravagant house in a random city. At some point during the show, the contestants will have to work together in order to make a living.

What percentage of people watch reality TV? ›

What percent of the population watches reality TV? As statistics show, a lot of people watch TV. For example, a survey has found that 36% of Americans aged between 30 and 49 years watch reality TV shows, while 32% of those aged 18 to 29 do.

How many reality TV shows are there? ›

Get reality TV recommendations

In December, FX announced that there were 409 scripted series in prime-time last year. Of course, my first question was about was how that compared to reality TV. Now there is an answer, thanks to the National Geographic Channel, which crunched the numbers: 750 total unscripted series.

Do contestants get paid on reality shows? ›

Whether competing on TV for a cash prize or simply being filmed while living your day-to-day life, reality television stars almost always get a paycheck — and it may be bigger than you think.

What TV show has the most series? ›

The Simpsons

What show has the most episodes ever? ›

“Gunsmoke” finally ended its run in 1975, long after the heyday of the Western, after a whopping 635 episodes. It's the longest-running live-action show to date.

Where was the first real world? ›

The Real World: New York is the first season of "The Real World" that aired from May 21, 1992 to August 13, 1992.

Who was the first reality show family? ›

Shown weekly on PBS in 1973, An American Family was 12 episodes long, and by the time the series wrapped, every member of the Loud family had become a household name in America. An American Family was notable for its lack of contrivance. Everyday life in the Loud family was plainly and simply shown.

What family had the first reality show? ›

Reality TV was born on Jan. 11, 1973, when PBS launched the series “An American Family.” Three camera crews moved into the Santa Barbara house of Bill and Pat Loud and their five children.

How do I start a reality TV show? ›

How to Pitch a Reality Show in 5 Steps
  1. Read this free guide.
  2. Fully understand how the unscripted television and film business works.
  3. Prepare your pitch for different TV networks and streaming platforms.
  4. Determine if you need to team with a third party approved production company.
  5. Take your pitch to buyers.

Who is king of reality show? ›

With this big win, Prince has achieved his dream of being the 'reality king'. Before entering the show hosted by Salman Khan, Prince had expressed his desire to become the king of reality shows and he has clearly achieved it.

Who was the biggest winner on Sale of the Century? ›

Tim Hollerin of Connecticut was the show's biggest winner. In around mid-1985, he took home cash and other prizes to the value of $166,875.

Who is the winner of reality show? ›

Munawar Faruqui declared winner of Kangana Ranaut's reality show 'Lock Upp'

Why is reality TV so addicting? ›

“The physiological arousal from drama is exciting; increasing our heart rate, visceral arousal and leading to the release of endorphins in the brain which are pain-suppressing and pleasure-inducing, not much different than the effect of some drug addictions,” Dr Tobias-Webb said.

Why is reality TV good for society? ›

Reality shows allow you to feel more engaged, than a scripted television show. They prepare us for the real world by giving us a virtual experience from the perspective of someone else. Being able to watch someone encounter an experience, and learn from their mistakes is a valuable asset in the real world.

How do reality shows impact society? ›

Although reality television shows entertain viewers, they adversely affect society. Reality TV shows adversely affect children by derailing the process of their talent growth and contributes to immorality from the abusive words used in entertaining the audience.

Why is it called reality TV? ›

Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unfamiliar people rather than professional actors.

Who started reality TV? ›

But it was a Dutch show called Nummer 28 that first introduced the format that would become the cornerstone of the reality TV genre. The show brought seven strangers together to live in a house, and the ensuing drama was filmed. The show also featured cast member “confessionals” spread out through the show.

How do reality shows make money? ›

The popularity of the show is also dependent on the channel and actors involved in the show. Higher the TRP, higher the profit they earn. The popularity of the show is also determined by the number of advertisements shown during the show. Advertisements are base for media publications.

Do we need reality shows? ›

For introverts, reality shows have always proved to be a boon. Living with strangers, facing real life challenges makes them come out of their shy zone and socialize with people. Socializing and communicating is an important aspect of a person's personality which automatically gets enhanced in such shows.

What type of people watch reality TV? ›

Reality Television Satisfies Social Stimulation

note previous research that found people with low levels of personal interaction and mobility were more likely to view reality TV not only to meet voyeuristic needs, but also to satisfy the need for companionship.

Why do girls watch reality TV? ›

Unlike dramas, reality shows don't require your undivided attention to enjoy them. For women, the ability to do other things while watching television may be a part of the appeal, because we're better at multitasking, according to a recent study in the Journal of Biomedical Science Science.

What do all reality shows have in common? ›

Eight Things That Happen on Every Reality TV Show Ever
  • Breaking the Rules. Image via Complex Original. ...
  • Screaming Matches. Image via Complex Original. ...
  • Crying and Blubbering. Image via Complex Original. ...
  • The Villain. Image via Complex Original. ...
  • Backstabbing. ...
  • Fights, Feuds, and Fisticuffs. ...
  • You Get a Stereotype! ...
  • Expect the Unexpected.
22 Jun 2014

How do reality shows find people? ›

Through open auditions and open casting calls advertised in trade magazines, via social media and on websites like Craigslist, producers invite reality TV hopefuls to apply to be cast members. Generally, show producers will list the physical, lifestyle or other characteristics they're seeking.

How are reality TV filmed? ›

On some reality shows (think MTV's "The Real World"), OTFs are shot to look like self-recorded confessionals. In these cases, producers may set up a video camera in a private area and allow cast members to push a button and record what they are thinking or feeling.

When did reality become popular? ›

Reality television exploded in the early 2000s with franchises like The Bachelor, Big Brother, and Survivor, and it wasn't long before fame and fortune took on a greater focus with The Real Housewives shows and Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

What is reality show essay? ›

Entertainment is an industry that is always growing, and when you think it cannot get any better, it hits you with reality shows. A reality show is a television program that features the ordinary lives of different people, their behaviors, interactions, relationships, and so on.

How do reality shows work? ›

By definition, reality TV is essentially unscripted programming that doesn't employ actors and focuses on footage of real events or situations. Reality shows also often use a host to run the show or a narrator to tell the story or set the stage of events that are about to unfold.

What age group watches reality TV the most? ›

For example, the key demographic for reality television is women with disposable income aged 18 to 34 whereas for the WB Television Network it was "eighteen- to thirty-four-year-old viewers." Television programming is tailored to members of its key demographics: "Despite the increase in time-shifting to watch recorded ...

Is reality TV cheaper to produce? ›

A reality show can cost approximately $100,000 to more than $500,000 per episode to produce. 1 While that is not cheap, it is far less than many scripted shows, where budgets can rival major movie releases.

What percentage of Australians watch reality TV? ›

“Coming in unchallenged in second place is Reality TV watched by 42% of Australians and including some of the most popular shows on TV such as My Kitchen Rules, MasterChef Australia, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.

What was the first hit reality TV show? ›

21-May-1992 MTV brought reality television into the mainstream with the premiere of “The Real World,” a reality based soap opera. The series followed three months in the lives of seven young adults who meet for the first time and live in a New York City loft together.

Does Netflix have reality shows? ›

New Releases
  • Floor Is Lava.
  • 60 Days In.
  • Too Hot to Handle: Brazil.
  • The Great British Baking Show.
  • Love Is Blind.
  • Junior Baking Show.
  • Car Masters: Rust to Riches.
  • Glow Up.

What was MTV first reality show? ›

The Real World (retrospectively referred to as The Real World: New York, to distinguish it from subsequent installments of the series) is the first season of MTV's reality television series The Real World, which focuses on a group of diverse strangers living together for several months as cameras follow their lives and ...

How much money do reality TV stars make per episode? ›

Depending on how much money the show is bringing in the network, industry experts say that reality tv stars are paid anywhere between $750 per week (Big Brother) to $75,000 episode (Jon and Kate at their height of notoriety). Teen Mom on MTV reportedly pays $60,000-$65,000 per season.

Do participants get paid Alone? ›

Participants get a stipend weekly, so we're compensated for the time we spend working on the production, as well as any pre and post show work,” Larson reported in an archived Reddit thread. “The pay isn't amazing, but it's better than a lot of reality shows. I was always satisfied with my compensation.”

How much do TV actors get paid per episode? ›

On network TV, the rate for a one-hour drama is currently $8,624 (eight days of work) and half-hour comedies pay $5,390 (five days of work).

Which is the biggest reality show in India? ›

7 Most Popular Reality Shows In India
  • Bigg Boss.
  • Indian Idol.
  • Kaun Banega Crorepati.
  • Fear Factor: Khatron Ke Khiladi.
  • Dance India Dance.
  • MTV Splitsvilla.
  • India's Got Talent.

How much of reality TV is real? ›

Reality television is totally fake.

Mike Fleiss, the wildly successful creator of “The Bachelor,” claimed in 2012 that 70 to 80 percent of reality shows are “fake.” Most of the time, though, the material isn't fabricated. It is roughly planned and then edited for time, clarity and continuity.

Why reality shows are popular? ›

From "The Bachelor" to "Queer Eye" to "Love is Blind," experts say viewers have used reality TV to both process how they were feeling during times of lockdown or physical distancing, and as a means of escape, where they could watch people go about their daily lives.

Why is reality TV good? ›

Reality shows allow you to feel more engaged, than a scripted television show. They prepare us for the real world by giving us a virtual experience from the perspective of someone else. Being able to watch someone encounter an experience, and learn from their mistakes is a valuable asset in the real world.

Which TV serial has highest TRP? ›

Anupamaa

Which reality show has highest TRP? ›

Highest Grossing Reality Show Of India
  • Comedy Nights With Kapil. Comedy nights with Kapil is the most famous Comic reality show on Indian Television that scores top in terms of TRP ratings. ...
  • Big Boss. ...
  • Dance India Dance. ...
  • Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. ...
  • MTV Roadies. ...
  • MTV Splitsvilla. ...
  • Indian Idol. ...
  • KAUN BANEGA CROREPATI.

Which is the No 1 reality show in India right now? ›

Reality-TV, India (Sorted by Popularity Ascending)
  • Fabulous Lives of Bollywood Wives (2020– ) ...
  • Indian Matchmaking (2020– ) ...
  • Bigg Boss Telugu (2017– ) ...
  • Unstoppable with NBK (2021– ) ...
  • MTV Roadies (2003– ) ...
  • Cooku with Comali (2019– ) ...
  • The X Factor India (2011– ) ...
  • IIFA Awards 2022 (2022 TV Movie)

Why is it called reality TV? ›

Reality television is a genre of television programming that documents purportedly unscripted real-life situations, often starring unfamiliar people rather than professional actors.

Do reality stars get paid? ›

Whether competing on TV for a cash prize or simply being filmed while living your day-to-day life, reality television stars almost always get a paycheck — and it may be bigger than you think.

Who started reality TV? ›

But it was a Dutch show called Nummer 28 that first introduced the format that would become the cornerstone of the reality TV genre. The show brought seven strangers together to live in a house, and the ensuing drama was filmed. The show also featured cast member “confessionals” spread out through the show.

Why do people love reality TV shows? ›

But why do people love reality TV so much? The quickest answer is that it's easy TV to watch after a long day of work. It's virtually mindless entertainment, and to some, it's equivalent to scrolling through social media or TikTok when you want to shut off parts of your brain.

Why is reality TV addicting? ›

“The physiological arousal from drama is exciting; increasing our heart rate, visceral arousal and leading to the release of endorphins in the brain which are pain-suppressing and pleasure-inducing, not much different than the effect of some drug addictions,” Dr Tobias-Webb said.

How do reality shows impact society? ›

Although reality television shows entertain viewers, they adversely affect society. Reality TV shows adversely affect children by derailing the process of their talent growth and contributes to immorality from the abusive words used in entertaining the audience.

Do we need reality shows? ›

For introverts, reality shows have always proved to be a boon. Living with strangers, facing real life challenges makes them come out of their shy zone and socialize with people. Socializing and communicating is an important aspect of a person's personality which automatically gets enhanced in such shows.

What is reality show essay? ›

Entertainment is an industry that is always growing, and when you think it cannot get any better, it hits you with reality shows. A reality show is a television program that features the ordinary lives of different people, their behaviors, interactions, relationships, and so on.

How do reality shows influence human behavior? ›

It can either help a person be more aware of different viewpoints and perspectives and encourages them to be broad minded or it can make people bias and less tolerant of others due to the misrepresentation of certain groups of people, as they tend to blindly believe everything they watch on TV shows or Movies.

Videos

1. Ranking every reality tv show I've seen (and I've seen A LOT lol)
(Mike's Mic)
2. Top 10 Worst Reality Shows Of The Century (So Far)
(WatchMojo.com)
3. 5 Best Reality Shows On Netflix
(Shared News)
4. Top 40 Best Reality TV Shows of All Time
(brunoalex1995)
5. The Best (+ Most Shocking!) Reality TV Moments of 2021 | Netflix
(Still Watching Netflix)
6. #shorts #foryou #kyliejenner #krisjenner #kardashians #donating #nice
(Bowman Martin)

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