Top 10 Reality Shows of All Time

by Kailee Vance

We all have that one guilty pleasure. Whether it is a show, a special candy, or a shopping pleasure, we just can’t stop. And for a lot of people, it is that one reality show they just cannot seem to stop watching. Every week they sit on their couch waiting for the drama to begin. There are plenty of great reality shows on the market and tons that have been broadcast over the years, but these are our top 10 reality shows of all time.

Bachelor/Bachelorette

The Bachelor and Bachelorette are reality series focused around dating. One lucky person is picked out of the previous group to go on a journey to find love. The Bachelor/Bachelorette dates 25-30 other singles, travels around the world, and gets engaged (hopefully) on the season finale. With all of the craziness going on in the world currently, The Bachelorette season 16 with Clare Crowley has postponed filming. Season 24 of The Bachelor just wrapped up, and we all know the drama that ensued in Peter’s season. It’s hard to argue that this franchise does not rule the reality world. With over 8.5 million viewers on the last Bachelor finale and just over 7 million for the Bachelorette, there are a ton of eyes on ABC Monday nights.

Bonus Scoop: Check out our exclusive interview with Bachelor contestant Izzy Goodkind here.

The Real World

After 614 episodes and 33 seasons, The Real World is probably one of the longest-running reality shows. The show started in New York in 1992 where seven strangers lived in a house together for months. The Real World is one of the first shows to be considered a reality television show, considering how early it premiered. The show continues to move around, putting strangers in houses for months and filming. And after 33 seasons, it is definitely working for them.

The Real Housewives

The Real Housewives franchise began in 2006 with The Real Housewives of Orange County. The show follows several affluent housewives in their everyday lives. Real Housewives has plenty of drama if that is what you’re looking for. There are many installments of the show now in various cities throughout the United States including Los Angeles, Atlanta, and D.C. There have also been international installments of the show including Athens, Melbourne, and Vancouver.

Keeping up with the Kardashians

Keeping up with the Kardashians follows the lives of the Kardashian family. Kris, Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kylie, and Kendall are the mother/sister clan that has cameras watching their every move. There is no shortage of drama with this one. For 17 seasons, the show has followed Kardashian vacations, marriages, and children. It has seen every step in the girls’ lives.

Vanderpump Rules

Vanderpump Rules follows none other than Lisa Vanderpump from Real Housewives and her staff at her restaurant SUR. The crazy bunch of 20 something aspiring actors and models have cameras following their every move, which is sure to stir up drama. Also, when you put a bunch of good looking 20-something men and women in work, social, and living environments together, they are bound to become romantically involved. This happened more than once on Vanderpump Rules, and did not necessarily always end well, but certainly made for an interesting reality show.

Teen Mom

Teen Mom is one of the best-known reality shows. It followed the show 16 and Pregnant which covered 4 young girls, Amber, Maci, Catelynn, and Farrah, along with their teenage pregnancies. Teen Mom followed the same four girls in their first years of motherhood. They graduated from high school, navigated new relationships, and got jobs. So far, Teen Mom has had eight seasons and many spinoffs. This includes Teen Mom 2 and Teen Mom: Young and Pregnant which both follow different groups of girls as they navigate this same situation.

Laguna Beach/The Hills

Originally Laguna Beach, this show followed eight teenagers through their high school lives. After three seasons of showcasing the group’s journey through growing up, the show eventually ended. Two years later, the show became The Hills and picked up where everyone left off. The Hills highlighted everything that had changed in the last two years, but also followed everyone’s lives for the next two. The show ended in 2010, only to be picked up again this year.

Dance Moms

Dance Moms began in 2011 in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Abby Lee Miller started a dance company when she was 14 and it became one of the most successful in the country. This show followed the young girls on her competition team as Abby famously yelled and demanded very much from them. However, Dance Moms is notoriously known for the “mom drama.” Abby wasn’t always too keen on hearing the mom’s opinions, and they weren’t always the most accepting of Abby’s instruction.

The Challenge

The Challenge is another of MTV‘s “greats”. It began as a competition show for contestants that had appeared on The Real World but it has evolved to showcase contestants from various shows across both MTV and even other networks now. The Challenge has been running since 1998 and just wrapped up its 33rd season. The show would be entertaining enough with just simply its houseguest drama and drama created from the challenges themselves. But then you throw in gameplay and politics, even game-specific rules, and forced backstabbing, you have a show like no other.

Jersey Shore

The first reality show of its kind, Jersey Shore filmed young adults on their summer down the shore. Snooki, J-wow, Sami, Angelina, Vinny, Mike, Ronnie, and Pauly-D were the original cast headed to Seaside Heights, New Jersey for a summer full of tan, hair gel, and partying. After a season spent there, they traveled to Miami, back to Seaside Heights, and then to Italy. Eventually returning to Seaside for their final two seasons. This party bunch eventually added Deena, and they created their drama all on their own, through relationships, friendships, and gossip. After ending in 2012, the show has recently picked up as Jersey Shore: Family Vacation and follows the cast as adults who take some much-needed breaks from their families to do exactly what they used to.

What are your favorite reality shows of all time? Are there any we didn’t include? Let us know in the comments below!

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