reality TV The Best Reality Competition Series  

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List Rules Vote up your favorite reality shows with a competitive game angle

The best reality TV competition series, ranked by fans and critics. Reality shows are among the most-watched programs on TV, and they are easy to produce due to their low production costs, lack of staff, and quick turn-around. Early programs like "Survivor" and "Big Brother" gained international audiences who loved watching real people compete for money and fame. High-pressure situations, 24/7 filming, and clashing personalities ensured frequent drama as alliances and enemies were created and destroyed.

In recent years, more generic reality competition shows have given way to more specialized contests. Dance competition series range from "So You Think You Can Dance" and "Dancing with the Stars" to "Dance Moms." Travel shows are favorites, as are talent and singing shows - from "American Idol" to "The Voice" to "The X Factor" - which are consistently among the highest rated programs on TV - ever.

In that spirit, it's time to get competitive. Vote for your favorite reality competition shows to move them up the list. You can also customize and rank your own list by clicking Rerank.
list ordered by

1
1,928 797
Survivor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Survivor CBS Survivor is a reality game show produced in many countries throughout the world. In the show, contestants are isolated in the wilderness and compete for cash and other prizes. The show uses a ...more

2
1,273 768
Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Big Brother CBS Big Brother is a television reality game show based on an originally Dutch TV series of the same name created by producer John de Mol in 1997. The series follows a group of contestants, known as ...more

3
767 978
America's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
America's Got Talent NBC America's Got Talent is an American reality television series on the NBC television network, and part of the global British Got Talent franchise. It is a talent show that features singers, ...more

4
1,457 669
The Amazing Race is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Amazing Race CBS The Amazing Race is a reality television game show in which teams of two people, who have some form of a preexisting personal relationship, race around the world in competition with other teams. ...more

5
948 830
The Voice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Voice NBC The Voice is an American reality television singing competition broadcast on NBC. Based on the original The Voice of Holland, the concept of the series is to find new singing talent contested by ...more

6
749 780
Fear Factor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Fear Factor NBC Fear Factor is an American stunt/dare reality game show. It originally aired between 2001 and 2006, when it was cancelled. It was later revived in 2011, only to be cancelled again on May 13, ...more

7
452 607
The Price Is Right is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Price Is Right CBS, American Broadcasting Company, NBC The Price Is Right is an American television game show created by Mark Goodson and Bill Todman. The show revolves around contestants competing to identify accurate pricing of merchandise to win ...more

8
812 786
Wipeout is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Wipeout ABC Wipeout is a game show series in which contestants compete in what is billed as the "world's largest obstacle course". Wipeout is hosted and commentated by John Henson and John ...more

9
989 741
Project Runway is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Project Runway Bravo Project Runway is an American reality television series on Lifetime, previously on the Bravo Network, created by Eli Holzman which focuses on fashion design and is hosted by model Heidi Klum. ...more

10
304 714
The Bachelor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Bachelor ABC The Bachelor is an American reality television dating game show debuting in 2002 on ABC. For all seasons, the show is hosted by Chris Harrison. There are three related series: The Bachelorette, ...more

11
371 647
Deal or No Deal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Deal or No Deal NBC Deal or No Deal is the American version of the international game show of Dutch origin of the same name. The show was hosted by Howie Mandel, and premiered on December 19, 2005, on NBC. The ...more

12
744 562
Hell's Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Hell's Kitchen Fox Broadcasting Company Hell's Kitchen is an American reality television cooking competition broadcast on Fox. It is hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. Fox had announced that Hell's Kitchen was renewed for a 13th ...more

13 Cringeworthy Reality TV Show Fails

13
227 529
The Bachelorette is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Bachelorette ABC The Bachelorette is a spin-off from the American competitive reality dating game show The Bachelor. In its January 2003 debut on ABC, the first season featured Trista Rehn, the runner-up date ...more

14
558 463
Top Chef is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Top Chef Bravo Top Chef is an American reality competition show on the cable television network Bravo, that first aired in 2006, in which chefs compete against each other in culinary challenges. They are ...more

15
875 614
America's Next Top Model is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
America's Next Top Model UPN, The CW Television Network America's Next Top Model is an American reality television series and interactive competition that premiered on May 20, 2003. It originally aired on UPN, whose merger with The WB created The CW ...more

16
878 511
Face Off is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Face Off Face Off is an American reality television game show on the Syfy cable network in which a group of prosthetic makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as those found ...more

17
1,067 516
RuPaul's Drag Race is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
RuPaul's Drag Race Logo RuPaul's Drag Race is an American reality competition television series produced by World of Wonder for Logo. RuPaul plays the roles of host, mentor, and source of inspiration for this series, ...more

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18
141 237
The Ultimate Fighter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
cweib added The Ultimate Fighter FX, Spike The Ultimate Fighter is an American reality television series and mixed martial arts competition produced by Fox Sports 1 and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It previously aired for fourteen ...more

19
422 545
Dancing with the Stars is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Dancing with the Stars CTV Television Network, American Broadcasting Company Dancing with the Stars is an American dance competition show airing since 2005 on ABC in the United States, and CTV/CTV Two in Canada. The show is the American version of the British television ...more

20
395 776
The Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Apprentice NBC All-Star Celebrity Apprentice is a 2008 TV Program created by Mark Burnett.

21
745 398
The Challenge is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Challenge MTV The Challenge is a reality game show on MTV that is spun off from the network's two reality shows, The Real World and the now cancelled Road Rules. It features alumni from these two shows, in ...more

22
396 540
So You Think You Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
So You Think You Can Dance Fox Broadcasting Company So You Think You Can Dance is an American televised dance competition show that airs on Fox in the United States and is the flagship series of the international So You Think You Can Dance ...more

The Best Reality TV Shows Since 2015

23
207 245
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (US) American Broadcasting Company Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is an American television quiz show based upon the British program of the same title, which offers a maximum prize of $1,000,000 for correctly answering a series of ...more

24
295 447
Are You Smarter than a 5th Gra... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? Fox Broadcasting Company Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader? is an American quiz game show on Fox. It is produced by Mark Burnett and is hosted by Jeff Foxworthy. The show premiered as a three-day special which began on ...more

25
491 591
The Biggest Loser is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Biggest Loser NBC The Biggest Loser is an American competition reality show that debuted on NBC October 19, 2004. The show features obese people competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of ...more

26
467 403
Chopped is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Chopped Food Network Chopped is an American reality based cooking television series created by Dave Noll and Michael Krupat, with executive producer Linda Lea, and hosted by Ted Allen that pits four chefs against ...more

27
400 148
Ink Master is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
ChrissyBaker added Ink Master Ink Master is an American reality competition on Spike in which tattoo artists compete in challenges assessing their tattoo and related artistic skills. They are judged by noted tattoo artists ...more

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28
413 699
American Idol is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
American Idol Fox Broadcasting Company American Idol is an American singing competition series created by Simon Fuller and produced by 19 Entertainment, and is distributed by FremantleMedia North America. It began airing on Fox on ...more

29
232 381
Minute to Win It is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Minute to Win It ITV2, MundoFox, Seven Network Minuten is a TV Program.

30
311 490
Iron Chef America is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Iron Chef America Food Network Iron Chef America: The Series is an American cooking show based on Fuji Television's Iron Chef, and is the second American adaptation of the series, following the failed Iron Chef USA. The show ...more

31
110 294
Love in the Wild is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Love in the Wild NBC Love in the Wild was a reality television series that debuted on June 29, 2011 on NBC. The show is created and produced by Endemol USA. The first season was hosted by Darren McMullen; season 2 ...more

32
278 298
Cake Boss is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Cake Boss TLC Cake Boss is an American reality television series, airing on the cable television network TLC. The show follows the operations of Carlo's Bake Shop, an Italian American family-owned business in ...more

The Most Depressing Celebrity Trainwrecks of All Time

33
230 335
Last Comic Standing is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Last Comic Standing NBC Last Comic Standing is an American reality television talent show on NBC that aired from 2003 to 2010, then again in 2014. The goal of the program is to select a comedian from an initially large ...more

34
224 44
American Ninja Warrior is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Jess Neary added American Ninja Warrior G4 American Ninja Warrior is a sports entertainment competition spin-off of the television series Sasuke, in which competitors try to complete a series of obstacle courses of increasing difficulty ...more

35
271 350
America's Best Dance Crew is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
America's Best Dance Crew MTV, MuchMusic America's Best Dance Crew, often abbreviated as ABDC, is an American competitive dance reality television series that features both national and international dance crews. The show was produced ...more

36
239 385
Masterchef (UK) is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Masterchef (UK) British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC One MasterChef is a BBC television competitive reality cooking show. It initially ran from 1990 to 2001 and was later revived in a different format known as MasterChef Goes Large from 2005 onwards. ...more

37
265 367
The Weakest Link is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Weakest Link The Weakest Link is a British television quiz show, mainly broadcast on BBC Two, but also on BBC One. It was devised by Fintan Coyle and Cathy Dunning, and developed for television by the BBC ...more

Awesome Superpowers We'd Give Anything to Have

38
240 468
The X Factor (Australia) is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The X Factor (Australia) Network Ten, Seven Network The X Factor is an Australian television reality music competition, based on the original UK series, to find new singing talent. The first series of the show was broadcast from February to May, ...more

39
222 274
HGTV Design Star is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
HGTV Design Star HGTV HGTV Star, named HGTV Design Star for the first seven seasons, is an American reality competition show airing on the cable television network HGTV. It premiered July 23, 2006, and has completed ...more

40
245 307
Top Chef Masters is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Top Chef Masters Bravo Top Chef Masters is an American reality competition series that airs on the cable television network Bravo, and premiered June 10, 2009. It is a spinoff of Bravo's hit show Top Chef. In the ...more

41
193 292
Food Network Star is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Food Network Star Food Network Food Network Star (Food Network, 2005) is a reality television series. A contest to find a well rounded great chef with a unique point of view and hosting type of personality to host their own

42
254 239
Cupcake Wars is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Cupcake Wars Food Network Cupcake Wars is an American reality competition series which premiered on June 13, 2010 and aired on the cable television network Food Network. The cooking show is hosted by Justin Willman and ...more

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43
177 244
The Great Food Truck Race is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Great Food Truck Race Food Network The Great Food Truck Race is a reality television series that originally aired on August 15, 2010, on Food Network, with Tyler Florence as the host. It features competing food trucks. The fourth ...more

44
221 294
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire Who Wants to Be a Millionaire (GSN, 2002) is an American television game show based on the same-titled British program and developed for the United States by Michael Davies. The show features a ...more

45
66 208
Take Me Out is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Take Me Out Fox Broadcasting Company Single women searching for love hope to find a match in this fast-paced and unpredictable dating series hosted by entertainer George Lopez. Each week, in front of a studio audience, brave ...more

46
144 152
Capture is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
HarleyCartee added Capture The CW Loosely modeled after "The Hunger Games" this CW competition show pits hunter against prey in a quest to win $250,000. Twelve teams of two will take turns hunting and capturing each other as they trek through the wilderness and survive on bare rations.
Capture is an American reality competition television series on The CW that is hosted by Luke Tipple and premiered on July 30, 2013.

47
125 93
Jim Henson's Creature Shop Cha... is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

48
161 178
Ranker Video
supergregory added King of the Nerds TBS King of the Nerds is an American competition series/game show that airs on TBS. It is hosted by Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong, both actors from the Revenge of the Nerds films. The series ...more

49
156 284
The Sing-Off is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Sing-Off NBC The Sing-Off is an American television singing competition featuring a cappella groups. It debuted on NBC on December 14, 2009, and is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Outlaw ...more

50
137 218
The Glee Project is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
The Glee Project Oxygen The Glee Project is an American reality television series from Oxygen. It served as an audition for the FOX musical comedy series Glee, and the prize for the winner was a minimum seven-episode ...more