Reality TV The Best Reality Competition Series  

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64.3k votes 6.8k voters 318.9k views 119 items

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
2,191 893
Survivor is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
1,510 857
Big Brother is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
1,645 733
The Amazing Race is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

4
866 1,116
America's Got Talent is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

5
1,037 935
The Voice is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
813 879
Fear Factor is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
505 696
The Price Is Right is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
926 858
Wipeout is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
1,077 795
Project Runway is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
348 813
The Bachelor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
409 725
Deal or No Deal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
826 613
Hell's Kitchen is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Fox Broadcasting Company Hell's Kitchen (Fox, 2005) is an American reality competition television series based on the British series. World renowned chef Gordon Ramsay puts aspiring young chefs through rigorous cooking ...more

13
262 617
The Bachelorette is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
963 559
Face Off is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

15
610 508
Top Chef is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

16
963 666
America's Next Top Model is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

17
1,218 576
RuPaul's Drag Race is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

18
167 288
The Ultimate Fighter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
cweib added 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
889 446
The Challenge is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

20
464 603
Dancing with the Stars is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

21
420 879
The Apprentice is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
NBC All-Star Celebrity Apprentice is a 2008 TV Program created by Mark Burnett.

22
438 577
So You Think You Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

23
512 432
Chopped is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

24
237 283
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

25
317 489
Are You Smarter than a 5th Gra... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

26
525 637
The Biggest Loser is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

27
260 411
Minute to Win It is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
ITV2, MundoFox, Seven Network Minuten is a TV Program.

28
450 745
American Idol is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
460 181
Ink Master is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
ChrissyBaker added 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

30
284 63
American Ninja Warrior is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Jess Neary added 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

31
327 525
Iron Chef America is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

32
248 364
Last Comic Standing is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

33
304 327
Cake Boss is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

34
289 377
America's Best Dance Crew is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

35
119 337
Love in the Wild is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

36
254 406
Masterchef (UK) is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
256 492
The X Factor (Australia) is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

38
287 393
The Weakest Link is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

39
265 323
Top Chef Masters is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

40
240 299
HGTV Design Star is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

41
212 316
Food Network Star is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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
202 262
The Great Food Truck Race is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

43
274 262
Cupcake Wars is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

44
234 318
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 (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
157 173
Capture is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
HarleyCartee added 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.

46
175 199
Ranker Video
supergregory added 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

47
123 57
Whodunnit? is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
American Broadcasting Company Whodunnit? is a murder mystery reality competition television series broadcast on ABC. The series premiered on June 23, 2013, and concluded its first season on August 18, 2013. The series is ...more

48
166 303
The Sing-Off is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
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

49
137 117
Jim Henson's Creature Shop Cha... is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series

50
137 235
Shear Genius is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Reality Competition Series
Bravo Shear Genius is an American reality television series on the Bravo network that focuses on hair styling. The show first premiered on April 11, 2007. Contestants compete with each other to create ...more