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The Best Reality TV Shows Ever

Updated March 2, 2021 137.3k votes 8.4k voters 291.1k views427 items

List RulesVote up the best unscripted reality shows that have aired.

This is a list of the best reality TV shows on television, the most (often shamefully) addictive reality TV series. From guilty pleasures to shows that really do teach us how to live our lives a little bit better, this list contains only TV shows you would openly recommend to good friends of yours - the best of the best reality shows. Reality fans will also be interested in these juicy reality TV scandals and secrets from the sets of reality TV shows. You can vote, or even make your own list to impact this CrowdRanking of the top reality TV shows of all time!

Good reality TV shows come in every style of reality - from competition to cooking, quasi-educational to quite weird - and this list has them all. You can vote for fashion competitions like RuPaul's Drag Race, obstacle course shows like Wipeout, food travelogues like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and of course the classics like Big Brother.

What are the top reality TV shows? From Top Chef to The Biggest Loser, this list contains only the best and actually-watchable in reality television. Time to vote: what are the best reality shows ever?

 

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  • Survivor1
    2,111
    1,398

    Survivor

    Jeff Probst

    Premiered2000

    Genres (Tv)Reality Competition, Gameshow

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    The Best Survivor Contestants That Ever PlayedReal Survivor "Game Changers" You Would Have Liked To See Play Instead

  • The Amazing Race2
    1,513
    1,210

    The Amazing Race

    Phil Keoghan

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    More The Amazing Race 

    The Most Hateful Amazing Race Teams of All Time#13 of 45 The Best Travel TV Shows

  • Hell's Kitchen3
    1,352
    1,260

    Hell's Kitchen

    Gordon Ramsay, Jean Philippe Susilovic

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Reality Competition, Cooking show, Reality television

    More Hell's Kitchen 

    The Best Seasons of 'Hell's Kitchen'#30 of 94 The Best TV Shows Returning Fall 2018

  • Project Runway4
    1,119
    1,111

    Project Runway

    Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Reality Competition, Reality television

    More Project Runway 

    The Most Memorable Project Runway Looks#99 of 220 The Greatest TV Shows for Women

  • MasterChef5
    721
    597

    MasterChef

    Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    More 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The 'MasterChef' Franchise#13 of 36 The Best Current Fox Shows

  • Shark Tank6
    606
    551

    Shark Tank

    Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Reality television

    More Shark Tank 

    The Best Products From Shark Tank Totally Worth Buying#31 of 76 The Best ABC Shows of All Time

  • MythBusters7
    771
    664

    MythBusters

    Jon Lung, Brian Louden

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Non-fiction, Special Interest, Educational television, Science, Documentary

    More MythBusters 

    20 Mythbusters Myths You Were Saddest to See Busted#9 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • Big Brother8
    1,312
    1,353

    Big Brother

    Julie Chen, Phil Proctor

    Premiered2000

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    More Big Brother 

    The Best Big Brother Contestants of All Time#8 of 277 The Most Overrated TV Shows Of All Time

  • Wipeout9
    1,017
    1,053

    Wipeout

    John Henson, John Anderson

    Premiered2008

    Genres (Tv)Sports, Sports film, Game show, Comedy, Reality television

    More Wipeout 

    #242 of 449 The Funniest TV Shows of All Time#61 of 141 The Funniest Shows To Watch When You're Stoned

  • Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares10
    927
    917

    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

    Gordon Ramsay, Neil Farrell

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    More Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares 

    #4 of 58 The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked#9 of 85 The Best Cooking TV Shows of All Time

  • The Voice11
    1,116
    1,241

    The Voice

    Adam Levine, Blake Shelton

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Talent show, Reality television

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    The Best The Voice Winners, RankedMemes That All Fans of 'The Voice' Will Relate To

  • Undercover Boss12
    833
    823

    Undercover Boss

    Mark Keller

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Documentary, Reality television

    More Undercover Boss 

    #5 of 47 The Best Current Reality Shows That Make You A Better Person#10 of 62 The Best Reality Dramas

  • RuPaul's Drag Race13
    723
    705

    RuPaul's Drag Race

    RuPaul, Michelle Visage

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

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    The 15 Most Controversial Eliminations From 'RuPaul's Drag Race'20 Times The Queens On 'RuPaul's Drag Race' Sashayed Into Our Hearts By Being Super Relatable

  • Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives14
    492
    422

    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

    Guy Fieri, Duff Goldman

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Travel, Travel documentary, Food, Documentary, Home improvement

    More Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives 

    #44 of 75 The Best And Nicest Feel-Good TV Shows#52 of 106 The Best Rainy Day Shows To Watch When You're Bored And Stuck Inside

  • America's Next Top Model15
    911
    1,018

    America's Next Top Model

    Adrianne Curry, Yoanna House

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    More America's Next Top Model 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'America's Next Top Model' That Prove This Show Is Out Of Control#4 of 32 The Best UPN Shows

  • Chopped16
    774
    872

    Chopped

    Ted Allen, Alex Guarnaschelli

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Food, Cooking show, Reality television

    More Chopped 

    12 Things You Didn't Know About Competing On 'Chopped'#19 of 47 The Best Current Shows You Can Watch With Your Mom

  • Top Chef17
    899
    1,035

    Top Chef

    Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons

    Premiered2006

    Genres (Tv)Cook-off, Cooking show, Reality television

    More Top Chef 

    #76 of 129 The Best Shows Currently On The Air#94 of 166 The Best TV Shows Returning In 2020

  • Cash Cab18
    886
    1,021

    Cash Cab

    Ben Bailey, Beth Melewski

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Game show

    More 

    #17 of 96 The Greatest Game Shows of All Time#6 of 56 The Best Game Shows to Play Along at Home

  • Fear Factor19
    713
    843

    Fear Factor

    Joe Rogan

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Reality television

    More Fear Factor 

    #253 of 339 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years#15 of 74 The Best Shows You Watched After School in the 2000s

  • American Ninja Warrior20
    432
    290

    American Ninja Warrior

    Matt Iseman, Jenn Brown

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Special Interest, Live action, Documentary, Reality television

    More American Ninja Warrior 

    What It's Really Like To Compete On 'American Ninja Warrior'#6 of 29 The Best "American" TV Shows

  • Dirty Jobs21
    794
    902

    Dirty Jobs

    Mike Rowe, David M. Barsky

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Educational television, Documentary, Reality television

    More Dirty Jobs 

    Mike Rowe Reveals ‘Dirty Jobs’ Behind-The-Scenes Facts#4 of 38 The Best Discovery Channel Shows of All Time

  • Extreme Makeover: Home Edition22
    632
    709

    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

    Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

  • House Hunters23
    396
    455

    House Hunters

    Andromeda Dunker, Suzanne Whang

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

  • E! True Hollywood Story24
    346
    351

    E! True Hollywood Story

    Don Morrow, Neil Ross

    Premiered1996

    Genres (Tv)Entertainment, Documentary

    More E! True Hollywood Story 

    #3 of 13 The Best Current E! Shows#34 of 273 The Best Documentary Series & TV Shows

  • Catfish: The TV Show25
    398
    425

    Catfish: The TV Show

    Yaniv Schulman, Max Joseph

    Premiered2012

    Genres (Tv)Reality television