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The Best Reality TV Shows Ever

Updated December 3, 2020 135.2k votes 8.3k voters 289.0k views354 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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  • 1
    Survivor
    2,140
    1,411

    Survivor

    Jeff Probst, Rob Mariano

    Premiered2000

    More Survivor 

    The Best Survivor Contestants That Ever PlayedThe All-Time Greatest Survivor Winners

  • 2
    The Amazing Race
    1,553
    1,203

    The Amazing Race

    Phil Keoghan

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    More The Amazing Race 

    The Most Hateful Amazing Race Teams of All TimeThe Best Amazing Race Winners, Ranked

  • 3
    Hell's Kitchen
    1,370
    1,264

    Hell's Kitchen

    Gordon Ramsay, Jean Philippe Susilovic

    Premiered2005

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

  • 4
    MythBusters
    779
    657

    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 BustedThe Best Seasons of MythBusters

  • 5
    Shark Tank
    604
    533

    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 BuyingWhat It's Like To Be On Shark Tank, And What Happens After You Close A Deal

  • 6
    Project Runway
    1,142
    1,108

    Project Runway

    Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Reality Competition, Reality television

    More Project Runway 

    The Most Memorable Project Runway LooksThe Best Project Runway Winners, Ranked

  • 7
    MasterChef
    720
    586

    MasterChef

    Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    More 

    Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The 'MasterChef' FranchiseDreamcasting Celebrities We Want To See On MasterChef Celebrity Showdown

  • 8
    Big Brother
    1,332
    1,362

    Big Brother

    Julie Chen, Phil Proctor

    Premiered2000

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    More Big Brother 

    The Best Big Brother Contestants of All TimeThe Most Legendary Big Brother Contestants: Where Are They Now?

  • 9
    The Voice
    1,139
    1,260

    The Voice

    Adam Levine, Blake Shelton

    Premiered2011

    Genres (Tv)Talent show, Reality television

    More The Voice 

    The Best The Voice Winners, RankedWinners of The Voice Who Failed to Launch Careers

  • 10
    Wipeout
    1,035
    1,054

    Wipeout

    John Henson, John Anderson

    Premiered2008

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

  • 11
    Undercover Boss
    853
    823

    Undercover Boss

    Mark Keller

    Premiered2010

    Genres (Tv)Documentary, Reality television

    More Undercover Boss 

    #7 of 51 The Best Reality Dramas#12 of 44 The Best American Versions of British Shows

  • 12
    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares
    930
    917

    Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares

    Gordon Ramsay, Neil Farrell

    Premiered2004

    Genres (Tv)Cooking show, Reality television

    More Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares 

    #4 of 49 The Very Best British Reality Shows, Ranked#8 of 80 The Best Cooking TV Shows of All Time

  • 13
    RuPaul's Drag Race
    731
    698

    RuPaul's Drag Race

    RuPaul, Michelle Visage

    Premiered2009

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

    More RuPaul's Drag Race 

    All Winners of RuPaul's Drag Race, RankedThe 15 Most Controversial Eliminations From 'RuPaul's Drag Race'

  • 14
    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives
    492
    415

    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives

    Guy Fieri, Duff Goldman

    Premiered2006

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

  • 15
    America's Next Top Model
    923
    1,028

    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 ControlAll The Winners of America's Next Top Model: Where Are They Now?

  • 16
    Top Chef
    909
    1,051

    Top Chef

    Emeril Lagasse, Gail Simmons

    Premiered2006

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

    More Top Chef 

    #14 of 141 The Best Reality Competition Series#2 of 59 The Most Watchable Cooking Competition Shows

  • 17
    Chopped
    779
    883

    Chopped

    Ted Allen, Alex Guarnaschelli

    Premiered2009

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

  • 18
    Fear Factor
    726
    857

    Fear Factor

    Joe Rogan

    Premiered2001

    Genres (Tv)Game show, Reality television

    More Fear Factor 

    #248 of 334 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years#139 of 169 The Dumbest Reality Shows of All Time

  • 19
    Cash Cab
    886
    1,043

    Cash Cab

    Ben Bailey, Beth Melewski

    Premiered2005

    Genres (Tv)Game show

  • 20
    American Ninja Warrior
    430
    280

    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'The Best 'American Ninja Warrior' Winners, Ranked

  • 21
    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
    642
    711

    Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

    Ty Pennington, Paul DiMeo

    Premiered2003

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

  • 22
    Dirty Jobs
    802
    912

    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#13 of 61 The Best Educational Television Shows

  • 23
    House Hunters
    397
    456

    House Hunters

    Andromeda Dunker, Suzanne Whang

    Premiered1999

    Genres (Tv)Reality television

  • 24
    E! True Hollywood Story
    350
    345

    E! True Hollywood Story

    Don Morrow, Neil Ross

    Premiered1996

    Genres (Tv)Entertainment, Documentary

    More E! True Hollywood Story 

    #33 of 217 The Best Documentary Series & TV Shows#4 of 40 The Best Biographical Documentary Series

  • 25
    Antiques Roadshow
    695
    859

    Antiques Roadshow

    Bruce Parker, Angela Rippon

    Premiered1979

    Genres (Tv)Special Interest, Documentary

    More Antiques Roadshow 

    #35 of 105 The Best Rainy Day Shows To Watch When You're Bored And Stuck Inside#22 of 42 Foreign Shows That Were Remade in the US