The Best 1990s Reality Shows  

Ranker TV
2.1k votes 311 voters 14k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite reality programs that aired in the '90s - no straight game shows

These are the best 1990s reality shows ranked from best to worst by user votes. There were some great 90s reality programs that were about romance, and there were still other good 1990s reality shows about true crime. Still, many of the greatest 1990s reality series were based in competition.

What series appear on this best 1990s reality shows list? MTV's The Real World was a pioneer in the television genre. Premiering in 1992, the show follows “seven strangers, picked to live in a house, work together and have their lives taped to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real.” Taxicab Confessions was another popular reality show that aired in the 1990s.

Iron Chef placed world famous chefs from around the world in head to head cuisine competition. Other great series that are featured on this top 1990s reality shows list include Candid Camera, Blind Date and Road Rules.

Do you have a favorite 90s reality program? Give the best shows a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.
list ordered by
Unsolved Mysteries is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Robert Stack, Dennis Farina, Keely Shaye Smith
Unsolved Mysteries is an American television program, hosted by Robert Stack from 1987 to 2002 and later by Dennis Farina starting in 2008. The show was broadcast first as specials in 1987, then ...more
American Gladiators is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Mike Adamle, Joe Theismann, Todd Christensen
American Gladiators is an American competition television program that aired weekly in syndication from September 1989 to May 1996. The series matched a cast of amateur athletes against each ...more
Cops is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Andrew Fincher, Joe Guay, Wayne Anderson
Cops is an American documentary/reality legal series that follows police officers, constables, sheriff's deputies, and federal agents during patrols and other police activities including vice ...more
America's Most Wanted is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
John Walsh
America's Most Wanted is an American television program produced by 20th Television, and was the longest-running program of any kind in the history of the Fox Television Network until it was ...more
Rescue 911 is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
William Shatner, Gene Babb, Ken Parham
Rescue 911 was an informational reality-based television series that premiered on CBS on April 18, 1989 and ended on August 27, 1996. The series was hosted by William Shatner and featured ...more
Candid Camera is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Suzanne Somers, Dom DeLuise, Arthur Godfrey
Candid Camera is an American hidden camera/practical joke reality television series created and produced by Allen Funt, which initially began on radio as The Candid Microphone June 28, 1947. ...more
Real World is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Jamie Chung, Steven Hill, Landon Lueck
The Real World is a reality television program on MTV originally produced by Mary-Ellis Bunim and Jonathan Murray. First broadcast in 1992, the show, which was inspired by the 1973 PBS ...more
Singled Out is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Carmen Electra
Singled Out is a game show that ran on MTV from 1995 to 1998. Each episode featured a group of 50 men and a group of 50 women competing for a date with one main contestant of the opposite sex. ...more
Iron Chef is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Masaharu Morimoto, Hiroyuki Sakai
Iron Chef is a Japanese television cooking show produced by Fuji Television. The series, which premiered on October 10, 1993, is a stylized cook-off featuring guest chefs challenging one of the ...more
Taxicab Confessions is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Taxicab Confessions is a television series of hidden camera documentaries that have aired on HBO since January 1995. In segments taped in New York City and Las Vegas, the taxi drivers are also ...more
Road Rules is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Cara Zavaleta, Veronica Portillo, Kit Hoover
Road Rules is an MTV reality show that was a sister show of the network's flagship reality show, The Real World. The series, which was only MTV's second reality show, debuted on July 19, 1995, ...more
Forensic Files is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Dayle Hinman, Peter Thomas, Roy Shuler
Forensic Files is an American documentary-style series that reveals how forensic science is used to solve violent crimes, mysterious accidents, and even outbreaks of illness. The show was ...more
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Meredith Vieira, Terry Crews, Cedric the Entertainer
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
True Life is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Serena Altschul
True Life is an American documentary television series that has been airing on MTV since March 31, 1998. Each episode follows a particular topic, such as heroin addiction as in the first episode ...more
House Doctor is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
House Doctor
House Doctor ist ein Fernsehprogramm mit Ann Maurice, das von Channel 5 im Vereinigten Königreich ausgestrahlt wurde.
Blind Date is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Roger Lodge, Ava Cadell, Jerry G. Angelo |
Blind Date is an American dating game show. Hosted by Roger Lodge, the series was distributed by Universal Worldwide Television. It was later distributed by NBCUniversal.
Police Stop! is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Police Stop! is a series of real-life police video programmes, which were made originally for video from 1993 onwards and were later originally broadcast on Sky1. The series has recently been ...more
Streetmate is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Holly Willoughby, Davina McCall
Streetmate was a reality dating game show that first aired on Channel 4 from 30 October 1998 to 9 March 2001, hosted by Davina McCall, and then aired on ITV2 from 27 September to 18 October ...more
Airline is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Caharlie Higson, Tony Robinson, Veronika Hyks
Airline is a fly on the wall television programme, produced in the United Kingdom that showcases the daily happenings of passengers, ground workers and on-board staff of Britannia and later ...more
Living in the Past is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Living in the Past
Real TV is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Real TV Beau Weaver
Real TV is a reality television program that ran in syndication from September 9, 1996 to September 7, 2001. It aired footage of extraordinary events that were usually covered in mainstream ...more
The Challenge is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
T.J. Lavin, Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio, Aneesa Ferreira
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
Bug Juice is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Jon Adler, Rhett Bachner, Stephanie Etkin
Bug Juice is a Disney Channel reality series that premiered on February 28, 1998. The series focuses around 20 kids and their experiences at summer camp. Together, the kids work hard to excel in ...more
This Is Your Life is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Michael Aspel, Eamonn Andrews
This is Your Life is a British biographical television documentary, based on the 1952 American show of the same name. It was hosted by Eamonn Andrews from 1955 until 1964, and then from 1969 ...more
American Masters is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 1990s Reality Shows
Julianna Margulies, Laura Linney, William Hurt
American Masters is a PBS television show which produces biographies on artists, actors and writers of the United States who have left a profound impact on the nation's popular culture. It is ...more