Watchworthy

The Best MTV Original Shows 

TVs Frank
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Updated June 24, 2020 31.6k votes 2.2k voters 56.4k views 55 items

List Rules Past and present original MTV series

The best MTV original shows include reality shows, music series, comedies, and dramas, as well as animated series. MTV started out as "Music Television" in 1981, but over the years, the programming has greatly expanded. These days, it's tough to find an actual music show on the network. That being said, viewers have no doubt enjoyed a lot of MTV's original shows. Which one is the best? That's for you to decide, with your votes. Also, if you have a personal favorite original MTV series (past or present) that isn't listed here, feel free to add it.

Some of the most popular MTV original programs are, not surprisingly, reality shows. Among them: The wildly popular Jersey Shore, which will conclude after six seasons. This show made household names out of it's stars, especially Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi, Michael "The Situation" Sorrentino and Jennifer "JWoww" Farley. A spinoff, 'Snooki & JWoww,' began airing in June of 2012 as well.

Other well-known current MTV original shows include Teen Mom, 16 and PregnantMade and True Life. MTV also has a hit on its hands with the original drama series Teen Wolf, starring Tyler Posey as Scott McCall, a full-time high school student/werewolf.

Animated original MTV programming are also extremely popular. Examples, you say? How about the animated TV series Beavis and Butt-head (which returned with new episodes in 2011) or the spinoff Daria, which aired for five seasons?

Several of MTV's best original shows could, arguably, be listed among the best TV shows of recent memory -- depending on how you define that, of course. TV fans, if you love reality television shows, check out these lists of the best reality competition shows and reality dramas, and paranormal reality shows ever.
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1
The Real World is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Jamie Chung, Steven Hill, Landon Lueck

Premiered: 1992

Genres (Tv): Reality television

The Real World (MTV, 1992) is an American reality television program inspired by the 1973 PBS documentary series An American Family. Seven to eight young adults are picked to temporarily live in ...more

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2
Daria is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Tracy Grandstaff, Wendy Hoopes, Julian Rebolledo

Premiered: 1997

Genres (Tv): Animation, Sitcom, Comedy, Animated series

Daria is an American animated television series created by Glenn Eichler and Susie Lewis Lynn for MTV. The series focuses on Daria Morgendorffer, a smart, acerbic, and somewhat misanthropic ...more

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3
Jackass is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Johnny Knoxville, Bam Margera, Brandon DiCamillo

Premiered: 2000

Genres (Tv): Action/Adventure, Adventure film, Comedy, Action, Reality television

Jackass is an American reality series, originally shown on MTV from 2000 to 2002, featuring people performing various dangerous, crude, self-injuring stunts and pranks. The show served as a ...more

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4
Beavis and Butt-head is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Mike Judge, Dale Revo, Tracy Grandstaff

Premiered: 1992

Genres (Tv): Music video, Animation, Satire, Animated cartoon, Comedy, + more

Beavis and Butt-head is an American animated sitcom created and designed by Mike Judge. The series originated from "Frog Baseball", a 1992 short film by Judge originally aired on ...more

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5
MTV Unplugged is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
MTV Unplugged Jules Shear

Premiered: 1989

Genres (Tv): Music

MTV Unplugged is a TV series showcasing many popular musical artists usually playing acoustic instruments. The show has received the George Foster Peabody Award and 3 Primetime Emmy nominations ...more
6
Celebrity Deathmatch is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Maurice Schlafer, Len Maxwell, Mills Lane

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Animation, Satire, Sports film, Clay animation

Celebrity Deathmatch was a claymation television show that depicted celebrities against each other in a wrestling ring, almost always ending in the loser's gruesome death. It was known for its ...more

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7
Punk'd is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Ashton Kutcher, Brian Fitzpatrick, Andrew Santino

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Reality television

Punk'd is an American hidden camera-practical joke reality television series that first aired on MTV in 2003 and was created by Ashton Kutcher and Jason Goldberg, and produced and hosted by ...more
8
MTV Cribs is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Su-chin Pak

Premiered: 2000

Genres (Tv): Reality television

MTV Cribs and CMT Cribs, depending on which channel it airs, is a franchise reality television program that originated on the MTV Networks' MTV. It later aired on its CMT channel that features ...more
9
Pimp My Ride is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Pimp My Ride Xzibit, Buck

Premiered: 2004

Genres (Tv): Automotive, Reality television

Pimp My Ride is a TV show produced by MTV and hosted by rapper Xzibit. Each episode consists of taking one car in poor condition and restoring it, as well as customizing it. The original ...more

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10
Jersey Shore is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Vinny Guadagnino, Jenni 'Jwoww' Farley

Premiered: 2009

Genres (Tv): Reality

Jersey Shore (MTV, 2009) is an American reality television series created by SallyAnn Salsano. EIght housemates live together at a vacation home and experience friendships, romance, and drama.

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11
The Challenge is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
T.J. Lavin, Johnny 'Bananas' Devenanzio, Aneesa Ferreira

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Game show, Reality television

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

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12
Catfish: The TV Show is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Ferry73 added Yaniv Schulman, Max Joseph, Bettina Kenney

Premiered: 2012

Genres (Tv): Reality television

Catfish: The TV Show is an American reality-based docu-series television series airing on MTV about the truths and lies of online dating. The series is based on the 2010 film Catfish and is ...more
13
True Life is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Serena Altschul

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Documentary, Reality television

True Life (MTV, 1998) is an American documentary television series. Each episode follows a particular topic such as drug use, money issues, and sexuality, and the show is created by following a ...more
14
TRL is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Hilarie Burton, Susie Castillo, Nick Zano

Premiered: 1998

Genres (Tv): Music video, Talk show

Total Request Live is a television series on MTV that featured popular music videos. TRL was MTV's prime outlet for music videos as the network continued to concentrate on reality-based ...more
15
Room Raiders is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Tim-Ryan O'Kane, Tom Oberdick, Jesse Wolter

Premiered: 2004

Genres (Tv): Dating, Reality television

Room Raiders is a "dating/reality" series on MTV.

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16
Awkward. is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Ashley Rickards, Beau Mirchoff, Jillian Rose Reed

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Teen drama, Comedy-drama

Awkward (MTV, 2011) is an American teen comedy series created by Lauren Iungerich. After being mistaken as a suicidal teen, social outcast Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) starts blogging about ...more

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17
Ridiculousness is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Alaina Hillman added Sterling Brim, Chanel West Coast, Rob Dyrdek

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Reality television

Ridiculousness is an American comedy clip show that began airing on August 29, 2011. On television, the show is rated TV-14 due to language and violence, hosted by Rob Dyrdek and co-hosted by ...more

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18
Viva La Bam is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Samantha Dillinger added Bam Margera, Vincent Margera, Ryan Dunn

Premiered: 2003

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Reality television

Viva La Bam is an American reality television series that stars Bam Margera and his friends and family. The show was a spin-off from MTV's Jackass, in which Margera and most of the main cast had ...more
19
Parental Control is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Dating, Reality television

Parental Control is a heavily scripted "pseudo-reality" program produced by MTV. The two directors, Brendon Carter and Bruce Klassen, have also created other MTV shows. In Asia, this ...more

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20
Rob & Big is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
ryanjjjj8 added Julie Bennett, Greg Burson, Kathy Garver

Premiered: 2006

Genres (Tv): Comedy, Reality television

Rob & Big is an American reality television series that follows the lives of professional skateboarder/actor/producer Rob Dyrdek and his best friend and bodyguard Christopher "Big ...more
21
Next is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Next Lorin Eric Salm, Michael McKinley, Jamieson Hill

Premiered: 2005

Genres (Tv): Dating, Reality television

Next is a dating game show produced by Kallissa Productions which ran on MTV from 2005–2008.

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22
Singled Out is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Carmen Electra

Premiered: 1995

Genres (Tv): Game show, Dating

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

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23
The Osbournes is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Ozzy Osbourne, Sharon Osbourne, Jack Osbourne

Premiered: 2002

Genres (Tv): Reality television

The Osbournes (MTV, 2002) is an American reality television program. It features the domestic life of heavy metal singer Ozzy Osbourne, his wife, and two of their three children.

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24
Made is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows

Premiered: 2002

Genres (Tv): Reality television

MTV's MADE is a self-improvement reality television series broadcast on MTV. The series follows teens who have a goal and want to be "made" into things like singers, athletes, dancers, ...more
25
Teen Wolf is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best MTV Original Shows
Tyler Posey, Dylan O'Brien, Holland Roden

Premiered: 2011

Genres (Tv): Romance Film, Supernatural, Teen drama, Black comedy, Drama, + more

Teen Wolf (MTV, 2011) is an American teen drama series developed by Jeff Davis, and is loosely based on the 1985 film of the same name. A teenager named Scott (Tyler Posey), is bitten by a ...more

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