best TV shows The Best Reality Dramas  

TVs Frank
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The best reality dramas include programs that keep viewers interested with compelling stories and fascinating characters. Yes, reality dramas are technically reality TV, but they aren't silly. They're often serious, sometimes dangerous and always entertaining. This list includes some of the best dramatic reality shows ever on television, so be sure to vote for your favorites. You can also add any outstanding reality dramas that are missing, and rerank the lists to suit your taste!

Many television dramas are popular because they have great, scripted story lines. Not so with reality TV dramas: These are reality shows that manage to keep viewers glued to their televisions with real life happenings. Examples of these kinds of shows include the Discovery Channel's documentary-style reality TV drama Deadliest Catch, the History Channel's Ice Road Truckers and MTV's reality drama series Teen Mom.

And things don't always turn out well on these shows: In 2010, while filming Deadliest Catch, boat Captain Phil Harris became gravely ill. Cameras continued to roll, and Harris later died from complications of a massive stroke.

Some of the best reality dramas on television are medical in nature. Examples include ABC's NY Med, TLC's Trauma: Life in the E.R., and A&E's Emmy-winning addiction program Intervention. These programs follow real-life events in major hospitals and chronicle the journeys of people who are trying to overcome potentially deadly addictions.

What is your favorite reality drama? Again, vote for the shows you like the most, vote down any you think aren't worthy and remember to rerank if you're so inclined.

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Dirty Jobs is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Dirty Jobs Mike Rowe, David M. Barsky, Doug Glover Dirty Jobs was a TV series on the Discovery Channel in which host Mike Rowe is shown performing difficult, strange, disgusting, or messy occupational duties alongside the typical employees. The ...more

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Deadliest Catch is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Deadliest Catch Rick Quashnick, Sig Hansen, Edgar Hansen Deadliest Catch is a reality television series produced by Original Productions for the Discovery Channel. It portrays the real life events aboard fishing vessels in the Bering Sea during the ...more

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MythBusters is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
MythBusters Jamie Hyneman, Robert Lee, Adam Savage MythBusters is a science entertainment television program created by Peter Rees and produced by Australia's Beyond Television Productions for the Discovery Channel. The series is transmitted by ...more

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Cops is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Cops 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

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Undercover Boss is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Undercover Boss Mark Keller Undercover Boss is an American reality television series, based on the British series of the same name and produced by Studio Lambert in both countries. Each episode depicts a person who has an ...more

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Pawn Stars is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Pawn Stars Rick Harrison, Richard Harrison, Corey Harrison Pawn Stars (History, 2009) is an American reality television series that chronicles the daily activities at the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, a 24-hour family business operated by ...more

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Ice Road Truckers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Ice Road Truckers Alex Debogorski, Thom Beers, Hugh Rowland Ice Road Truckers is a reality television series that premiered on History on June 17, 2007. It features the activities of drivers who operate trucks on seasonal routes crossing frozen lakes and ...more

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Duck Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
prkr.river.rat added Duck Dynasty The Robertson Clan Duck Dynasty is an American reality television series on A&E that portrays the lives of the Robertson family, who became wealthy from their family-operated business, Duck Commander. The West ...more

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48 Hours is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
amani2374 added 48 Hours Maureen Maher, Peter Van Sant, Erin Moriarty 48 Hours is an American documentary/news magazine television series that airs on CBS. The series has been broadcast on the network since January 19, 1988. The program airs Saturdays at 10:00 ...more

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Survivor is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Survivor Jeff Probst, Rob Mariano, Rupert Boneham 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

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Intervention is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Intervention Jeff VanVonderen, Candy Finnigan Intervention (A&E, 2005) is an American documentary television series created by Sam Mettler. It follows one/two participant(s), who are dependent or are addicted, documented in anticipation ...more

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Hoarders is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Hoarders Hoarders (A&E, 2009) is an American reality television series that depicts the real-life struggles and treatment of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding disorder.

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Trauma: Life in the E.R. is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Trauma: Life in the E.R. Chip Demarest, Andy Michaels, Brian Plaisier Trauma: Life in the E.R. is a medical-based television reality show that formerly ran on TLC from 1997 to 2002 and reruns are currently airing on Discovery Fit & Health. At its peak, Trauma ...more

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Little People, Big World is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Little People, Big World Little People, Big World is an American reality television series that premiered on March 4, 2006, and airs on TLC. The series chronicles the lives of the six-member Roloff family farm near ...more

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Dance Moms is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
marshallthornton00 added Dance Moms Dance Moms is an American reality television series that debuted on Lifetime on July 13, 2011. Created by Collins Avenue Productions, it is set in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Abby Lee Dance ...more

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Wife Swap is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Wife Swap Wife Swap is a British reality television programme produced by independent television production company RDF Media and created by Stephen Lambert for Channel 4, first broadcast in 2003. In the ...more

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Real World is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Real World 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

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True Life is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
True Life 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

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Swamp People is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Swamp People Troy Landry, Jacob Landry, Bruce Mitchell Swamp People (History, 2010) is an American reality series that follows the day-to-day activities of Louisiana natives living in the swamps of the Atchafalaya River Basin who hunt American ...more

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Teen Mom is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Teen Mom Teen Mom, renamed Teen Mom OG in the fifth season, is an American reality television series that premiered on December 8, 2009 on MTV. Developed as the first spin-off of 16 and Pregnant, it ...more

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Born This Way is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Born This Way Born This Way (A&E, 2015) is an Emmy Award-winning American reality television series. It features seven adults with Down Syndrome who work hard to achieve goals and overcome obstacles.

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Sister Wives is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Sister Wives Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Janelle Brown Sister Wives (TLC, 2010) is an American reality television series that documents the life of a polygamist family, which includes patriarch Kody Brown, his four wives, and their 18 children.

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The Real Housewives of Beverly... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Yolanda Hadid, Kim Richards, Camille Grammer The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is an American reality television series that premiered on October 14, 2010 on Bravo. Developed as the sixth installment of The Real Housewives franchise, ...more

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16 and Pregnant is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
16 and Pregnant Drew Pinsky, Weston Gosa Jr., Weston Gosa 16 and Pregnant is an American reality television series that debuted June 11, 2009, on MTV. It follows the stories of pregnant teenage girls in high school dealing with the hardships of teenage ...more

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NY Med is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
NY Med Katie Duke, Diana Costine, Mehmet Oz NY Med is a medical documentary series which premiered on ABC on July 10, 2012. It follows the medical staff and patients of Columbia University Medical Center and Weill Cornell Medical Center ...more

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19 Kids and Counting is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
19 Kids and Counting Michelle Duggar, Jackson Duggar, Jennifer Duggar 19 Kids and Counting, rendered graphically as 19 Kids & Counting in its onscreen logo, is an American reality television show on TLC. The show is about the Duggar family, which consists of ...more

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The Hills is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
The Hills Heidi Montag, Audrina Patridge, Lauren Conrad The Hills is a semi-scripted American reality television series that originally aired on MTV from May 31, 2006 until July 13, 2010. Developed as a spin-off of Laguna Beach: The Real Orange ...more

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I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant Dave Wittenberg I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant was an American documentary television series on Discovery Fit & Health and TLC. The series debuted on May 26, 2009 on Discovery Fit & Health. Each episode ...more

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Jon & Kate Plus 8 is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Jon & Kate Plus 8 Aaden Jonathan Gosselin, Jon Gosselin, Collin Thomas Gosselin Kate Plus 8, formerly Jon & Kate Plus 8, is an American reality television series starring Kate Gosselin, which has aired since April 4, 2007.

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Abby & Brittany is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Abby & Brittany

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WAG's is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Reality Dramas
Amonte Taylor added WAG's Barbie Blank, Olivia Pierson