Greatest American Reality TV Shows of All Times

It would be safe to say that Americans love their TV entertainment. In fact, American’s spend several hours each day watching content on TV and on streaming services. One type of content that has seen a lot of viewers in both formats is reality TV. I remember subscribing to my current cable plan simply because the TV packages contained more options for reality TV entertainment than many other starter packages.

For someone who lives for the next big fight on Celebrity Big Brother, getting reality TV entertainment is a huge necessity. If you’re new to reality TV, this blog explores some of the most iconic and groundbreaking reality TV titles on American TV. Read on for all the juicy details.

The Best Reality TV Shows of All Time

TV has become a mainstay in the lives of millions of people across the globe. Our entertainment tastes vary from news updates to sports events to TV shows and the occasional movie. The human fascination with a good story is as old as the first campfire. As time evolved, these stories became more and more elaborate. From early Greek theatre to a modern TV show following the rags-to-riches story of the protagonist, a good story captures our attention. This is the primary reason why people can’t get enough of reality TV.

They want to see into the lives of people that are supposedly on-screen without a script or teleprompter. We are all very curious as to how other people behave when they aren’t in public. Reality TV offers us an unsanitized view into other people’s lives, whether they’re celebrities, public figures, or even a bunch of housewives from Beverley Hills. Our appetite for stories and our need to peep into other people’s lives have both made the following reality TV shows some of the best aired:

  1. The Real World
  2. KUWTK
  3. Flavor of Love
  4. The Real Housewives
  5. ANTM

Let’s examine what makes these shows so great below.

The Real World

MTV’s The Real World is a show that definitively shaped the genre for years to come, even though it was by no means the first-ever reality TV show. The show has consistently offered a glaring look at how real teens and young adults act in front of a camera. The first 10 seconds of the first episode contain more raw authenticity than a lot of the best-written shows you may have seen. While the later seasons of the show are just like any other post-2000 reality TV show, the first 2 seasons were groundbreaking stuff that built a niche audience.


It’s hard to live in the 21st Century and not have heard of the Kardashians/Jenners. While you may know Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner as Instagram celebrities, they first shot to fame with their hit reality TV show. Keeping Up With The Kardashians on E! is an unfiltered, no-holds-barred look into the chaotic yet cool life of the most popular celebrity family millennials and GenZ have ever seen. Since its first episode in 2007, KUWTK has had a popular following among young females that seems to grow each year. There is no denying that people want swag and a figure worthy of a Kardashian. But there is also no denying our inner peeping-tom wants to take a look at all the dysfunction and drama that comes with it.

Flavor of Love

VH1 has a history of amped-up reality TV shows, but none have reached the high standard that Flavor of Love set. This show was a lot like The Bachelor, only far, far better. Meet rapper Flavor Flav, from the hardcore rap group Public Enemy. Flavor of Love revolves around Flav as he sets out on a mission to find the love of his life. Of course, anybody who’s listened to Flav understands his persona is much larger than life, making it an interesting watch to see who fits his idea of true love.

The Real Housewives

Since 2006, Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives has shrugged off its association with the popular Desperate Housewives starring Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, and Felicity Huffman. Creating the show was an astute decision by the network after seeing the popularity of Desperate Housewives. The show originally began with The Real Housewives of Orange County but has added several more locations since then. These include Beverley Hills, Atlanta, New York, Miami, Washington D.C, and New Jersey. Still going strong, the show has been an endless source of entertainment as it garners views all over the country.


Stunningly beautiful aspiring models, experienced judges, and a whole lot of drama behind the ramp. America’s Next Top Model has consistently been serving up high-quality reality entertainment for a lifetime. The show will probably outlast us all, but I’m sure nobody’s mad about that. Each season of ANTM features a group of aspiring models competing for a prestigious modeling contract blessed by Tyra Banks herself. You might have thought fashion was a no-nonsense business, but the amount of drama the show brings will change your mind forever.

These shows are a great place to get started with your reality TV education. Be sure to subscribe to a cable plan that has enough channels that offer the content you need. If in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to your cable provider. I know the folks at Cox Customer support helped me well when I needed information on the right cable plan for my reality TV needs. Don’t be afraid to tell them exactly what you want from a cable subscription.


Joyce is Managing Editor overseeing the coverage of Senonches.

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