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Highest rated reality TV shows

  • HGTV
    1/ HGTV

    Highest rated reality TV shows

    Whether you're someone who lives for the drama of reality TV or more casually consider it an occasional guilty pleasure, its dominance can't be understated. Today nearly four out of every 10 people watch some form of reality TV. The trend started during the 1940s and 1960s, with shows like "Queen for a Day" and "The Dating Game" entertaining audiences and serving as early prototypes of what would become popular contest shows like "The Voice." But the genre transformed with "An American Family." A predecessor to powerhouse shows like "Keeping up with the Kardashians," the 1973 documentary is considered the first reality series on American television. It follows the lives of an upper-middle-class family in Santa Barbara, California, and the drama that stemmed from the parents’ divorce attracted 10 million viewers at the height of its popularity.  

    Over 40 years later, the genre is inescapable, with hundreds of reality shows making their debut in American homes and impacting pop culture. To help pick out the shows that stand out in this wide-ranging genre, we looked at IMDb data for shows with more than 1,000 votes and ranked by their user ratings. From dance-offs to communicating with animals, no topic has escaped reality TV’s grip. Who knows, along the way you may find your next show to indulge in. 

  • Discovery Channel
    2/ Discovery Channel

    #100. Bering Sea Gold

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    From the creators of the popular Discovery Channel series Deadliest Catch, Bering Sea Gold follows a group of "dredgers," those people who search for gold and other profitable minerals in shallow waters.  Along with the tough lifestyle and voyages, the average water temperature in the Bering Sea is 34 degrees and max temperatures reach only 68 degrees, adding to an already very tough reality. 

  • W. Reichmann // Wikicommons
    3/ W. Reichmann // Wikicommons

    #99. Ripley's Believe It or Not!

    Year: 1999 – 2003

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    A popular American franchise, as a reality documentary show it reported on topics very unusual, surprising and spectacular, such as inventions, stunts, records, freak creatures and accidents. For its timeslot, the series was at the time the top-rated program among adults between the ages of 18-34, 18-49 and 25-54.

  • E!
    4/ E!

    #98. Total Divas

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    A favorite for all wrestling fans, Total Divas follows the lives of WWE divas in their work and personal relationships. With fascinating characters like the Bella Twins, one of WWE's most popular one-two pair, the show averages almost a million viewers.

  • Getty
    5/ Getty

    #97. MasterChef Junior

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    Like its adult counterpart, MasterChef Junior pits groups of cooks against each other for a free-for-all competitive cooking contest, but with only children and teenage contestants. The drama of the eccentric food critic Gordon Ramsay may haunt these kids for years to come.

  • TLC
    6/ TLC

    #96. Miami Ink

    Year: 2005 – 2008

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    TLC's Miami Ink followed five tattoo artists who open a tattoo shop in South Beach. Acclaimed for its in-depth insights into the process behind each piece the tattooists created, the show had various spin-offs including LA Ink, London Ink, and NY Ink.

  • Lwp Kommunikáció // Flickr
    7/ Lwp Kommunikáció // Flickr

    #95. Naked and Afraid

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    A title that instantly catches one's attention, this Discovery Channel show follows the lives of a man and a woman who must survive for 21 days on only the resources provided by their surroundings. The drama of the contestants’ survival attempts and at times combating egos makes it a truly fascinating watch, especially for those who enjoy others’ misery.  

  • History Channel
    8/ History Channel

    #94. American Restoration

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    A spin-off of History Channel’s Pawn Stars, American Restoration follows five of the best restoration shops in the United States as they restore pieces of America's history and also create new and awe-inspiring works from reclaimed vintage items. Among hundreds of popular similar shows, it’s become one of the longest-running antiques-based reality shows.

  • West Point Public Affairs // Wikicommons
    9/ West Point Public Affairs // Wikicommons

    #93. Cake Boss

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    The show follows the cake man Buddy Valastro and his family, whose business in Hoboken, New Jersey, produces custom cakes for any occasion. Want a cake from the boss himself? His bakery can offer options for as little as $300 (or even $100 if you settle for a decorated sheet cake). “It depends on what you want,” he says

  • Savage Feed // Youtube
    10/ Savage Feed // Youtube

    #92. Viva la Bam

    Year: 2003 – 2006

    IMDb rating: 6.7

    A spiritual successor to MTV’s Jackass, Viva La Bam tracked skater Bam Margera’s stunts designed to antagonize his parents. Highlights of the show included Bam ironing pictures of hamburgers onto all of his dad’s clothes, building a firepole in his home in the middle of the night and turning his house into a skate park.

  • MTV
    11/ MTV

    #91. Are You the One?

    Year: 2014 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    The lovechild of reality shows The Bachelor and Real World, MTV’s Are You the One chronicles 10 women and 10 men as they try to seek out love during a 10-week stay at a house in Hawaii. Along the way, couples go into a “truth booth” to find out if they are a "perfect match" or "no match" at all. If they succeed in matching, the entire group shares a prize of up to $1 million, because money can be the best of matchmakers.

  • Wikicommons
    12/ Wikicommons

    #90. Overhaulin'

    Year: 2004 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    The show follows automobile designers Chip Foose and Chris Jacobs, who pick an unknowing car owner to get their vehicle “overhauled,” then spend a week completely redesigning that person’s old and tired antique car. Although it ran for five seasons on TLC, the show went on a four-year hiatus until it came back in 2012, only now airing on Discovery, where the show has remained since.

  • Lwp Kommunikáció // Flickr
    13/ Lwp Kommunikáció // Flickr

    #89. Tanked

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    Airing on Animal Planet, the show follows the operations of Las Vegas-based Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM), which specializes in making fish aquariums. The business is owned by brothers-in-law Brett Raymer and Wayde King, along with their opinionated and outrageous family and staff.  According to a Wall Street Journal interview with a company spokesman, the more unusual the tank and its contents, the higher its price. Aquariums can start at about $5,000 for a 10-gallon tank and reach $1 million or more for a 5,000-gallon tank or larger, especially if they’re designed to accommodate rare fish.

  • Travel Channel
    14/ Travel Channel

    #88. The Dead Files

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    This is a great Travel Channel show for paranormal enthusiasts. It features Steve DiSchiavi, a retired homicide detective who was active with the New York City Police Department for more than 21 years. He investigates cases to help people unearth history and facts that can explain the otherwise unexplainable. On the show, DiSchiavi’s findings are combined with the work of psychic communicator Amy Allan, who has an established sixth sense and an affinity for channeling the dead. Her explanations are often from different sources, but the parallels can be astounding. Consider this a must-watch if you like similar paranormal-based shows like Ghost Adventures and Ghost Hunters.  

  • Fox
    15/ Fox

    #87. So You Think You Can Dance

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.8

    Competitive dancing with an edge, So You Think You Can Dance combines dancers skilled in everything from ballroom and ballet to salsa, jive, hip-hop and krumping, all competing to be named the best. With 14 seasons under its belt, the show has won nine Primetime Emmy Awards— seven for Outstanding Choreography.

  • HGTV
    16/ HGTV

    #86. House Hunters

    Year: 1999 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.9

    HGTV’s House Hunters tours individuals, couples and families through a selection of homes with the objective of taking the viewer through the home-buying process from start to finish.  Despite the simple concept, the show’s viewers are at times critical of the homebuyers so-called nit-picking, specifically complaints about small details (like where to put the TV) outweighing bigger priorities when ultimately choosing a home.  

  • MTV
    17/ MTV

    #85. America's Best Dance Crew

    Year: 2008 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.9

    A dance competition that appeals to younger audiences, the show covers mainly hip-hop-based dance groups who perform routines for judges to fight for a chance to land a touring contract and a $100,000 grand prize. The show’s eight seasons had popular judges and guest judges alike, including hip-hop acts like T-Pain, Omarion, Lil Mama and Teyana Taylor.

  • Yahoo Blog // Wikicommons
    18/ Yahoo Blog // Wikicommons

    #84. Restaurant: Impossible

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.9

    There’s flipping cars and flipping houses, and so it follows that for the food industry, there’s flipping restaurants. The show tracks Chef Robert Irvine’s attempts to turn around a failing restaurant in just two days on a $10,000 budget. Irvine’s demeanor and interactions make this a great show for people looking for a mild version of Gordon Ramsay.

  • Getty Images // Fox News
    19/ Getty Images // Fox News

    #83. What Not to Wear

    Year: 2003 – 2013

    IMDb rating: 6.9

    This TLC show followed two likable fashion stylists and a team of hair and makeup advisors who revamped the closets of individuals who had been nominated by their friends for makeovers. And they did it all on a $5,000 budget. By the end of its 10-year run, the show gave over 325 makeovers to men, women, celebrities, and families.

  • Youtube
    20/ Youtube

    #82. Scare Tactics

    Year: 2003 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.9

    Hosted by actors like Stephen Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, this popular Sci-Fi show attempted to bridge reality television with elements of psychological horror and a “found footage” camera style. On July 17, 2017, it was announced that Blumhouse Television was going to produce a new season of the show.  

  • History
    21/ History

    #81. The Curse of Oak Island

    Year: 2014 – present

    IMDb rating: 6.9

    This A&E show details the efforts of Michigan brothers Marty and Rick Lagina as they attempt to solve the Oak Island mystery—which refers to stories of buried treasure and unexplained objects on Oak Island in Nova Scotia, Canada. While the mystery behind the story fascinates viewers, criticism has emerged now that the show has lasted three seasons, yet no new revelations or evidence have been found.

  • Netflix
    22/ Netflix

    #80. White Rabbit Project

    Year: 2016 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    Netflix’s take on Discovery Channel’s popular show Mythbusters,  White Rabbit Project gathers scientists to investigate unusual events from pop culture, science, and history. Sadly, the series was not renewed by Netflix.

  • Lifetime
    23/ Lifetime

    #79. Project Runway All Stars

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    The show brings back 16 designers from previous Project Runway seasons, offering them a second chance at success. Since season 3, host/judge Alyssa Milano has filled the shoes of Heidi Klum for this series, and permanent All Stars judges have been designers Georgina Chapman and Isaac Mizrahi.   

  • ABC
    24/ ABC

    #78. Whodunit?

    Year: 2013

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    This is a twist on a murder-mystery-based series. In each episode, the competitors witness a "murder" (staged by production) committed secretly by one of their numbers, they are instructed to find clues to how the murder was done to discover the identity of the murderer. It’s a must-watch for lovers of mysteries and the board game “Clue.”

  • A&E
    25/ A&E

    #77. Wahlburgers

    Year: 2014 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    Wahlburgers offers a look at the personal and professional life of Boston chef Paul Wahlberg and his real-life entourage as he prepares to expand his hamburger restaurant business. The brother of actors Mark and Donnie Wahlberg, Paul takes on the challenge of operating Wahlburgers, while Mark and Donnie make the burger joint their home base whenever they are in town.

  • Fox
    26/ Fox

    #76. Hotel Hell

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    In this FOX show, Gordon Ramsay’s influence goes beyond food and dining, as he travels across the country to fix horrid hotels, awful inns and just plain bad bed and breakfasts. After he has uncovered the issues, Ramsay puts the hotel owners and employees to work as he attempts to turn around these failing establishments.

  • John Lloyd // Flickr
    27/ John Lloyd // Flickr

    #75. American Pickers

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    Continuing History Channel’s stream of antiques-based shows, American Pickers follows collectible pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz who travel around the United States to buy or "pick" various items for resale, for clients, or for their own personal collections. The show took off with the premiere episode garnering 3.1 million viewers, making it the highest-rated History Channel debut since Ice Road Truckers in 2007.

  • Michael Buckner/Getty Images
    28/ Michael Buckner/Getty Images

    #74. Survivor

    Year: 2000 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.0

    The show follows a group of contestants who are stranded in a remote location where one by one people are eliminated until there is one “lone survivor” who takes home a $1 million prize. With 35 aired seasons, it’s considered the leader of American reality TV because it was the first highly-rated and profitable reality show on broadcast television in the US, and is considered one of the best shows of the 2000s decade.

  • Bravo
    29/ Bravo

    #73. Top Chef Masters

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.1

    A spin-off of Bravo’s Top Chef, the series pits world-renowned chefs against each other with weekly challenges. The show typically features younger professional cooks who are still rising in the food-service industry.

  • MTV
    30/ MTV

    #72. Girl Code

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.1

    Girl Code is dialogue-driven, opinion-based show that provides discussion about the ups and downs of womanhood—covering topics like dating, drinking, friends and family. In August 2015, MTV premiered a spin-off talk show called Girl Code Live.

  • ABC
    31/ ABC

    #71. The Quest

    Year: 2014 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.1

    This ABC show combines fantasy with reality TV-based competition. In the show, 12 people compete in the backdrop of a fictional high fantasy setting called the Kingdom of Everealm. Since its premiere, the show has achieved a cult following, through unexpected channels like the creation of a Facebook group called “The Quest Army” and appearances on numerous “Must-Watch” lists.

  • Paramount Network (Spike)
    32/ Paramount Network (Spike)

    #70. Cops

    Year: 1989 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.1

    With over 30 seasons, this popular FOX show (now on Spike TV) follows real-life law enforcement officers from various regions and departments of the US armed with cameras to capture the action. The show has followed officers in 140 different cities in the United States, Hong Kong, London and the Soviet Union.

  • Fox
    33/ Fox

    #69. Hell's Kitchen

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.1

    This show was the coming out party of world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsay, who judges (and at times berates) aspiring young chefs through rigorous cooking challenges and dinner services at his restaurant in Hollywood. The show also introduced us to Ramsay’s flowery vocabulary, providing quips like  “you stupid donkey!”

  • Sgt. Mike Alberts, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs//Wikicommons
    34/ Sgt. Mike Alberts, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade Public Affairs//Wikicommons

    #68. Ace of Cakes

    Year: 2006 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    This Food Network show chronicled the works of Duff Goldman, a chef and owner of Charm City Cakes in Baltimore, Maryland. Along with his staff, Duff used non-traditional methods of cooking, using blow torches and power saws to construct his designs.

  • Alan Light//Flickr
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    #67. Betty White's Off Their Rockers

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    A mild version of Jackass or Jackass-lite, this show is hosted by legendary actress Betty White and shares footage from a hidden camera where senior citizens play pranks on unsuspecting younger people.  The show is based on the Belgian hidden camera show Benidorm Bastards.

  • Food Network
    36/ Food Network

    #66. Cutthroat Kitchen

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    Much like Food Network’s Chopped, this show follows a three-round elimination cooking competition except chefs are encouraged to sabotage each other’s dishes. With a $100,000 cash prize, it’s interesting to see how creative, and in some instances, how genius the chefs can become to surpass the sabotages by showcasing some incredible culinary skills.  

  • Food Network
    37/ Food Network

    #65. Iron Chef America: The Series

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    Two chefs duke it out in a one-on-one cook-off on this Food Network competition show. In each episode, a new challenger chef competes against one of the resident "Iron Chefs," crafting dishes on the spot based on a secret ingredient or ingredients, and sometimes a theme. It’s like watching a challenging round of Jeopardy, but with added seasoning. 

  • History Channel
    38/ History Channel

    #64. Counting Cars

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    A part of History Channel’s vault of restoration shows, the show chronicles the life of Danny Koker, owner of Count’s Kustoms, an automobile restoration and customization company. His business restores and modifies classic cars and motorcycles. Danny's nickname, “the Count,” is from his days as a horror host for “Saturday Fright at the Movies” as Count Cool Rider. In 2016, he was inducted into the Horror Host Hall of Fame. 

  • Discovery
    39/ Discovery

    #63. Gold Rush: Alaska

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    This Discovery show follows gold miners and their efforts of running their family-run mining company based in northwest Canada. At the end of 2016, the show ranked No. 1 among non-sports cable networks in men 25-54.

  • MTV//Youtube
    40/ MTV//Youtube

    #62. Catfish: The TV Show

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    This MTV show follows Max Joseph and former Catfish victim Yaniv Schulman in their efforts to help people who have fallen in love through online dating test the authenticity of their lovers' identities. The show’s popularity has expanded even in markets like Latin America with versions called Catfish Colombia and Catfish Brasil. The show has amassed millions of viewers and online creepers alike.

  • Kristina//Wikicommons
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    #61. Pawn Stars

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    The History show follows Rick Harrison and his family-run pawn shop in Las Vegas. It showcases interactions with customers who bring in artifacts to sell or pawn—at times discussing the artifacts’ historical background and leading up to price negotiations with the customer. An original episode broadcast on January 24, 2011, was watched by 7 million viewers, the most-watched telecast ever on History, according to the network and Nielsen Media Research.   

  • Shutterstock
    42/ Shutterstock

    #60. Jackass

    Year: 2000 – 2002

    IMDb rating: 7.2

    This groundbreaking MTV show followed a group of stuntmen who performed extreme acts of high medical risks and physical pain. Along with the introduction of up-and-coming personalities Johnny Knoxville and Steve-O, the show was the subject of much controversy for its stunts, but spawned three movies and left a legacy of stunt-based comedy.

  • Bravo//Youtube
    43/ Bravo//Youtube

    #59. Million Dollar Listing NY

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    A spin-off of Million Dollar Listing in Los Angeles, the Bravo show follows the luxury New York real estate market as the agents deal with demanding clients and earn a living selling some of New York's hottest real estate. The show has been nominated for two Emmys and a spin-off show Bethenny & Fredrik debuted on Bravo in February.  

  • Netflix
    44/ Netflix

    #58. Ultimate Beastmaster

    Year: 2017 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    Similar to American Ninja Warrior, the Netflix show is an international competition which follows 18 competitors who compete against each other in an intense obstacle course known as “The Beast” for cash prizes, individual glory[l], and national pride. With appealing host commentary from personalities like Sylvester Stallone and Terry Crews, season 2 aired in December with plans for a renewed third season.

  • Bravo
    45/ Bravo

    #57. Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List

    Year: 2005 – 2010

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    This Bravo show followed comedian Kathy Griffin’s life, her relationships and her efforts to climb the Hollywood ladder toward becoming an A-list celebrity. Winning two Emmy awards, the show broadened Griffin’s fanbase and she continues to be a prominent personality on television and online.

  • Discovery
    46/ Discovery

    #56. Ca$h Cab

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    A game show where unsuspecting players are picked up in a cab and must answer trivia questions with cash prizes before they arrive at their destination. With nearly 400 episodes aired, the Discovery show has won three Emmy awards and appeared in TV Guide's list of the 60 greatest game shows ever in 2013.

  • FOX
    47/ FOX

    #55. Masterchef

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    The show follows 50 chefs who battle to become the next culinary star. The grand prize is $250,000, a cookbook [m]publishing deal, and the title of MasterChef. 

  • The Peabody Awards // Wikicommons
    48/ The Peabody Awards // Wikicommons

    #54. Project Runway

    Year: 2004 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.3

    Here’s another competition show, but this time, fought with sewing and good fashion taste. Contestants compete with each other to design the best clothes for each respective challenge and are then judged by a panel—with the ultimate goal to snag a spot to showcase an entire line of clothing at New York Fashion Week. The show is acclaimed for chronicling the contestants’ lives, impressive designs, and off-the-cuff dialogue. The show won a Peabody Award in 2008 "for using the 'television reality contest' genre to engage, inform, enlighten and entertain."      

  • CBS
    49/ CBS

    #53. Kid Nation

    Year: 2007

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    The show followed a group of young kids who are forced to experience challenges without adults or parental guidance. During its airing, there were ethical debates surrounding the show, and this raised questions about the appropriate minimum age of participants in reality shows. Despite the show’s popularity, CBS canceled the series in 2008.    

  • Paramount Network
    50/ Paramount Network

    #52. Ink Master

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    Hosted by legendary rock musician Dave Navarro, the show features tattoo artists who compete in various challenges designed to assess their tattoo and other related artistic skills. Their pieces are then judged by renowned tattoo artists and enthusiasts, with one or more contestants being eliminated each episode.  Airing its 10th season last January, the show has produced two spin-offs: Ink Master: Redemption and Ink Master: Angels.

  • Shutterstock
    51/ Shutterstock

    #51. Diners, Drive-ins and Dives

    Year: 2006 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is a Food Network show featuring food critic Guy Fieri and his adventures in finding America’s best casual fare.  With over 400 episodes to date, the show has continued its long TV run in large part due to Fieri, who’s become one of America’s most beloved and recognized food personalities.

  • Travel Channel
    52/ Travel Channel

    #50. Man v. Food

    Year: 2008 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    The Travel Channel show follows actor and food enthusiast Adam Richman, as he tours the best dishes made in different American cities and participates in local eating competitions. The show ended with Richman’s retirement but was revived in 2017, with Casey Webb serving as Richman’s replacement.  

  • Jo-h//Flickr
    53/ Jo-h//Flickr

    #49. Kitchen Nightmares

    Year: 2007 – 2014

    IMDb rating: 7.4

    Kitchen Nightmares takes place in various restaurants where the staff is struggling to keep the store afloat. Their savior (or devil) comes in the form of Gordon Ramsay, who spends a week transforming the restaurant to help it become a successful business. Ginia Bellafante, a writer for The New York Times, put it as well as anyone in summing up the show and its host, "The thrill of watching Mr. Ramsay is in witnessing someone so at peace with his own arrogance." 

  • Comedy Central
    54/ Comedy Central

    #48. The Jeselnik Offensive

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    Comedian and actor Anthony Jeselnik has celebrity guests on his show, where they talk about political topics in their own way—with, of course, Anthony appearing at times “offensive.” The Comedy Central show has been received positively, providing a funny, alternative take on late-night formatting.

  • A&E
    55/ A&E

    #47. Flip This House

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    An A&E show that followed people buying houses, viewers watched as DIYers restore the homes and chronicle the market value afterward. The show was also well-known for going through various housing and contract lawsuits during its tenure.

  • MTV
    56/ MTV

    #46. The Challenge

    Year: 1998 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    This competition show includes crossovers of other MTV shows like Are You The One and The Real World, where past members of those shows compete against each other in various challenges for a cash prize. The tension and alliances of members make it as much a soap opera as it is a competitive reality show.

  • Food Network
    57/ Food Network

    #45. Chopped

    Year: 2007 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    Host by Ted Allan, this Food Network show pits four chefs against each other as they compete for a chance to win $10,000. With two spin-offs and fascinating personalities, the show was inducted into the Culinary Hall of Fame in 2012.   

  • Cbarrentine2//Wikicommons
    58/ Cbarrentine2//Wikicommons

    #44. Shark Tank

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.5

    A spin-off of the Japanese show Dragon’s Den, the show chronicles aspiring entrepreneurs who must pitch their product to business investors or “sharks,” with the hopes of reaching an investment deal.  Winner of four Emmy Awards, the ABC series is a massive success, achieving over 9 million viewers at its peak.

  • History Channel
    59/ History Channel

    #43. Top Shot

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    A real “hot shot,” the show featured 16 contestants who compete in various shooting challenges, with the winner receiving $100,000 and the title of “Top Shot.”  Although it amassed over a million viewers at its height, the show wasn’t renewed for a sixth season.

  • TruTV
    60/ TruTV

    #42. Billy on the Street with Billy Eichner

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    A comedy game show hosted by Billy Eichner, creator of the popular Funny or Die web series. Each episode, Eichner asks New York pedestrians pop culture questions with the accompaniment of  segments like Amateur Speed Sketching. Having aired on Fuse and TruTV, the show is currently searching for a new network as of September 2017.

  • The Alex Jones Channel//Youtube
    61/ The Alex Jones Channel//Youtube

    #41. Hunting Hitler

    Year: 2015 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    After declassified FBI files about Hitler were released, the show chronicles a group of specialists who work together to try and find the truth of Hitler's supposed death and the conspiracies surrounding it. History Channel aired its third season last January.

  • LOGOtv
    62/ LOGOtv

    #40. RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked!

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    A spin-off to RuPaul’s Drag Race, the Logo TV show exhibits the drama, fights, and secrets we never saw during the airing of RuPaul’s Drag Race. RuPaul narrates the behind-the-scenes footage.

  • Bernard Dupont//Wikicommons
    63/ Bernard Dupont//Wikicommons

    #39. The Crocodile Hunter

    Year: 1996 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    The Animal Planet documentary followed zookeeper Steve Irwin and his wife, Terri, as they explored various wildlife throughout the greater Australian continent. The show became a worldwide phenomenon, with Irwin achieving massive success with his enthusiastic presenting style and his signature catchphrase, “Crikey!” It became a popular term worldwide. The show ended after Irwin died from injuries from a stingray barb in 2006.  

  • Wikipedia
    64/ Wikipedia

    #38. Destination Truth

    Year: 2007 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    The show followed paranormal researcher Josh Gates as he investigates claims of the supernatural, mainly animals of folklore or cryptozoology. At its height, the show premiered to 2.3 million viewers and featured guest appearances from other prominent paranormal shows like Grant Wilson and Jason Hawes of Ghost Hunters.

  • Discovery//Youtube
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    #37. Dual Survival

    Year: 2010 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Surviving the wild can be a death sentence for most. However, this show isn’t for amateurs, as trained survival experts Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin are dropped into scenarios of life or death, equipped with minimal gear. Take it as Survivor, but instead, the contestants are much more comfortable drinking their own pee.

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    #36. Top Chef

    Year: 2006 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    Where cooking and budding personalities collide, Top Chef features chefs competing in various cook-offs and challenges. Nearing its 16th season, the show has won two Emmy Awards and has achieved levels of success much like past Bravo shows like Project Runway, but with extra ingredients.

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    #35. The Amazing Race

    Year: 2001 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.6

    The show has 11 teams of two races around the world. The race is generally split into 12 legs, with each leg requiring teams to decipher clues, navigate themselves in foreign areas, interact with locals, perform physical and mental challenges, and vie for airplane, boat, taxi and other public transportation options on a limited budget provided by the show—all for the grand prize of $1 million. The show’s popularity has amassed 10 Emmy Awards and an average of 10 million viewers per season.  

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    #34. Fast N' Loud

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    The show follows the self-described petrol-sexual car guy Richard Rawlings and his mechanic prodigy, Aaron Kaufmann, as they search the country for beat-up classic cars to restore at their Dallas, Texas-based Gas Monkey Garage.  In 2016, a New York Times survey of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes found that Fast N' Loud was "the show most favored by men on our list, by far—83 percent of 'likes' came from men."

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    #33. Bar Rescue

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    Failing establishments are given one last chance to succeed with the help of Jon Taffer, a top restaurant and bar consultant. The drama and high expectations of Taffer make it a riveting show for the renovator-enthusiast crowd.

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    #32. Comic Book Men

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.7

    An unscripted series set in Kevin Smith's iconic comic shop Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, the show captures the world of the neighborhood comic book store and fanboy culture. Called “an amusing geekfest” by the San Francisco Chronicle and others, the show also has a companion podcast where the actors dive more into the making of the show and pre-recorded tapes.

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    #31. My Cat from Hell

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    For pet owners and curious cats alike, Animal Planet follows cat behaviorist Jackson Galaxy and his efforts to restore a pet’s behavioral issues. Brad Wete of Entertainment Weekly commented, "Galaxy offers useful tips, even if your animal’s not nuts.”

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    #30. 60 Days In

    Year: 2016 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    60 Days In gives viewers a glimpse into life behind bars in Indiana’s Clark County Jail. Seven individuals volunteer to go undercover, spending 60 days as inmates in the jail with the goal of obtaining evidence of questionable or illegal activities within the jail that might be missed by the correctional officers and surveillance systems. While the show is captivating, imagining yourself in these situations is also chilling to the bone.

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    #29. Running Wild with Bear Grylls

    Year: 2014 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    The show follows British adventurer Bear Grylls and his attempts to push A-list celebrities into wild outdoor situations and out of their comfort zone. Past celebrities have included Zac Efron, Shaquille O’Neal, Julia Roberts and even former President Barack Obama.

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    #28. The Colony

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    This Discovery Channel program follows a group of people who must survive in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment. Past season themes have included surviving a global viral outbreak and collapse of a modern civilization.

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    #27. Nitro Circus

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Much like Jackass, the show follows a group of friends consisting of professional BMX and dirt bike riders who perform high-intensity stunts. However, unlike Jackass, the stunts involve more skill-based stunts with their vehicles.

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    #26. Rob & Big

    Year: 2006 – 2008

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    An MTV comedy show that followed the lives of professional skateboarder Rob Dyrdek and his bodyguard Christopher “Big Black” Boykin and their everyday mischiefs in the Hollywood Hills. The comedic chemistry between the co-stars made the show a success, but it ended in 2008 when Boykin left the show. Dyrdek created the spin-off Fantasy Factory, with Boykin making occasional guest appearances. Sadly, Boykin passed away in May 2017.

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    #25. Dirty Jobs

    Year: 2005 – 2012

    IMDb rating: 7.8

    Imagine a food travel show, but instead the food is first eaten by horses, then spat back out and pooped on for good measure—that was the essence of Dirty Jobs. Hosted by Mike Rowe, the show took a look into the various jobs throughout the country that involved messy, disgusting or difficult duties. The series won five Emmy Awards and spawned the spin-off Somebody’s Gotta Do It, with Rowe and the Dirty Jobs crew.

  • Discovery
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    #24. Alaska: The Last Frontier

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    The show documents the extended Kilcher family, descendants of Swiss immigrants and Alaskan pioneers. By living without plumbing or modern heating, the family chooses to subsist by farming, hunting and preparing for the long winters. The Kilcher family are relatives of the singer Jewel, who has appeared on the show. 

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    #23. Rob Dyrdek's Fantasy Factory

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    Brought to you by the crew of MTV’s Rob & Big, the show continued with similar themes but chronicled more of Dyrdek’s life, his business, and his 25,000-square-foot skateboard warehouse. Guest appearances included musicians John Mayer and Ludacris, as well as Jackass stars Chris Pontius and Johnny Knoxville.

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    #22. The Ultimate Fighter

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 7.9

    UFC and MMA’s take on reality TV saw 16 top mixed martial arts fighters competing for a UFC contract.  The show has helped provide a platform for future successful fighters. Highlights include YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice against veteran Roy Nelson, which attracted 6.1 million viewers, making it one of the most viewed MMA fights in history.    

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    #21. 30 Days

    Year: 2005 – 2008

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    A documentary-style program where an individual is inserted into a lifestyle that is completely different from his or her upbringing, beliefs, religion or profession for 30 days. Hosted by Super Size Me filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, the FX show explored and provided an enlightening, alternative look into various communities throughout the country.

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    #20. Intervention

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    Intervention provided a somber look into the real-life struggle of addicts by staging a confrontation by their families and loved ones, who plea for them to seek help. While the show has faced criticism for being exploitative, it also highlights the struggle of addicts in a way that is unsettling, yet hopeful, as Intervention often ends with the individual seeking help.

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    #19. Dog Whisperer with Cesar Millan

    Year: 2004 – 2016

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    The National Geographic show followed Cesar Millan and his incredible ability to communicate with dogs and translate to their owners. Millan uses behavior modification techniques and the philosophy that exercise, discipline, and affection are required "in that order" for dogs to be healthy and balanced. 

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    #18. Deadliest Catch

    Year: 2005 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.0

    This documentary series chronicles the tenacious life of Alaskan crab fishermen—one of the most dangerous jobs in the world. However, the show’s uniqueness lies in its deep exploration into the philosophies of a fisherman. Meanwhile, even the film crew is put in situations where their own lives are in danger.

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    #17. The Joe Schmo Show

    Year: 2003 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    The first of its kind, this Spike TV show’s objective is to turn reality television upside down. Starring comedian Ralph Garman, the show leads people to believe that they are contestants on a reality television show. The ensuing parody involves the hosts and cast members drawing unwitting contestants into progressively bizarre scenarios. 

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    #16. Face Off

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.2

    A Syfy show, Face Off pits makeup artists against one another in challenges to create prostheses such as those found in science fiction and horror films. The works are then judged by a panel who eliminates contestants until a winner is crowned and given the grand prize of $100,000. Who knew makeup could be so interesting?

     

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    #15. The Profit

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    This CNBC show features struggling small businesses who are offered capital investment and expertise from successful businessman Marcus Lemonis. Currently in its fifth season, the show is hailed as a must-watch for small business owners and entrepreneurs.   

  • A&E
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    #14. The First 48

    Year: 2004 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    An A&E documentary series chronicling the hours following a real-life homicide and response by investigators, The First 48 knows how to draw viewers in. The show's unprecedented access to police departments has generated controversy because such access is not typically given to traditional local news media. Despite this, the program has become the highest rated non-fiction justice series on television by season six.

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    #13. RuPaul's Drag Race

    Year: 2009 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    Remaining a huge hit, this VH1 show documents famed drag queen RuPaul and her search to find “America’s next drag superstar.” It has an elimination-style format where contestants are given challenges as a panel of judges decides who gets the boot. Beginning its 11th season, the show is celebrated for its colorful personalities and clever quips. And if you’re looking for drama? It’s enough to last the coldest of winters.

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    #12. MythBusters

    Year: 2003 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.3

    Created by Peter Rees, this science-entertainment fused program follows Hollywood special effects experts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman in their mission to test the validity of rumors, myths, movie scenes, Internet videos and news stories. The show is praised for its scientific approach and methods of testing. In 2016, a New York Times study of the 50 TV shows with the most Facebook Likes found that MythBusters "has the second-highest share of 'likes' from men of any show in the data, after Fast N' Loud."

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    #11. Expedition Unknown

    Year: 2015 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Explorer Josh Gates from Destination Truth is on a new adventure to uncover more legends and mysteries. With Gates’ return, it appears no stone, or mystery, will be left unturned.

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    #10. Alone

    Year: 2015 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    History Channel launched its own survival show where 10 survival experts attempt to hold out on their own for as long as possible in the wilderness. With $500,000 on the line, that’s a lot of Aspercreme to apply once it’s finished. The show’s third season amassed 2.5 million total viewers in 2015.

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    #9. Fixer Upper

    Year: 2013 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Home renovating power-couple Chip and Joanna Gaines help clients in the Waco, Texas, area and turn their houses into remodeled homes made for the real estate runway. Their formula is simple: Couples pick out a home, then Joanna designs it and Chip serves as lead contractor. Overall, their budget is typically less than $200,000. Of that, they typically spend a minimum of $30,000 on renovations.

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    #8. RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars

    Year: 2012 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    RuPaul does it again, inviting past contestants of RuPaul’s Drag Race to compete in the Drag Race Hall of Fame. The winner is then crowned queen, and may she slay for many years to come.

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    #7. Brain Games

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.4

    Brain Games promises to be a mind-bending experience, and it mostly delivers, coaxing viewers and onscreen volunteers to participate in experiments tied to visual, auditory and cognitive process. These are dubbed “brain games” in the show hosted by Jason Silva, and this National Geographic reality series puts the world’s most powerful resource to the test, do you have enough brain power?

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    #6. Hard Knocks

    Year: 2001 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.5

    This sports documentary chronicles the life of an NFL team and its players during training camp and leading into the season. It’s reality TV plus sports, combined with the production of HBO and NFL Films, so all that makes Hard Knocks a real head knocker.

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    #5. Impractical Jokers

    Year: 2011 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.6

    Best friends and comedy troupe Joe, Murr, Q, and Sal push each other into participating in public pranks that are then filmed by hidden cameras. Airing its seventh season, the show is praised for its twist on prank-based comedy. Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times stated that "The gag pays off twice: once in the reaction of the unsuspecting passer-by, once in the discomfort of the fellow doing the asking."  

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    #4. All or Nothing: A Season with the Arizona Cardinals

    Year: 2016 – present

    IMDb rating: 8.8

    Narrated by actor Jon Hamm and brought to you by the teaming up of Amazon and NFL Films, this heavy-hitting documentary following the life of this NFL team. Unlike Hard Knocks, the show chronicles players, owners and coaches’ lives throughout an entire NFL season.  

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    #3. High Stakes Poker

    Year: 2006 – present

    IMDb rating: 9.0

    This televised, take-no-prisoners poker game finds players actually playing with their own money. Much like the stress of losing, the stakes are high throughout the show.

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    #2. Casey Neistat Vlog

    Year: 2015 – present

    IMDb rating: 9.3

    The online video-platform YouTube has revolutionized how Americans spend their time consuming content. One of these channels follows the life of filmmaker Casey Neistat, who takes viewers through the camera lens of his life in New York. With 8.8 million subscribers, the show has amassed a large audience, with Neistat working with prominent advertisers including J.Crew, Mercedes-Benz, Nike, and Google. On September 8, 2016, Neistat won GQ's "New Media Star" Man of the Year Award.

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    #1. The Healer

    Year: 2017 – present

    IMDb rating: 9.6

    TLC chronicles the life of Australian Charlie Goldsmith and his incredible ability to heal people with energy. The show also follows Goldsmith’s personal mission to help establish healing as an accepted method of treatment through scientific studies. Some of his clients include actress Jennifer Grey, who’s convinced of Goldsmith’s “undeniable” gift. The program is as much an introspective journey into the man as it is an exhibition of his ability to heal. Goldsmith does not charge for his healing work. And though it may be tough to book an appointment, he still provides healing wisdom in the form of tweets like this one:  

    “I'm mindful that many people who follow me have not been well. I've seen a lot of things that seemed impossible become possible. It's my wish that everything you need becomes possible. Please do your bit. A body and mind that is treated with love and health will reward you.”

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