Reality television once seemed completely disposable, but it has since proven to be a cornerstone of modern television. The genre has already lasted long enough to have its own classics. Here are 10 hit reality shows you can stream right now.
Update, 8/8/22: We’ve updated this guide to make sure our links work and that these remain the best reality shows currently on streaming services.
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the amazing race
More upbeat in tone than many reality competitions, this globetrotting show hosted by Phil Keoghan follows contestants as they literally run around the world. Teams (usually two people with a personal connection) sometimes end up fighting when they crack under pressure. But the show is more about discovering the wonders of the world than it is about seeing people yell at each other.
Seasons 1, 2, 5, 7 and 23-32 of the amazing race are streaming on Hulu ($5.99+ per month after a seven-day free trial), and season 33 is streaming on Paramount+ ($4.99+ per month).
America’s Next Top Model
Host Tyra Banks introduced the world to the concept of “smizing” (smiling with your eyes, of course) with this search for the most serene of the beautiful. Perhaps not all of the challenges are actually modeling related, but Banks and the show’s judges put these gorgeous contestants through the kind of rigorous competition they can expect to find in the glamorous but cutthroat real world of modeling.
Seasons 1-10 and 21-22 America’s Next Top Model are streaming on Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial), seasons 1-3 and 20-22 are streaming on Amazon Prime Video ($8.99+ per month), and seasons 21-22 are streaming on Netflix ($9.99+ per month).
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The Bachelor / The Single
How many people have found love in the dual versions of this reality romance franchise? Not that many, actually, at least in the long run, but that doesn’t mean it’s not entertaining to watch them try. Watch pretty people compete for the affection of other pretty people, all while going on glamorous “dates” and trying to make genuine emotional connections in front of cameras and producers.
three seasons of The Bachelor and four seasons High school are streaming on HBO Max ($9.99+ per month). six seasons of The Bachelor and five seasons of High school are streaming on Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial).
Possibly the purest reality show, this American version of a popular international format places its participants in an isolated house equipped with ubiquitous cameras so they never go undocumented. There are competitions and qualifiers, but for many, the real appeal of Older brother it’s watching people interact when they have absolutely no way to hide from prying eyes.
Seasons 1-24 of Older brother are streaming on Paramount+ ($4.99+ per month after a seven-day free trial).
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Blurring the lines between reality TV and scripted soap operas (in a way that has become increasingly common), this MTV series began as a showcase for star Lauren Conrad’s efforts to break into the fashion industry. . But Conrad’s friends (and friend-enemy) Heidi Montag, Spencer Pratt, Whitney Port, Audrina Patridge and Kristin Cavallari all took center stage at various times, giving The hills a whole set of fascinatingly narcissistic personalities.
The six seasons of The hills are streaming on Paramount+ ($4.99+ per month after a seven-day free trial) and Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial).
The Jersey Shore
Sure, this MTV series about a group of self-proclaimed “guidos and guidettes” living in a seaside vacation home quickly became a joke. But its ridiculousness is part of its charm, and the stars are at least partially in on the joke. No one who calls themselves “The Situation” or “Snooki” or “JWoww” lacks a sense of humor, and these cast members know exactly how to play up their absurdity for the audience.
The six seasons of The Jersey Shore are streaming on Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial) and Paramount+ ($4.99+ per month after a seven-day free trial).
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keeping up with the Kardashians
Love them or hate them, there’s no denying that the Kardashians are reality TV kweens. Matriarch Kris Jenner and her daughters Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, Kylie and Kendall have launched several business empires through their E! to show. Revel in Kardashian’s lavish excesses and interpersonal drama as you watch the family’s evolution from famous parasites to titans of pop culture.
Seasons 1-20 of keeping up with the Kardashians they’re streaming on Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial) and Peacock Premium ($4.99+ per month).
The Real Housewives of Orange County
Bravo mastermind Andy Cohen launched reality TV’s most loved/hated franchise with this California-based series about wealthy women (who aren’t really housewives) and their everyday lives. there have been many real housewives in many places over the years, but the Orange County version is the most enduring. All the sniping, scheming, drinking, bonding, and partying started here.
Seasons 1-16 of The Real Housewives of Orange County streams on Peacock Premium ($4.99+ per month), and seasons 12-15 stream on Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial).
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The real world
In many ways, this is the reality show that started it all by putting seven strangers together in an apartment to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start being real. The MTV series evolved from a somewhat serious social experiment in 1992 to more of a showcase for fame-hungry youth in the years that followed, mirroring the general development of reality TV itself.
Twenty-one select seasons of The real world are streaming on Paramount+ ($4.99+ per month after a seven-day free trial).
The popularity of reality competition shows began with this CBS staple, which is still going strong 20 years after its first season premiered. Host Jeff Probst leads teams of “castaways” who must fend for themselves in the inhospitable desert. The interpersonal dynamics are just as fascinating as the survival efforts as participants form (and break) alliances. It is a study of human nature with obstacle courses.
Seasons 1-42 of Survivor stream on Paramount+ ($4.99+ per month after a seven-day free trial), seasons 1 and 22-39 stream on Hulu ($6.99+ per month after a 30-day free trial), seasons 1 and 28-30 stream on Amazon Prime Video ($8.99+ per month), seasons 16 and 37 stream on Netflix ($9.99+ per month), and select episodes stream free with ads on Pluto TV.