The very first reality-type show came in 1948, with Candid Camera. This was Allen Funt’s hidden camera show featuring unsuspecting people reacting to pranks.
The very first show that could truly be considered the start of the reality TV genre came in 1973. An American Family starred the Loud family, and documented the daily life of the family.
Starting in 1979, audiences were treated to Real People on NBC. This reality series featured – you guessed it – “real people” who had unique or unusual jobs or hobbies.
In any case, “true story of seven strangers picked to live in a house” first aired on MTV in 1992. The Real World basically launched what we know of as the modern reality TV genre.
It is during this time that shows like Big Brother, American Idol, and Survivor pick up speed. It is also during this time that reality shows start getting further and further away from “reality.”
These days, reality TV is still chugging along! Major franchises like Real Housewives, The Bachelor, and Big Brother are still on-air. Plus, new shows like Nailed It, Lego Masters, and Making It offer fun and fresh takes on reality competition shows.