Many different types of American reality TV exist, and they can be classified in a variety of different ways. A basic classification could include real life scenarios, performances, physical challenges, and identity change programs, but this doesn’t convey the diversity present in reality television. More complicated classifications could include dating programs, historical recreation programs, makeover programs, life change programs, celebrity “docusoaps,” talent searches, and documentary style reality TV shows. The sheer number of American reality TV shows makes them difficult to classify accurately in a concise list.
Most American reality TV shows can be simply classified as documentary style reality TV shows. A large number of these programs follow ordinary Americans in their occupations, but in reality the interpersonal relationships between employers and family members generally plays a larger role than the actual profession. Viewers get to understand the profession and what the stars of the show actually do, but the focus is often on disagreements rather than the occupation itself. While most of these documentary style TV shows follow people in an occupation, some follow people in their non-working lives, and in these cases, the interpersonal relationships are even more prominent.
Talent search style shows are another popular type of American reality TV. These programs offer hopefuls from across the country the chance to succeed in their desired profession. Ordinarily, the shows begin with a nationwide search from which the best performers are chosen and then put through eliminations each week until the winner is found. The voting on a lot of these programs is done by the viewing public, and the nationwide votes are tallied up and the show's outcome depends on the results. This type of American reality TV show generally offers prizes for the winner, one which essentially catapults the winner into a successful position in their desired profession.
Many other types of American reality TV shows exist, and these can be split into various different classifications. One popular type of reality TV show is dating shows, which aim to find a relationship for one man or woman through a series of trials or individual dates. Other types of reality TV show include celebrity “docusoaps,” which follow the real lives of celebrities and accentuate any drama in their lives. Game show-style reality TV programs are another popular variety. These feature real people competing against each other in a variety of challenges to win a prize offered to the victor.