We owe much of the success of today's reality television to two men: Charlie Parsons and Mark Burnett. Back in 1994, Parsons' idea for a reality TV show wasn't picked up anywhere except in Sweden. The program was a success and Burnett reworked the concept a little bit for US TV. Burnett's version of the show, where contestants are competing against each other in a castaway-type environment, premiered in 2000 and the rest is history. To find out what show we are talking about and to hear about nine other successful reality TV shows, please watch the video above.
The Top 10 American Reality TV Shows
Within the reality TV genre, there are sub-genres: documentary-style, structured reality and reality competition. In other words, reality TV can be anything from cops chasing an actual criminal to ordinary people searching a haunted house or contestants vying to win a cash prize.