27 Reality TV Statistics That Might Surprise You (2024)

Reality TV Statistics

We can say that reality TV shows are many people’s guilty pleasure. While some watch them just because they like the drama or wish to keep their minds off problems, some genuinely relate with the reality TV stars.

Whatever the reason may be, reality TV shows are very popular, and it’s difficult not to know about some reality celebrities, such as Kim Kardashian. Furthermore, reality TV is proven to be quite influential.

We’ve compiled the top reality TV statistics—everything from how much of TV is reality programming to how much money reality stars make. They will help you understand how prevalent reality TV is, what people think about it, and how it can impact our society.

It’s been a lot of work, but we think it’s worth it. Because we’re all about bringing you the most interesting data in the world. It’s what we do—and there’s no better way to prove that than by showing you what we’ve got!

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Top Stats and Facts About Reality TV (Editor’s Choice)

  • Nearly four in ten people watch some form of reality TV.
  • 34% of Australians who watch reality TV lie about it.
  • 14% of adult males compared their life to the life of a reality TV star.
  • 27% of Americans aged 18 to 29 felt inspired by a reality TV celebrity.
  • The key demographic for reality TV shows are women aged between 18 and 34.
  • 50% of survey respondents aged 16 to 24 with different levels of reality TV consumption reported that reality TV shows affected their body image.
  • 38 people have committed suicide after becoming reality TV celebrities.
  • 18% of survey respondents think such shows are mostly unscripted.
  • Only 7% of adults claim reality TV shows represent American society well.


Global Reality TV Statistics

Almost four in ten people watch some form of reality TV shows.


Reality TV shows are one of the most profitable sectors of the TV industry, and many theories explain why. For example, the Social Comparison Theory indicates that people watching such TV shows make them feel better about their own lives. Of course, this isn’t the only reason why people are interested in reality TV.


The contestants on a reality show called Dancing With The Stars can make about $10,000 to $50,000 per week.

(The Things)

Reality TV pay rates for some shows are almost unbelievable. For instance, Dancing With The Stars pays the contestants $125,000 only for signing up to compete and $10,000 for the next two episodes. Finally, they’re paid $50,000 for the appearance in the last two episodes of the season.


Simon Cowell, an American Idol judge, has a salary of $36 million per season.

(The Things)

Everyone knows Simon Cowell. Apart from being very popular, he is the highest-paid judge in the history of American Idol. He is paid a shocking $36 million per season. Of course, most judges in this reality TV show are already well-known artists, so it isn’t very surprising that their salaries are exorbitant.


34% of Australians who watch reality TV lie about it.


According to how many people watch reality TV statistics from 2021, 34% of those who watch reality TV lie about it, and 74% do so because they feel ashamed. Moreover, 66% said they left a room to watch a reality TV show alone.


83% of Australians who watch Reality TV dating shows watch Married At First Sight Australia.


66% of Australians admitted to watching reality TV dating TV shows, and the most popular is Married At First Sight Australia. Apart from that, 51% of viewers prefer The Bachelor Australia, 39% The Bachelorette Australia, while 33% watch Love Island.


1.5 billion votes were cast on Big Brother Brasil’s tenth eviction night in 2020.


Reality TV statistics from 2020 reveal that, on the tenth eviction night of Big Brother Brasil, a record-breaking 1.5 billion votes were cast. It’s important to mention that viewers were allowed to vote multiple times. Also, this episode had a viewing share of 51% in São Paulo and 55% in Rio de Janeiro.


Season 2 of The Circle was watched on around 14 million accounts for at least two minutes in the first 28 days of its release.


Netflix has become much more open about its viewership during the last two years. According to their official reports, season 2 of a social experiment reality program named The Circle was watched on approximately 14 million accounts for at least two minutes in the first 28 days of its release.


In 2018, the second most-watched TV genre in Australia was Reality TV.

(Roy Morgan)

Roy Morgan’s reality television statistics indicate that reality TV was watched by 41% of Australians in 2018. The only genre that was watched more than reality TV was news. Unsurprisingly, reality tv was more popular among women, but 37% of men also watched it.


54% of the UK survey respondents think that people who go on reality TV know what they’ve signed up for.


YouGov’s survey from 2018 reveals that more than half of survey respondents think that those who decide to participate in reality TV shows know what they’re getting themselves into. On the contrary, the same reality shows statistics point out that 25% of respondents have the opposite opinion.


45% of the UK survey respondents who are familiar with Love Island would totally support including homosexual contestants.


It appears that a lot of UK viewers would be fine with Including bisexual, homosexual, or asexual contestants in Love Island. Also, reality TV viewership statistics reveal that 54% of viewers said they would totally support including people with physical disabilities in this reality show.


19% of the UK survey respondents who are familiar with Love Island are entirely against support including homosexual contestants.


Unfortunately, almost 20% of survey respondents of all age and genders are against including homosexual contestants in Love Island, while 18% oppose including

bisexual contestants. Furthermore, 10% of respondents are entirely against including physically disabled contestants.


Reality TV Viewer Demographics

36% of those aged 30 to 49 watched reality TV shows in 2021.


Demographics of reality TV viewers in the US point out that reality TV shows were the most popular among those aged between 30 and 49. Still, other age groups don’t fall behind. While 32% of viewers aged 18 to 29 watched reality TV shows, 31% of those aged 50 to 64 years did.


14% of male adults compared their life to the life of a reality TV star.

(Morning Consult)

According to who watches reality TV statistics based on a 2018 survey, males are less likely to compare their life to the lives of reality TV stars (19% of female viewers do). This data also reveals that viewers aged 18 to 29 are most likely to compare their lives to the reality stars they see on TV.


61% of female American adults have a very unfavorable impression of the reality TV show named Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

(Morning Consult)

Even though the target audience for Keeping Up with the Kardashians are female, stats on reality TV indicate that 61% have a very unfavorable impression of it. Interestingly, only 18% of people aged 18 to 29 have a very favorable impression of that show.


The key demographic for reality TV shows are women aged 18 to 34.

(Central Bronco Beat)

It’s not surprising that the target audience for reality TV shows are women. Reality TV programs are considered a replacement for soap operas, which also target women. Reality TV shows have become more popular because they’re much more dramatized than soap operas. Still, some viewers don’t like too much drama because it seems scripted.


75% of girls think that competition reality shows are mostly real and unscripted.

(Girl Scouts)

Who watches reality tv demographics reveal that a majority of girls who are reality TV viewers think competition reality TV shows are mostly real. Also, 50% claim that real-life shows are mainly real and unscripted.


Negative Effects of Reality TV Statistics

50% of survey respondents aged 16 to 24 with different levels of reality TV consumption admitted that reality shows affected their body image.


Reality TV shows can influence the way young people (especially girls) perceive their bodies. Apart from that, more than 55% of respondents of the same age admitted that they weren’t aware of the potential psychological effects of reality TV programs.


60% of survey respondents said that other viewers are more aggressive, argumentative, irritable, self-centered, and anxious.


Some shocking reality TV statistics from a survey point out that 40% of respondents said that they didn’t notice any changes in their behavior after watching reality TV. Still, 60% claimed that they noticed others were more aggressive, irritable, egoistic, and anxious.


38 people have committed suicide after becoming famous reality TV stars.


According to reality TV show statistics, 38 famous reality TV stars committed suicide and their death is connected to participation in reality TV shows. Apparently, many people can’t cope with sudden fame, trolls, and haters. That’s why all reality TV participants should take extra care of their mental health.


78% of girls who watch reality TV think that gossiping is a normal part of a relationship among girls.

(Girl Scouts)

There are significant differences between girls who watch reality TV and those who don’t, proving that such shows can have a role of inspiration and a learning tool for getting involved in social causes. For example, while 78% of reality TV viewers think that gossiping between girls is normal, only 54% of non-viewers do.


37% of girls who watch reality TV think they have to lie to get what they want, while 24% of non-viewers think so.

(Girl Scouts)

Reality TV shows facts and stats reveal that reality TV viewers expect and accept more drama, bullying, and aggression in their own lives. Therefore, it’s evident that reality TV has a powerful impact on girls and their behavior, opinions, and values.


27% of Americans aged 18 to 29 felt inspired by a reality TV star.

(Life Beyond Numbers)

Even though 27% of American adults aged between 18 and 29 felt inspired by a reality TV celebrity, watching reality TV can hinder their academic performance and lead to real-life accidents and even death.


Kids who watch reality TV tend to be more violent and manipulative.

(Deccan Herald)

Children who are exposed to reality TV may perceive the behavior of participants as cool and that wealth, popularity, and good looks are major sources of happiness. That’s why children can start imitating what they see on TV and might try to use violence to solve problems.


Other Interesting Stats and Facts on Reality TV Shows

61% of people think reality TV shows are mostly scripted.


Statista’s reality TV data from 2018 reveals that over 60% of American adults think reality shows are mostly scripted. On the contrary, 18% of survey respondents believe such shows are largely unscripted.


72% of American adults think that reality TV shows are fake, while 60% claim they’re trashy.


Most American adults describe reality TV shows as fake, trashy, meaningless, and predictable. Still, some people find it entertaining, inspiring, and even intellectual (19% of American adults see reality TV shows as intellectual).


Only 7% of American adults think reality TV shows represent their society well.

(Morning Consult)

One of the interesting facts about reality TV is that some people claim reality TV shows represent American society well. Still, they account for only 7% of American adults. On the contrary, 44% strongly disagree with that statement.


So far, the UK’s reality show called Love Island has led to four marriages and five babies.

(Wales Online)

UK Reality TV statistics show that Love Island is the most successful dating reality TV show. Furthermore, the participants of Love Island UK are most likely to get married and have children.

Aside from that, Netflix’s reality TV show, Love is Blind, has the highest dating success rate, as 33% of the couples are still together even after filming has ended.


Related Questions

What percent of the population watches reality TV?

As statistics show, a lot of people watch TV. For example, a survey has found that 36% of Americans aged between 30 and 49 years watch reality TV shows, while 32% of those aged 18 to 29 do. The older generations aren’t far behind, as 31% of people aged 50 to 64 watch reality TV programs.


Does reality TV affect mental health?

Even if reality TV shows might seem entirely harmless, their behavioral effects remain relatively unknown. Still, people who watch those programs that show toxic behavior can become more aggressive, manipulative, and narcissistic. That’s probably because such shows are marketed as reality.


Why is reality TV so addictive?

According to Dr. Tobias-Webb, reality TV shows are addictive because they’re exciting. They increase heart rate and lead to the release of endorphins in our brains. That’s not very different from the effect of certain drug addictions. Like every other addiction, people build up tolerance in time and need to watch more to create the same thrilling effect.


Is reality TV the most popular genre?

No, at least not in the US. According to Statista’s data from 2017 based on the genre breakdown of the most popular TV programs, reality and participatory shows are in third place. The most popular genre is drama, while documentaries are the least popular.


Does reality TV affect society?

Yes. Unfortunately, many reality TV shows promote unhealthy relationships, irresponsible behavior, and the degradation of family values. Viewers are influenced by such behaviors and might mimic them because they see them as socially acceptable.


Who is the target audience for reality TV?

The key demographic for reality TV shows are women aged between 18 to 34, because women are more likely to watch such shows. According to reality TV statistics, women aged 18 to 49 are the target audience for soap operas. However, it seems that reality TV shows and social media platforms will replace them.



Watching reality TV shows isn’t entirely harmless, especially for the younger audience. Still, young people are the most likely to watch them. Moreover, participating in reality TV shows can also have many detrimental effects. Still, the popularity of reality TV is undeniable, and it seems like reality TV shows are here to stay.

Of course, it’s okay to watch a few episodes just for fun or to be up to date with the latest trends, but seeing the behavior of reality TV stars shouldn’t be seen as socially acceptable. Therefore, watching reality TV in moderation and not comparing yourself with a reality TV star seems fine.

After looking at these statistics about reality TV, it’s clear that this genre has a lot to offer. Looking back on the figures we saw, we can see that reality TV is more popular than ever. And there are many different kinds of reality TV shows out there for fans to choose from.

There’s also the fact that reality TV appeals to a wide range of people all over the world. Whether you’re a fan of music and dance shows or cooking competitions, there’s probably a reality show out there for you to enjoy.

So what do you think? Are you ready to watch some more reality TV?

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