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Lowest-rated reality TV shows of all time

  • Lowest-rated reality TV shows of all time

    Reality television, launched in its current form by MTV’s “The Real World,” is one of the most incoherent but simultaneously illuminating creations of the last quarter century. What began as a window into Generation X soon has since become an at-times frightening template for the next generation as they enter young adulthood.

    We are a country that films everything, shares our private spaces, and constantly broadcasts our beliefs in one of many public Confessionals. This former glimpse into the lives of “real” people has turned into a bizarre distortion of the world— offering altered views of what business, relationships, and competition really are.

    With hundreds of shows now vying for viewers, Stacker analyzed IMDb data to compile a list of the lowest-rated reality TV series since the genre’s inception, focusing on shows with over 1,000 IMDb votes. 

    The shows range from the fairly harmless to the downright morally disastrous— along with a few that are so bad they just might be good.

  • #100. Storage Wars

    Year: 2010 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    After a period of time in California, unpaid storage lockers can be sold at auctions where potential buyers are given five minutes to look over the contents from a distance before committing to a bid. This show captures the bizarrely-competitive process while introducing a quirky cast of buyer—ranging from “The Mogul” to “The Vegas Ladies”— all intent on buying the best junk.

  • #99. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

    Year: 2003 - 2012

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    A spin-off of “Extreme Makeover,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is a slightly less dark take on the same concept. While the original gifted new clothes, hair and makeup, and sometimes surgery to unkempt individuals, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” focuses on facelifts for homes in need of major renovation for deserving families. The show’s uplifting tone is tear-inducing to say the least.

  • #98. Ice Road Truckers

    Year: 2007 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    Piggybacking on the success of Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch,” History Channel’s “Ice Road Truckers” follows another cadre of gruff, cold-weather roughnecks. If the title wasn’t clear enough, the show follows truckers who drive dangerous seasonal routes over temporarily frozen lakes. The world’s fascinating and unreachable nature makes the show a compelling watch.

  • #97. Alaskan Bush People

    Year: 2014 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    “Alaskan Bush People” follows a naturalist family of nine living in the wilderness. This show, which premiered on Discovery Channel in 2014, asks the question: “What if those eccentric fellas from ‘Duck Dynasty’ lived in the boonies of Alaska instead?” It turns out, lots of controversy and far fewer invitations to the Republican National Convention.

  • #96. King of the Nerds

    Year: 2013 - 2016

    IMDb rating: 6.4

    Hosted by Lewis (Robert Carradine) and Booger (Curtis Armstrong) from the 1984 film “Revenge of the Nerds,” “King of the Nerds” placed a collection of geeks and whiz kids in a house together to compete in trivia and other contests. The show followed an elimination format with the winner ultimate receiving a $100,000 grand prize.

  • #95. Duck Dynasty

    Year: 2012 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.3

    This A&E show chronicles the life of a heavily bearded family of duck-hunting entrepreneurs in West Monroe, Louisiana. The Robertson family's conservatism and faith is a focal point of the show, although patriarch Phil has been embroiled in controversy over the past few years due to a series of aggressively anti-gay remarks. Son Willie Robertson, was invited to speak at the 2016 Republican National Convention in support of Donald Trump for president.

  • #94. Ridiculousness

    Year: 2011 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.3

    Hosted by skateboarder and serial reality show star Rob Dyrdek, “Ridiculousness” is MTV’s version of “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” Updated for the YouTube age, the show is a collection of people failing on film, interspersed with commentary from Dyrdek and a group of panelists.

  • #93. Swamp People

    Year: 2010 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.3

    A theme emerges with “Swamp People,” another outgrowth of “Deadliest Catch,” but this time the audience follows alligator hunters in Louisiana. This History Channel show follows the rapid, competitive hunting season—only 30 days for gators—and gives a bit of background on the men of this strange world.

  • #92. Hoarders

    Year: 2009 - present

    IMDb rating: 6.3

    “Hoarders” is an A&E show that features intensive interventions for people suffering from a hoarding disorder. The show features extreme cases of hoarding, and the reveal of the home is especially shocking. Everyone knows that one person who never throws things out, but the people on “Hoarders” are next level.

  • #91. The Two Coreys

    Year: 2007 - 2008

    IMDb rating: 6.3

    After starring together in the 1987 film “The Lost Boys,” teen idols Corey Feldman and Corey Haim started being dubbed the ‘Two Coreys.’ Twenty years later, A&E made a reality show following the two men—the series began with a down-on-his-luck Haim moving in with Feldman and his wife. The show was canceled, reportedly because Feldman wouldn’t work with Haim if he kept doing drugs. Tragically, Haim passed in 2010 of pneumonia at age 38.