The 35 Most Fake Reality Shows on Television –


35. South Beach Tow

Miami New Times

The hijinks from within this show are just fantastic. Famed cultural icon Bernice (shown above) has done everything from pulling car doors off the hinges with her bare hands, to falling out of a parking structure — only to somehow magically survive and apprehend a violator moments later. Of course, this show is clearly fake (though very entertaining).

34. Duck Dynasty

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This wholesome family based in Louisiana became famous for their ability to create ‘duck call’ tools. The eclectic cast of characters on the show are almost all related from underneath the Robertson umbrella. However, producers reportedly have created ‘dramatic’ elements to drum up storylines. Additionally, reports indicate that the production team adds ‘bleeps’ into the final cut even when family members aren’t swearing.

33. Undercover Boss

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Millions across the country loved the premise of under-the-radar workers finally getting credit for their excellent efforts at work. Bosses of various companies would go undercover to truly see how their workers would be doing — as well as learning things about how they govern their business. In all actuality, reports indicate that the show is scripted — and that promises made to various workers aren’t actually kept.

32. Hardcore Pawn

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A family run business in Detroit’s rough 8 Mile, Hardcore Pawn focuses on the Gold family and their pawn business. A plethora of very strange people come into the store on a daily basis. In fact, some of the arguments seem too unbelievable. Well…that’s because they are. Multiple people featured on the show have said that their ‘fights’ with the family were staged. We do find it odd that every episode features Les, Seth, and Ashley being yelled at by a customer (who’s invariably dragged out of the store by a gigantic security guard).

31. Project Runway

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Though Project Runway is a highly popular show, it doesn’t mean it’s absolved from the dreaded ‘fake’ label. Multiple contestants on the show — including Jack Mackenroth and Daniel Esquivel — have publicly spoken about the inauthentic nature of judging. Esquivel in particular speaks to how producers allegedly tailored the show to sensationalize all contestants to somewhat of an extreme.

30. Cake Boss

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Led by owner Buddy Valastro, Cake Boss quickly evolved into a reality show sensation. Viewers were captivated by the ornate cake designs created by Valastro’s team. However, things aren’t as dramatic as portrayed on television. Valastro himself is reportedly not at the cake shop when the show isn’t filming. Duly, some of the weddings or events shown in the program are alleged to be fake.

29. Ghost Hunters

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The show Ghost Hunters became somewhat of a phenomenon over the last few years. Multiple shows have spawned from the initial creation. Many have accused the show of being scripted. Former case manager Donna Lacroix even did an interview which essentially ripped the show apart from an authenticity standpoint.

28. The Jerry Springer Show

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I mean…are you really surprised by this one? The Jerry Springer Show is one of the most outlandish television programs to ever grace a television. From the storylines to the guests, and even the production team egging the crowd on, this show is not completely truthful by any means.

27. Storage Wars


Upon being fired, former Storage Wars star David Hester completely shocked fans by revealing that the show is indeed scripted. According to Hester, he admitted that the items found in the lockers are staged. Along with that, many of the auctions are staged by producers. Lastly, Hester claims that the interviews with the cast members are also scripted.

26. Jersey Shore

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Jersey Shore first hit screens in 2009. Although the stars of the show are friends in real life, it doesn’t necessarily mean that its free from accusations of falseness. According to several extras and locals, much of what happens on the show is planned in advance. Even an attorney whose studio is across the street from the Jersey Shore digs said he’s seen rehearsals of their walkabouts — and that they frequently reshoot scenes from different angles. This includes repeating dialogue and rehearsing facial expressions.

25. Say Yes to the Dress

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The famous bridal reality show Say Yes To The Dress follows brides-to-be in finding their dream wedding dress at the Kleinfeld boutique in New York. However, producers vet the people attending the appointment with the bride. They will ask the outspoken individuals to repeat or stress a comment to make the scene more dramatic. The bridal boutique is much smaller and more crowded than on TV, giving the wrong idea to others who go and visit.

24. Fixer Upper

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Like with most house shows, homeowners have already bought the house before filming even begins — meaning they aren’t really picking between the three houses at the beginning of each episode. None of the furniture or decor that Joanna Gaines so carefully arranges is included in the budget, so the homeowners only get to keep it if they want to pay extra. Not all the rooms in each house get redone, and there have been unsubstantiated claims that Chip only actually works on the house while cameras are rolling. Yikes.

23. Long Island Medium

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Theresa Caputo has made a living out of being a medium and connecting people with their loved ones who have passed. However, everything is not as it seems in this case. Caputo has been at the center of scandals which claim that all of the information about her clients and audiences in the shows have been given to her. Producers find out all of the information through social media, questionnaires and background checks. They then feed it to Theresa on stage.

22. Cupcake Wars

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This show starts with four contestants from different bakeries from all over the United States. These contestants go through three rounds of competition baking cupcakes in order to be featured in an event with a display of 1,000 cupcakes. The first round generally features a challenge to use ingredients that you would normally not think to put in a cupcake, like ginger or hamburger. However, it is rumored that the contestants actually find out what the ingredients will be prior to the competition.

21. Naked And Afraid

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Naked And Afraid is a survival show that transports participants to exotic locations, strips them bare, and films them while they live off the land. Several former contestants have revealed that Naked And Afraid is not as upfront as it sets out to be. This bizarre adventure is supposedly heavily produced, and the production crew also supplies contestants with amenities which would not be available to them in the wilderness (such as prescription medication, tampons, and even vitamin B supplements).

20. Basketball Wives

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Basketball Wives follows the lives of women married to prominent basketball players. However, not everyone has been happy about their own participation in the spectacle. Former cast member Matt Barnes stated in an interview that the entire show is staged and scripted. Basketball wife Tanya Young backs up his claims and describes how producers would pit women against each other and sow discord within the group.

19. The Hills

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These shows had just about everything you hoped for in a reality show. Backstabbing, relationship drama, and teenage angst were all common occurrences. However, the show is actually scripted to the extreme. Spencer Pratt once revealed that he and Heidi Montag had to shoot the scene of her thinking she was “pregnant” fifteen times, and he had to pretend to be outraged. The producers also have admitted that they cast certain characters, like Lauren’s best friend at work, because of their potential for drama.

18. Last Comic Standing

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When Last Comic Standing was on the air, it boasted about finding untapped talent and giving them exposure/ a cash prize for being on the competition series. Apparently — without telling the contestants or the judges — the producers contributed to the vote. It left everyone (including the judges) visibly angry when the winner’s name was called. The show was also known for editing good performances to make them look terrible.

17. The Apprentice

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The reality TV show that put Donald Trump back into the spotlight is extra fake. The premise of The Apprentice essentially involved a group of business folk (or celebrities) interviewing for a job at Trump’s company. Obviously, the firing segment was added and scripted for dramatic effect. Contestants apparently also knew they were going to be “fired” before it even happened. The worst part was that there was no actual prize for the winner other than being the winner.

16. Love Island

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Folks who like The Bachelor and Survivor probably got obsessed with Love Island immediately. Essentially, the show throws together a group of singles for the summer on a tropical island. It entices them to pair off for romance, money, and a chance at winning the competition. According to Reddit however, the show is incredibly fake. Everything from the dialogue and arguments to intimate scenes are faked with the producers going through numerous takes before picking the most “realistic”.

15. Breaking Amish

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Breaking Amish was, unfortunately, not the realest reality TV show out there. Jezebel mentions the fact that various official documents told the world that many of these Amish folks leaving their community for the “first time” had actually defected many, many years ago! It’s quite an interesting turn of events.

14. Britain’s Got Talent

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Like its U.S. counterpart, Britain’s Got Talent is a diverse mega talent show, showcasing everything from children to dancers to magicians. However, one little dog almost brought the show to its knees. In 2015, a dog act called “Jules and Matisse” won the competition. However, it turned out to be completely rigged. The producers had swapped out a similar-looking dog for Matisse because the real dog was too terrified to do the high-wired stunt.

13. Restaurant Stakeout

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Restaurateur Willie Degel installs cameras in an eatery that isn’t doing so well to see where the problem is. This setup relies almost entirely on catching an employee slacking off or being rude to a customer, so Degel can confront and possibly fire them in some dramatic fashion. Of course it’s almost entirely fake. The owner of a restaurant featured in the first season of the show admitted that the Food Network contacted them and screen-tested employees before the episode filmed. Most of the customers were extras told to be as annoying as possible.

12. Dance Moms

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If you assumed all the fighting and drama on Dance Moms was for the cameras, you’d probably be right. Speaking to USA Today in 2015, adorable youngster Maddie Ziegler revealed that some of the show’s most dramatic moments aren’t exactly, you know, real:

“It’s hard to do a reality show when there’s so much crying and drama. The producers set it up to make us all yell at each other…The moms have a fake fight sometimes. Afterward they just start talking and laugh about it.”

11. Hell’s Kitchen

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This is a cooking show competition hosted by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay — who has a terrible temper and swears like a sailor. Although entertaining, it is said the show is scripted and that the customers who eat the meals are paid actors. Now, that’s just sad.

10. Keeping Up with the Kardashians

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Keeping Up with the Kardashians is a series that has aired since 2007. It follows the lives of the Kardashian/Jenner family. With such a huge cast and so many major life moments going on, there’s going to be some degree of reshoots and editing happening to put a cohesive season together with a timeline that makes sense. According to court documents from Kim Kardashian’s divorce from Kris Humphries, producer Russell Jay admitted in his deposition that there were at least two scenes involving Humphries that were reshot or scripted. The Kardashians are also heavily involved in the editing process of the show, too.

9. Toddlers and Tiaras

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We personally wince a little when we accidentally catch a couple minutes of Toddlers and Tiaras, but there are some people out there who really love it. Like many reality TV shows, however, Ranker reminds us that much of it is staged. People are told to reword what they say, and even stir up drama where there isn’t any.

8. Survivor

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Survivor is like the real-life Hunger Games where contestants are split into teams, led into the wilderness, forced to live off the land, and compete against one another in challenges. Unfortunately, it looks like a ton of those competitions and challenges are super fake. Producers have admitted to hiring body doubles for some of the challenges. They’ve also said they use reenactments for some of the footage. Additionally, former contestant Stacey Stillman has said time and time again that her removal from the show was rigged.

7. American Idol

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This popular TV show first aired in 2001. The premise is a series of singing auditions where a single winner is crowned the American Idol out of millions of hopefuls from all over the country. Only most of those hopefuls don’t have a chance. It is said that scouts are sent out to find the best singers before they even hold the auditions, so it’s not all chance that some people go through to the Hollywood portion of the show.

6. Catfish

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On the hit MTV show, hosts Nev and Max try to solve the mystery of “who is really behind these profiles.” As crazy as the whole situation sounds, there really are people out there who catfish. With that said, it does not mean that everything on the show is legit. Allegedly, the producers of the show run the application process in reverse. The people who are doing the catfishing actually are the ones who apply to be on the show!

5. The Voice

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According to one potential competitor, The Voice is not as fair as it seems. Rock singer Adam Wiener stated in a Facebook post that he was courted by the show but declined the offer. Wiener claimed that the competition is completely pre-cast, and that producers decided both the style of music he would be performing and the specific songs. Wiener’s revelations call into question how up-front The Voice really is.

4. Property Brothers

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Some will be sad to learn the truth of Property Brothers. Canadian brothers Jonathan and Drew Scott work together to help broker the dream of a couple wanting their ideal home. However, there are multiple aspects of the show which have been reported as fake. For one, the brothers don’t renovate the entire house — only a select few rooms (chosen by the couple). Secondly, the show allegedly re-shoots scenes to create more ‘drama’ for those watching at home. Lastly, many couples opt for a renovation project over a more expensive option simply because the brothers show them a home out of their price range.

3. Pawn Stars

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Here’s the thing: Pawn Stars is almost all scripted. Yes, the store exists and is owned by the Harrisons in real life. But nowadays, it has become more like a tourist attraction rather than an operating store. Also, the show’s stars are no longer allowed to work the counter during regular hours thanks to Nevada privacy laws. Did we mention that all of the items are researched and price points agreed on beforehand?

2. The Real Housewives

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While there was much speculation that The Real Housewives was scripted, Real Housewives Of New Jersey star Theresa Guidice all but confirmed this when she swore under oath in court that it was. The meetings between the women are all planned by producers, and a lot of the big arguments are talked out with producers in terms of when the Housewives go at each other.

1. The Bachelor/The Bachelorette

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The Bachelor and Bachelorette might be incredibly entertaining, but so much of the show is planned ahead. It’s been rumored that lines are fed to the cast. Producers weed out the dramatic girls and coax them into making dramatic sequences with others. The rose ceremony is all planned out by producers, and casting is done very carefully to know who will end up as the winner/in the final three.


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