Iconic Reality Franchises You Can Watch on Paramount Plus
By ETonline Staff
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There’s big news in the reality TV streaming wars: On March 4, ViacomCBS launched Paramount+, a new streaming service that brings together a massive number of the best reality shows on television with original programming. If you love reality TV -- especially competition reality TV such as Big Brother and RuPaul’s Drag Race -- Paramount+ is a must.
It’s not just new reality TV available on Paramount+, though you do get access to all of CBS, MTV and VH1’s best TV shows. Some of the classic reality TV gems waiting to be discovered include Jersey Shore and the cringe-inducing 2000s-era dating show Next. Plus, you’ll find some Paramount+ original shows, such as The Real World Homecoming: New York. (There's great scripted series content to stream too, such as Criminal Minds, plus the new Spongebob movie, Sponge on the Run.)
If you’re already a CBS All Access subscriber, great news: Your subscription will automatically transfer over to Paramount+, giving you access to even more great shows than you have now. If you’re not already a subscriber, it’s easy to become one. An ad-free subscription runs $10 per month. (By comparison, an ad-free subscription to Hulu runs $12 per month, while Netflix starts at $9 per month.) You can sign up to Paramount+ using the link below, which entitles you to your first month for free.
Here are our picks for the best reality television shows available on Paramount+.
It’s the competition reality TV show that started it all, at least here in America. Over 40 Seasons, the show’s castaways have worked together to build shelters, formed alliances and masterminded epic blindsides that still have us and host Jeff Probst shook years later, all in search of the show’s $1 million grand prize. Looking for a good place to start your Survivor addiction? Try the all-star Season 20, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains and Season 28, Survivor: Cagayan.
Hosted by Julie Chen Moonves, Big Brother has been a CBS summer reality TV staple since its 2000 premiere. Houseguests have moved in for as many as 100 days at a time to compete weekly for prizes and power, with the lone remaining contestant winning $500,000 at the end of the summer. Try Big Brother: All-Stars (Season 7), or for a more modern experience, check out Season 20.
Listen up, hunty: Though this groundbreaking LGBTQ+ reality show has spawned countless spin-offs and versions across the globe, you just can’t beat the OG. Every season, some of America’s best known drag queens -- and a few who are soon-to-be-well-known -- compete in a series of comedic challenges, runway walks and lip syncs to crown America’s Next Drag Superstar -- and honor that typically includes $100,000 cash and a bejeweled crown. If you’re new to the show, Season 6 is a great place to start.
We’ve got a text! England’s summer reality TV obsession, Love Island, first came to the U.S in 2019, bringing with it the hookups, witty narration, pop music and washboard abdominals that the show is known for. After a series of dates, games and recoupling ceremonies, America’s favorite couple, as decided by a vote on the Love Island app, wins $100,000.
The premise behind this MTV reality show is simple: Each season, the show’s contestants are secretly paired into couples by a matchmaking program. If, after a series of dates and reveals, the twentysomethings all pair up with their perfect partner, the group shares a prize of up to $1 million. Looking for something unique in reality TV? Check out Are You The One? Season 8, with a sexually fluid cast and no gender restrictions on “perfect matches.”
MTV’s competition reality juggernaut, The Challenge, is now 36 seasons strong and counting. Hosted by T.J. Lavin, some of MTV’s best known reality celebs -- plus a few past contestants from Survivor and Big Brother mixed in -- compete for a chance to run T.J.’s epic final for their shot at the $1 million prize.
The Challenge fans have an especially good reason to sign up for Paramount+: A special streaming-only season, The Challenge: All Stars, is coming later this year. The season will feature 22 old school MTV vets including Mark Long, Trishelle Cannatella, Beth Stolarczyk, Syrus Yarbrough, Ruthie Alcaide and Eric ‘Big Easy’ Banks.
A large number of MTV Real World seasons are available to stream on Paramount+ dating back as far as 29 years, giving you a chance to relive your youth and reignite your old childhood crushes no matter how old you are. But we think you’ll want to pay extra attention to the new season, The Real World Homecoming: New York, which is a reunion of the show’s original cast from 1992 in their original NYC loft. It’s only available to watch on Paramount+.
Fans of the Love & Hip Hop franchise have a lot to watch on Paramount+, including the original Love & Hip Hop New York. Season 10 of the reality series about the lives of R&B artists in the Big Apple stars Chrissy Lampkin, Kimbella Vanderhee, Yandy Smith-Harris, Erica Mena, Cyn Santana, Remy Ma, Papoose, Joe Budden, Rich Dollaz and Safaree Samuels.
Six seasons of Teen Mom OG are available to stream on Paramount+, but that’s just the beginning. Fans of the franchise can also stream Teen Mom 2, Teen Mom 3, Teen Mom: Young & Pregnant and 16 and Pregnant, the MTV reality show that started it all.
It’s the MTV reality show that introduced us to the “gym, tan, laundry” life -- and to Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Michael “The Situation” Sorrentino, Jennifer “JWoww” Farley and Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio. All six seasons of Jersey Shore are streaming on Paramount+, as are the show’s two spin-off series, Snooki & JWoww and Jersey Shore: Family Vacation.
This successor to Jersey Shore featuring an impossibly attractive cast with a Southern flair is now in its fourth season on MTV. Though its first three seasons have showcased the party lifestyle of Panama City Beach, Florida, the show’s new season has moved its series regulars to a ranch in the snowy mountains of Montana.
The world is waiting, and there’s no need to sit on a crowded plane yourself to see it. Each season, the Phil Keoghan-hosted reality competition sends teams of two on a multi-leg race around the world. Each season features a new route with new countries, new Detour and Roadblock challenges and new twists, though the grand prize is always the same: $1 million.