50+ Fake Reality Shows | Insane Secret Behind Scripted Shows

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Like many young women, reality shows are also my guilty pleasure. Most of us can acknowledge that not all we see on a reality TV show is 100% legit. After all, a lot is going on behind the scenes that always spark controversy about fake reality shows.   

None of the contestants on reality TV are professional actors, not to our knowledge; at least it’s to be expected that all the things aren’t going as planned on the first take. But some reality shows are more accurate than others. Here we have the list of some of the worst offenders when presenting entertainment that’s more scripted than spontaneous.

Reality TV shows have been accused by many of normalizing violence and promote stereotypes. But the reality recipe usually requires a proper dose of drama and tension that has led the cast of seemingly innocuous shows like The Real Housewives Of Orange County to work themselves into fits of rage.

Reality TV is an arena for both honest portrayals and meticulously edited content. The list below highlights which reality shows are the most authentic and which stray the furthest from the truth. 

Detailed Review of Real or Fake Reality Shows 

Table of Contents

For the last many years, reality TV shows have been progressively taking up more space on the small screen. An abundance of willing participants and low production costs have inspired showrunners to develop new format variations to fill timeslots.

1. Is Survivor Scripted?

Survivor Scripted: Fake Reality Shows

The most popular reality TV show, Survivor, is also one of the longest-running. The show first aired in 2000 and still going strong, but despite the cast being isolated and left to fend for themselves, some have said producers gave them food, and fire sparked the question Survivor is fake. Erinn said that she competed on Exile Island, a camera operator lit a fire for her with a lighter, and Kelly said her tribe was given matches.

2. Is Ghost Hunters Fake?

Ghost Hunters became a fake ghost show phenomenon over the last few years. Many shows have spawned from the initial creation, and many have accused the show Ghost Hunter scripted. Donna even did an interview that ripped the show apart from an authenticity standpoint.

3. Is South Beach Tow Fake?

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

4. Is Love Island Scripted?

Love Island Scripted

Folks who like The Bachelor and Survivor got obsessed with Love Island immediately. The Love Island throws together a group of singles on a tropical island. It entices them to pair off for money, romance and winning the competition. However, Love Island is fake; everything from dialogue and arguments to intimate scenes is faked. Producers are going through many takes before picking the most realistic.

5. Is Hardcore Pawn Fake?

In Detroit’s rough 8 Mile family business, Hardcore Pawn focuses on the Gold family and their pawn business. A plethora of extraordinary people come into the store daily, and some arguments are unbelievable. Well, that’s because they are fake. People who featured on the show Hardcore Pawn have said that their ‘fights’ with the family were staged. We find it odd when every episode of the show features Seth, Les, and Ashley being yelled at by a customer.

6. Is Mama Medium Fake?

TLC’s Mama Medium is sure to play on audiences’ heartstrings. The show follows empathic psychic Jennie Marie, a unique gift: she can receive messages from the dead. Though many dismiss the idea of someone calling Mama mediums fake, Jennie ignores the skeptics and focuses on staying positive.  

So, is Mama Medium a real deal? The audience needs to understand that it isn’t scary or evil. It can be fun and lighthearted. Everyone just wants guidance and validation.”

Jennie’s gift is so natural that she claims it helped her see a reality show. I can’t tell if I manifested it or if it was a premonition. She would bring it up every year, and he would still say no, but it was lingering. And then it came together.”

7. Is Pawn Stars Scripted?

Pawn Stars Scripted

History Channel’s Pawn Stars will be disappointed to learn that most Pawn Stars are staged based on an LV pawnshop. The shop and the owners are real, but that’s about it. Producers pre-arrange the customers who enter the shop.

8. Is Property Brothers Real or Fake?

Jonathan and Drew work together to help the broker to fulfill the dream of wanting their ideal home. But are property brothers stagged? 

However, multiple aspects have been reported as fake. The brothers don’t renovate the entire house, only a few rooms. Secondly, the show allegedly reshoots scenes to create more drama for those watching at home, and many couples opt for renovation over an expensive option because the brothers show them a house out of their price range.

9. Is Paranormal Survivor Fake?

The first season of Paranormal Survivor had elements that made it seem like an amateurish production. Most of it was due to using people to do re-enactments and some low-budget ghost effects. I would assume that due to budget constraints. 

But with season two, however, things have gotten better. They have hired professional actors for the special effects and re-enactments that have improved. I am amazed by the acting ability, but the acting made the Paranormal Survivor stagged.

Some of the actors are very good. There is a big pool of fine under-used actors. The production company of this show has taken advantage of that. Call the narrator of that very long-running American production called A Haunting.

10. Is Cupcake Wars Fake?

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

11. Is What on Earth TV Show Fake?

I was super excited to watch the show, thinking they will have cool top secret things that we don’t know. It turns out they just show idiotic things with increasingly stupid reasons for why it’s there. Not only that, they have a team of fake scientists, and if that weren’t bad enough, they jam the same content into new episodes.

It’s abysmal that they can get away with calling them new episodes. Some wiki search and weird Google map pictures, and you will get to the point faster and get better answers. Such a shame that the show fails miserably at what could be a good show.

12. Is Mystery Diners Fake or Real?

As more reality TV shows are outed as fake or scripted, we have learned the Food Network’s Mystery Diners is the latest series to make a list, re-staging scenes, using paid actors, and scripting lines.

The show brings in Stiles and a team of mystery diners to restaurants that suspect employees ain’t doing jobs. Anything stealing, mistreating customers, lying, or doing lousy work, and hidden cameras are set up with undercover cops sent in to see what goes on when the boss isn’t there.

The show offers no disclaimer and claims to be real. The show Mystery Diners is real! An uncovered proof that the show uses actors to portray the “culprits” in the restaurant to beef up the drama.

13. Is Say Yes To The Dress Fake?

Say Yes To The Dress, the famous bridal reality show follows brides-to-be in finding their dream wedding dress. 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.

14. Is Island Hunters Fake?

Do people buy an island? I mean, seriously, people think that purchasing an island would be this easy? Not only this show Island Hunters an obvious fake, but too many. You have to be willing to isolate yourself in a way that few if any, people would ever accept as a reality.

There is a question of how much an island would cost, mainly depending on size. And who would sell it to you? Who would you be making payments to? It is entirely possible, but only if you have deep pockets and a real, honest desire to live off the land because, let’s not forget that with an island, you get what is there, not what you’d want.

15. Is Selling Yachts Fake?

Selling Yachts

A few months ago, I found a TV series called Selling Yachts. The show was entertaining and showed lots of interior and exterior yachts for decorating. However, I’ve watched a couple of other TV shows and movies where buyers of these yachts became actors. I’ve seen three of them in the past four days acting in different roles in different shows. Quite disappointing because I enjoyed the show. Now it’s Staged and is more like reality TV.

16. Is Ghost Brothers Fake?

Is Ghost Brothers real or fake? The paranormal investigation show that aired in 2016 and has launched three spinoffs already is no reality, only entertainment.

It seems fake to me and every fan, one viewer said. Some Twitter users agree that Ghost Brothers are fake. The Ghost Brothers are fake, but they are cute, and paranormal investigator Amico said that most ghost-hunting TV shows are bunk; real-life paranormal investigations take months rather than overnight visits.

Ghosts never showed up on demand, and it does not work that way. If the show provides thrills and chills, does it even matter if Ghost Brothers fake?

The original Ghost Brothers featured televisions’ first African-American paranormal investigation team-best friends Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass, and Marcus Harvey. 

17. Is The Boonie Scripted?

The Boonie

I watched The Boonies on NatGeo and was surprised, though I probably shouldn’t have been, being that it is a National Geographic production. The scenery was simply beautiful. The series follows four people who live off the grid and away from society. Bear Claw lives the life of a hilly nomad. Dan and his family live on an island, and Doc and Jeannie Leverett live in north-eastern Washington State above the ground. And Joe Ray lives in the underground caves in northern Arkansas.

Each of the parties, unique in their way, weave a story of true American spirit and survival against the odds. Is the boonies bear claw fake? Mountain Man Bear Claw, who lives on Lightning Ridge near Harpster, is one of four personalities featured on the National Geographic television show “The Boonies.”

It’s been ten winters since 59-year-old Bear Claw moved to Idaho. Bear Claw is 59 and keeps the traditions of the mountain men alive by living primitively. Most of the show is fabricated. The guy in Idaho lives in a one-room cabin on private land above his friend’s house.

Everything is within an hour’s ride from his place, not a day in a half. Suppose your horse had arthritis as bad as this man claims. It would be highly irresponsible to ride it 62 miles, as the show claims. The people in the western, other than bears, are reticent by nature and don’t go around the woods bawling at everything as the show portrays. It is wholly made up!!

18. Is Undercover Boss Scripted?

Undercover boss has often faced ridicule because of the unconvincing disguises worn by the show’s featured bosses. These CEOs and high-ranking managers do not dress up for their amusement but take on low-level jobs within their own company.

Millions loved the premise of under-the-radar workers finally getting credit for their excellent efforts. After that, bosses of various companies would go undercover to truly see how their workers would be doing and learn things about how they govern their business. Reports indicate that the show Undercover Boss is fake and that promises aren’t kept.

19. Is Jersey Shore Scripted?

Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore first hit screens in 2009. Although the show stars are friends in real life, it doesn’t mean that it’s free from accusations of fakeness. Everything that happens on the show is planned. Even an attorney said he’d seen rehearsals of their walkabouts, and they frequently reshoot scenes from different angles. That includes repeating rehearsing facial expressions and dialogue.

20. Is The Jerry Springer Show Scripted?

The Jerry Springer Show had some familiar themes like betrayals, brawls, and finding out the truth. But not all of the elements of The Jerry Springer are real. Sometimes the guests were actors, they were encouraged to fight by producers, and the stories were entirely made up. A writer who went undercover to try to get onto the show revealed his conversation with a guest booker, who said that they could fabricate for the show.”

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

21. Is Renovation Realities Fake?

Renovation Realities

Host Farr disputed this the show Renovation Realities is not scripted, and the homeowners’ reactions to renovation realities and bad news are very real. Love it or not, it is not the only show that has come under fire for a supposed lack of authenticity.

22. Is Court TV Shows Real Or Fake?

Is the show Paternity Court staged? All TV ‘courts’ are staged. Two things are it’s not a court, and it’s a binding arbitration where the arbitrator is funded by the sale of advertisements rather than arbitration fees because the binding arbitration will be televised.

The two people are real. They signed a contract with the station and production company, and they get no more than small amounts of $5,000 and can get nothing if the Judge finds they are just trying to scam things.

The audience is generally paid extras. The Judges knew nothing about the case except what’s on the paperwork before them.

The Producers know the whole thing. The producers might work the case out with the two people (but not the Judge) beforehand just to make sure they are “entertaining” and “comfortable” in front of an audience.

23. Is Auction Hunters Fake?

Well, no, it isn’t real; Auction Hunters is stagged. The stars of the show are Allen, and Clinton Jones are actors. All the storage units are setups, seeded with stuff that is miraculously worth money.

24. Is Solitary TV Show Fake?

The Solitary TV Show’s theme is based on solitary confinement. All the contestants are placed in isolated pods with an AI named Val to communicate with.

Solitary is a reality show. Their contestants were kept in round-the-clock solitary confinement for several weeks to be the last contestant remaining in solitary for a $50,000 prize.

25. Is Storage Wars Scripted?

Upon being fired, ex-Storage Wars star David completely shocked fans by revealing that the Storage Wars is indeed scripted. He admitted that the items in the lockers are staged. Many of the auctions are staged. Lastly, Hester claims that interviews with the cast members are also scripted.

26. Are The Dead Files Real Or Fake?

The Dead Files

The Dead Files TV show stands out in its stars a physical medium named Amy Allan and an ex NYPD homicide detective named Steve, who always do separate investigations of the different locations before meeting up at the end of every episode to compare notes. Otherwise, it is much the same as other paranormal TV shows, meaning that there isn’t much reason to believe it to be real.

27. Is Real Or Fake Rizz Show?

Rizz Show is all about checking anonymous cleavage mugshot for Real or Fake! Ladies, can you send a clear picture to check the show out? A faceless view of cleavage could score you a $100 Patricia’s Gift Certificate! 

I’m curious because I just recently sort of got into it. My morning commute has only started corresponding to broadcast. I’ve gotten really into the Rizz show. However, I heard someone saying the other day like, man Rizzuto Show is fake and sucks!”

28. Is The Wall Game Show Fake?

Wall Game Show

So I was flipping channels tonight and stopped on The Wall. It was at the end of the show where the cliffhanger was after the commercial break. $1.4m was on the line if the dad didn’t rip up the contract. I thought since it’s the first ep back, the producers would want a “viral” moment, so GMA and other talk shows would give free advertisement as well as the twitters the following morning.

I knew, at some point, they are going to win the big prize. The producers produced that night. I can’t prove my theory, BUT if you see anything about these contestants winning the money (other than this post) on any news media, I could be right.

29. Is The Bachelor and The Bachelorette Scripted or Stagged?

The Bachelor and its popular spinoff, The Bachelorette, are hugely entertaining, but it’s not exactly spontaneous. The producers pull some significant strings behind the scenes to stir up drama. Jamie revealed that her makeout session with Ben before a rose ceremony was suggested by Harrison. 

And rumor oozes out that casting is done so carefully that producers know ahead of time who will be in the top three.

30. Is Personal Injury Court TV Show Fake?

The show uses videos, accident recreations, testimonies, and eyewitness accounts to determine verdicts. The show debuted on September 16, 2019. The show Personal Injury Court TV claimed to award some of the most significant claims in TV. However, the cases presented were inspired by actual litigation, with names and details changed.

31. Is The Voice Fake?

The Voice

Singing competition The Voice that first aired on NBC makes dreams come true. Some ex-contestants allege that a lot of staging occurs, and producers handpick narratives to show viewers rather than grow a fan base.

One ex-contestant, Dia (who came in second place during the first season of the show), said that producers mostly decided her portrayal as a children’s book author because they thought the angle would make her more attractive. For her, it just felt like one of many different hobbies she enjoys.

32. Are Vanderpump Rules Scripted?

Like many other TV shows, Vanderpump Rules has come under fire in recent years for contrived scenes. For instance, season eight caused an uproar among fans, who noticed that Ariana’s hairstyle has changed between the shots. Madix concerns viewers didn’t understand television, explaining that some scenes require different takes for promising fans that scene’s emotions are always real.

33. Is Masterchef Scripted?

MasterChef is another popular cooking contest that has been heating TV screens across the globe—on the show, promising home chefs audition to compete for the title of MasterChef and $250 000 dollars.

Despite the tempting premise, a former contestant has revealed that the competition is far from reality.

Ben Starr explained that participants had to agree to potentially fictionalized and humiliating portrayals of themselves in a lengthy blog post.

34. Are Real Housewives Scripted?

Real Housewives

While there was much speculation about the Real Housewives is scripted. Real Housewives star Theresa Guidice all but confirmed this when she swore under oath in court that it was. Producers plan the meetings between the women, and many big arguments are discussed with producers when the Housewives go at each other.

35. Is Southern Charm Scripted?

Bravo’s Southern Charm that premiered in 2014, chronicles the lives of a group of socialites in Charleston. But what’s shown on screen isn’t entirely accurate. According to one cast member, scenes were put into the narrative long before they took place in real life, making Southern Charm fake. 

36. Is Beverly Hills Pawn Fake?

What’s unique about Beverly Hills Pawn, they don’t try to take advantage of people because people at their worst time go to the pawnshop. They will not foreclose on a piece. If you love what you do, you always do well. I love what I do. It’s a passion. How much of the show Beverly Hills Pawn is real?

It’s not scripted. It’s one of the real reality show. Sometimes they add a story. Put a camera in their office; it would be the best show America could have. But they can’t do that because people want privacy. They don’t want to be seen. There are a lot of stories you will never hear about.

37. Is Love Is Blind Scripted?

Love Is Blind is not scripted at all, and the show is real, at least to some extent, I believe. According to the producers and contestants and the contestants’ friends and family, everything around the couples and their engagement was completely real. There was reportedly nervous onset that the show was too real and that the show’s reality would be its downfall. 

38. Is Siesta Key Scripted?

Siesta Key

MTV’s reality TV series Siesta Key will return for a 4th season but not in its titular Florida location. According to news, production will begin in Sarasota but will move to an international private resort, where they allow the cast and crew to remain quarantined together while shooting. Juliette, Madison, Kelsey, Chloe, Brandon, Amanda, and Garrett, return to the show. But there are so many controversies about the show whether the Siesta Key is real or not?  

39. Is The Healer TLC Fake?

If you’ve watched TLC’s show The Healer, you have probably had a couple of reactions that are, who is this handsome and charming Australian? And other, there’s no way The Healer is the real deal, right?

Charlie is the focus of The Channel’s newest reality TV series that follows the energy healer on his mission to Energy Healing. Of course, Charlie Goldsmith and his practice have been met with a fair amount of skepticism through the years. Ever since he discovered his purported gift at 18, however, he claims that it can all be proven legitimate through the wonders of science.

40. Is Keeping Up With The Kardashians Scripted?

The Kardashians is a reality TV show that has aired in 2007 and still running. The show follows the lives of the Jenner and Kardashian family. With such a huge cast, significant life moments are going on. Kim’s divorce from Kris Humphries, producer Russell Jay, admitted in his deposition sparked controversy about whether the Kardashians is stagged. Is the Kardashian show scripted? No, but it is heavily edited. There will be some editing and reshoots happening to put a cohesive season together with a timeline that makes sense. 

41. Are 60 Days In Scripted?

The show 60 Days In premiered in 2016, and many times the makers had acknowledged that 60 Days In is not scripted. After all, there is a reason that this docuseries gained a massive fanbase in the past few years. The executive producer said that productions that focus on jails are usually biased depending on who is being interviewed. You either get the information from the viewpoint of the criminal or the corrections officer, both of whom (naturally) have conflicting visions.

42. Is Running Man Scripted?

The answer is yes and no. To a certain extent, it is scripted. Yoo Jae Suk once said this in an interview, not regarding the running man; he mentioned that if the variety show producer said it is not scripted, it means they lied. Even for PPL, Jaesuk tells the members off if they overly exaggerate about the PPL.

43. Is Drunk History Scripted?

The show honestly manages to make history enjoyable, but is Drunk History scripted or staged?

Drunk History show turns that paradigm on its head by bringing back the oral tradition. Through the inebriated retellings, the show allows for real emotions about the events.

The Drunk History show has educated audiences on a wide range of subjects and has delved into lesser-known history like Grandmaster Flash.

44. Is, Are You The One Scripted?

Are You The One

Are You the One fans that have often speculated the dating show is scripted because the drama never ends? That would assumingly be the case, but ex-cast members have spoken about their experiences and claimed the series is the real deal. 

Although some reality TV has a reputation for being fake from Are You the One, producers capture moments shared between them. He has many viewers asking me that The show Are You The One is fake, right? It’s scripted. ‘It’s nothing scripted.

45. Is Nathan For You Scripted?

According to Fielder and the makers of Nathan for You, the only consistently scripted role is Nathan Fielder. He also constantly improvises due to the unpredictable nature of the series.

46. Is The First 48 Scripted?

The show First 48 is heavily edited. There is nothing on The First 48 that is scripted. The other thing that makes it more appealing is there is no script. That makes First 48 a real reality show in the truest sense of the word. Not like other so-called reality shows that are on.

47. Is Bruno Real Or Scripted?

Bruno is filmed as a documentary. Bruno is a gay fashion journalist who is incredibly shallow but doesn’t know it. After he disrupts a fashion show and becomes persona non grata in the fashion world, he moves to LA. He intends to do what it takes to become a celebrity, from making a sex tape to negotiating peace in the Middle East.

Along the way, he meets a lot of homophones homophobes, some of whom have guns. These are real people with real guns who don’t know that Bruno is just a character created by Sacha Baron Cohen. We’ll get to how scary that was later. Let’s start with a scene from the beginning of the film.

48. Is Naked and Afraid Scripted?

Discoveries Naked and Afraid takes participants to exotic locations, strips them bare, and shoots them as they try to live off the land. They were not supposed to have access to any food or modern amenities, but some contestants said they received sanitary napkins, food from the crew and locals.

There is a lot of distortion about the truth naked and afraid fake? An ex-contestant who got food poisoning after eating a curry dish was encouraged to continue with the show. And directors make it seemed as if she got the illness from drinking dirty water.

49. Are Judge Shows Fake?

If you are asking whether the people who appear on these programs are actual litigants who have filed real lawsuits, the answer is that they are.

If you are asking whether the proceeding is an actual court proceeding, the answer is that it’s not. These proceedings are arbitrations. The contestant is legally binding in a real trial because they have agreed by contract to be bound to the arbitrator’s ruling.

If you are asking whether the people wearing the black robes are actual judges, the answer is that they are arbitrators, not judges.

If you are asking whether the programs provide realistic representations of what a “normal” small-claims court looks like, the answer is that they do not. Real judges are bound by codes of judicial conduct that require them to treat litigants with courtesy and respect. Real judges take oaths that obligate them to apply the law instead of making it up on the fly. Real judges don’t insult litigants and employ catchphrases regularly, and real trials would not win the rating game.

50. Are Talk Shows Scripted?

Talk Shows

Talk Shows are not entirely scripted, but US talk shows exceptionally are organized in advance. The guest booker and producers have a conversation with the guest before the show to work out what they’re going to talk about and which anecdote they will tell. The whole thing hasn’t been scripted and rehearsed, but the star knows what hilarious story they’re going to tell, and the host knows what to ask to lead them there.

You can see it clearly in this recent clip of a Judy Greer interview from the Conan O’Brien show. Conan knows he’s supposed to ask Greer about Archer and give her a lead-in to talk about how filthy the show can be. She jumps him by interrupting and effectively finishing the question and then launching into the story that she’s prepared in advance.

It’s also pretty clear that she knows how far she’s allowed to go and what boundaries can push in the story. She and the producer have sat down and worked out what she can say and can’t. Conan probably doesn’t know where the story is going so he can have a genuine reaction to it, but he knows there is a point in the interview where he’s supposed to introduce Archer and then sit back and give a good response.

Wrapping Up

So here is our opinion on reality shows, it’s not that we don’t like reality shows but not all the shows are fake. 

Everyone has their own guilty pleasure, some like anime, some like reality, or some like drama or gossip. So it’s totally up to you, which show you love the most.