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How Much Do People Love Reality TV?

One in seven of those polled admit nearly half of their weekly TV intake is reality TV, but some are unwilling to stop watching.
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Half of reality TV fans are so dedicated to the series they watch they consider some cast members to be part of their own families, according to research via OnePoll,.

A poll of 2,000 adults, who watch the genre, found 27 percent have debated with their real-life partners about how much reality TV they consume.

The cast of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Reality shows often follow the glitz and glamour lifestyles of the rich and famous. BRAVO/SWNS TALKER

Nearly half (45 percent) have followed the journeys of their beloved personalities for five or more years, with 47 percent admitting they feel like one of the family as a result.

And, more than one in 10 (11 percent) think they know more facts relating to their favorite reality TV personality than they do their own partner.

Among the top 10 best-loved shows are “The Great British Bake Off,” “Below Deck” and “Made in Chelsea,” with 40 percent of reality watchers enjoying the genre because it’s easy.

Others like reality TV as they can turn their mind off and relax (33 percent) and it makes them laugh (30 percent), while 27 percent simply love the drama of it all.

The “Vanderpump Rules” reunion on Bravo. Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant in West Hollywood, California has generated attraction for customers due to the reality show. BRAVO/BENZINGA

The top genres of shows are those of cookery (31 percent), such as “Top Chef,” true crime (26 percent) and dating (26 percent), including “Love Island.”

This research was commissioned by Hayu, the all-reality streaming service from NBCUniversal (NBCU).

“Reality TV is a genre that evokes huge passion that, at its very core, is about relationships – what makes them and what breaks them, be it ‘The Real Housewives,’ ‘Below Deck’ or ‘Top Chef’ franchises, ‘Vanderpump Rules’ or ‘Keeping Up With the Kardashians,'” said Hendrik McDermott, MD EMEA Networks, Hayu and Direct-to-Consumer, NBCU. “It keeps audiences coming back for more.”

Other reasons people love the genre include escape from everyday life (26 percent) and the personalities being so different from the people they know in real life (17 percent).

While 13 percent enjoy that the personalities say and do things they never would.

But 15 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds are finding career inspiration from reality TV, as some shows offer a look into other forms of employment from those they currently have.

Contestants from the popular cooking show “Top Chef.” BRAVO/SWNS TALKER

It also emerged that 31 percent feel their lives aren’t as interesting as those in their favorite reality TV programs.

However, a sassy 43 percent believe other people would be interested in a show about their life.

Of those surveyed, 14 percent of respondents admitted that nearly half of their weekly TV intake is reality TV – and 37 percent said it would be very unlikely for them to stop watching altogether.

“Hayu is the home of reality TV with hundreds of shows and thousands of episodes available the same day as the USA,” said McDermott about the reality show. “There are no spoilers and there is no waiting, which we know is key for subscribers who want to see their favorite content first.”


  1. Britain’s Got Talent
  2. The Great British Bake Off
  3. Master Chef
  4. The Apprentice
  5. Love Island
  6. Married at First Sight (including Australia, UK, USA etc)
  7. Below Deck (inc. Below Deck Med, Below Deck Sailing Yacht, Below Deck Down Under)
  8. Top Chef
  9. Made in Chelsea
  10. The Real Housewives Franchise (including Beverly Hills, New York, Atlanta, Salt Lake City, etc.)
  11. Interior Design Masters with Alan Carr
  12. Catfish
  13. Keeping Up With The Kardashians
  14. The Bachelor
  15. The Only Way is Essex
  16. RuPaul’s Drag Race
  17. Teen Mom
  18. Glow Up
  19. Project Runway
  20. The Real World

Produced in association with SWNS Talker

Edited by Alberto Arellano and Jessi Rexroad Shull

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