America’s Favorite Reality TV Shows
Whether you love cutthroat competition, regular people becoming overnight celebrities, or ridiculously scripted drama, reality TV has something for you. But how do your reality TV interests compare to people in your state and across the US?
Our team at CableTV.com has the answers! In a slightly less voyeuristic move than Bachelor in Paradise, we’ve analyzed Google Trends data to determine each state’s reality TV show obsession—and the results are more revealing than footage from a hidden camera!
Get Ready to Rumble Romance!
If you think the states that love Bachelor in Paradise follow it because they’re the most romantic states or the loneliest—you’re dead wrong. What links Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, and Minnesota, the states the most in love with Bachelor in Paradise, is their incredible dedication to sports.
Receiving a rose might not be quite the same as winning a trophy, but in The Bachelor and its spin-offs, the competition is as fierce as any sport. After all, it’s not like the contestants are there to make friends. Caught up in the spirit of the show, some fans even create fantasy leagues—reminiscent of Fantasy Football—to feud with their friends over who the winner will be.
Running from Reality
The hot new reality show Hunted features contestants trying to hide from FBI-like investigators for a prize of $250,000. It’s an intense game, but the biggest fans might be watching for more than just the drama.
See, while people from Kansas, Missouri, Montana, South Dakota, and Tennessee have been searching Google for Hunted, they may really be looking for a way to hide from law enforcement. Each is among the most dangerous states in the US.
Dancing with the Doldrums
While the “stars” on Dancing with the Stars certainly aren’t A-list celebrities, and the dance routines have become stale, the show still sambas on. A study found that fans of the show tend to be compliant and are likely to enjoy routine, which seems in sync with the stereotypes of Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa, the states that house the biggest fans of Dancing with the Stars.
The most popular settings for reality TV shows are California and New York, but there are still a wide variety of filming locations out there. People tend to be fans of shows related to their state:
Photo credit: E! Online
California loves to keep up with the lavish slice-of-life drama in Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Life of Kylie, and Revenge Body with Khloé Kardashian.
Photo credit: VH1
New York keeps a level eye on the Mob Wives of Staten Island.
Photo credit: Lifetime
Texas doesn’t truly believe everything has to be bigger to be better—Little Women: Dallas is a huge hit!
Photo credit: History Channel
Nevada can’t wait to see what price castoffs will go for in the Las Vegas–set Pawn Stars.
Photo credit: A&E
Louisiana shows up for a local family with a successful hunting business in its love for Duck Dynasty.
Photo credit: TLC
Oregon enjoys the daily life on a local farm with Little People, Big World.
Photo credit: TLC
Utah may no longer be the home of Sister Wives, but the state’s history with polygamy plays a large role in its popularity there.
Photo credit: ABC
Wisconsin is the home of Nick Viall of The Bachelor’s 2017 season, with the fourth episode filmed at his old stomping grounds.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
While 16 and Pregnant stopped airing in 2014, fans in Delaware and Ohio seem to be following up on the lives of the show’s former “stars” in their states.
Updates from Delaware include one subject’s arrest in 2015 and death in 2016, and another’s college graduation and birth of third child in 2017. In Ohio, yet another subject had her third child. It looks like these former teen moms are trying to give Kate Plus 8 a run for its money.
Compared to our 2016 data, 2017 has a wider variety of shows. Last year, Hoarders and Project Runway were the big winners, with Shark Tank, The Apprentice, and The Bachelor close behind. This year, Hunted and Bachelor in Paradise were the only standout favorites.
But not every state found a new favorite. Check all these states with the same result as last year:
Alabama – American Idol
Arizona – Keeping Up with the Kardashians
California – Keeping Up with the Kardashians
Colorado – The Bachelor (2016), Bachelor in Paradise (2017)
Idaho – The Apprentice
Minnesota – The Bachelor (2016), Bachelor in Paradise (2017)
Nevada – Pawn Stars
New Jersey – Shark Tank
New York – Mob Wives
North Dakota – The Voice
Utah – Sister Wives
Virginia – The Apprentice
Washington – Project Runway
More Reality TV Bites
For a few more fun facts, our team at CableTV.com conducted another survey to see what other reality TV shows people were into. Here’s what we found:
- Male and female survey participants agreed Keeping Up with the Kardashians is far and away the most annoying reality TV show.
- Teen Mom, Big Brother, Jersey Shore, and Survivor were the top favorites.
- 14–17-year-olds quoted Cheaters as being the most nostalgic show—and so did those over 54!
- Participants aged 18–24, 25–34, and 45–54 agreed Teen Mom is the most nostalgic for them.
- For 35–44-year-olds, Real World stood out as the most nostalgic.
So, were you surprised by the results? Does your state have the same favorite reality TV show as you, or do you like something completely different? Let us know in the comments below!
Rachel has spent the past two years at CableTV.com writing articles that demystify hidden fees, DVRs, sound systems, and more. She makes door-to-door DISH and DIRECTV salespeople uncomfortable with her in-depth questions—but if that’s what it takes to get you the best TV experience, she’s happy to do it. In addition to writing for CableTV.com, Rachel’s work has been featured on Today.com, TechGuySmartBuy.com, HowtoWatch.com, and SatelliteInternet.com.