When shows like The Real World first hit the airwaves, everyone was in awe of exposing a less scripted, more “real” TV show. While these shows are entertaining and may make us feel more connected to the characters we are viewing, they aren’t always as “real” as the show’s production team would like us to believe. It’s part of a producer’s job to produce the best show possible, that means creating memorable (and somewhat believable) characters, creating (or “capturing”) drama and conflict, and providing a cohesive plot thread for everything happening on the show.

If these elements of show production didn’t exist, the shows we watched wouldn’t be as cohesive or linear as we have seen. In addition to the rise of these faked (or largely altered) reality shows, there has also been a rise in the world of “mockumentaries” which include shows like Animal Planet’s Mermaids and the channel’s most recent mockumentary, The Cannibal in the Jungle, which was scripted and completely fake.

Why are these shows so popular? Because we love reality television. We feel more connected when the word “reality” is slapped on a show, no matter how unbelievable a show may in fact be. It’s understandable that reality shows can’t be totally transparent, but these ten shows go beyond creating a tweak or two in characters or story lines to project a show that is totally fake. In these shows, we are given a scenario that is largely staged or altered. Does this impact the entertainment value of a show? Not necessarily. However, some people may feel differently knowing the truth behind the reality of their favorite reality shows.