Real World, Queer Eye, Trading Spaces included among top 50 cable shows

On the occasion of cable’s 30th anniversary, CableWORLD magazine ranks the top 50 cable moments and shows.

Coming in at number 13 is MTV’s The Real World, the groundbreaking reality series that is pretty much the ancestor of every reality series on television today. At least, most shows have ripped off its innovations. CableWORLD says the series “demonstrates the perverse fascination of watching real-life people that you utterly despise.”

Bravo’s Queer Eye is the next reality show mentioned, coming in at number 39. The series is called “powerful” because “it showed gay TV shows could be accepted by the general public.”

Next on the list at number 40 is TLC’s now-faded Trading Spaces, which established an entire reality subgenre. “Home decorating–and ratings for such programs–was never the same once TLC let neighbors swap abodes and redecorate them,” CableWORLD says.

The magazine also asks Lifetime’s EVP for research Tim Brooks to rank his top 10, and he puts The Real World at number two.

Cable Programming’s Top 50 [CableWORLD]

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Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.