In the dark ages, when there was no Netflix nor on-demand, no DVDs nor bootleg shows on YouTube, we watched reality TV in marathons. It was the original binge-watching, and it started with MTV reality television.
This weekend, marathons of classic MTV reality shows are back, starting with the series that started it all: The Real World season one. Its 13th episodes will be on MTV Classic this Sunday from 1 to 7:30 p.m. ET.
Viacom is turning VH1 Classic into MTV Classic, launching the network today at noon with a rebroadcast of the very first hour that aired on MTV, 35 years ago today. It will air everything from classic music videos to Daria.
MTV Classic’s weekends will be mostly scheduled with marathons of classic reality series including:
- Road Rules, the show that sent its cast around the country in an RV to complete various tasks. I am beyond excited about this, the original modern competition reality series, and really hope it holds up with time. I haven’t watched those early seasons in at least 15 years.
- Laguna Beach, the pre-Hills show that followed high school students but filmed and edited them like they were in a drama.
- The Hills, the show that turns 10 on Tuesday and blurred the lines between scripted drama and reality TV.
1990s—and 2000s—reality TV on MTV Classic
So far, weekend marathons of The Real World and only two other shows have been scheduled: Laguna Beach season one will air Aug. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and season two will start immediately afterwards, airing until 1:30 a.m. The Hills season one will air in its entirety on Aug. 14 starting at 1 p.m.
Other unscripted shows will air during the week, including these, which stretch the definition of “classic” because they’re from the early- and mid-2000s:
- Run’s House
- Pimp My Ride
Browse MTV Classic’s schedule to find airtimes for those shows.
An MTV representative told me that more series are in the works, though the network has to clear them for re-broadcast first.