13 Most Controversial Reality TV Shows of All-Time

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In order for viewers to tune into a TV show, there has to be drama. 

These 13 shows courted controversy throughout their time on the air. 

Some of the scandals resulted in the shows getting canceled, while some of the shows are still on the air. 

Have a look below. 

1. Teen Mom

Teen Mom
The Teen Mom franchise has been a ratings winner for MTV. The show has stirred up much controversy over the years. From Jenelle Evans' multiple arrests to some things we'd rather not speak about from Farrah Abraham's life, the series has beaten the odds. The moms at the helm of the series seem to court controversy wherever they go. Maybe it just comes with the territory.

2. Buckwild

Reality TV is more successful for MTV than anything else. Buckwild was like a mashup of Jersey Shore and Jackass. Some of the content was a cause for concern and there was much viewer backlash. A second season was ordered, but cast members started getting in trouble with the law. Things took a harrowing turn when cast member, Shain Gandee, tragically died of carbon monoxide poisoning. MTV ultimately pulled the plug while filming the second season.

3. Toddlers & Tiaras

The world has mixed feelings about beauty pageants, so you can imagine the backlash when TLC launched Toddlers & Tiaras -- a show that pretty much exploited young children. The most controversial moment, however, involved one young girl dressing up as Julia Roberts' prostitute character from Pretty Woman.

4. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo

Here Comes Honey Boo Boo
This is a spin-off of Toddlers & Tiaras, and let's just say it was filled with just as much controversy. The series was canceled when Mama June reportedly rekindled her relationship with the sex offender who allegedly molested her daughter.

5. 19 Kids & Counting

19 Kids & Counting
The Duggar clan have been around for years, and it quickly became clear that they were hiding many secrets behind closed doors. TLC canceled the series after reports emerged, claiming that Josh Duggar molested a number of young women, including his own sisters.

6. Boy Meets Boy

This series could have been a Bachelor for same-sex couples, but it was one of the most irresponsible series on the air. It focused on a man looking for love and eliminating the men who he did not feel a connection with. However, the producers thought it would be a good idea to have straight men in the mix.

7. Big Brother

Big Brother
When you put a group of people from different walks of life into a house with cameras following them for 24 hours, insanity ensues. Big Brother has been no stranger to controversial topics, with racism, sexism, among other things popping up. Even more frustrating? CBS tries to edit as much of the bad stuff out and some of the villains actually get the hero edit.

8. Jersey Shore

Jersey Shore
It may be the crown jewel in MTV's schedule nowadays, but it wasn't always that way. Way back when the original series premiered, advertisers were pulling out ... to the point that many believed the cabler would pull the series from its schedule. Somehow, it blossomed into a cultural phenomenon and it is currently in its third season of a reboot with the original cast.

9. Megan Wants a Millionaire

Megan Wants a Millionaire
Producers only asked for men with a net worth of over $1 million to apply. The show only lasted three episodes when it emerged that contestant Ryan Jenkins was wanted for questioning in connection to the murder of Jasmine Fiore (the woman he married after the conclusion of the series.) Jenkins was later found dead following an apparent suicide.


This show was the worst. It paraded some people around a stage as the judges passed comments on how attractive they were. Yes, really.

11. Pretty Wild

Pretty Wild
Pretty Wild was billed as the next Keeping Up with the Kardashians, focusing on another semi-famous family in Andrea Arlington and her daughters who were aspiring models. However, things took a crazy turn when it was revealed one of the daughters were part of the 'Bling Ring' group that were robbing celebrity homes. The trial was chronicled in the show's first and only season.

12. Kid Nation

Kid Nation
The kids took the wheel of this CBS series which focused on 40 kids creating their own community in New Mexico. Viewers wasted no time in slamming the show for exploiting children, and it was canceled soon after.

13. Chrisley Knows Best

You didn't think we were going to leave Chrisley Knows Best out, did you? It may have had a relatively scandal-free existence during the earlier seasons, but given the ongoing sex tape scandal, and the tax scandal, future seasons are poised to be controversial.

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