"Ranking the Top 19 Must-Watch Bravo Reality Shows"
Bravo has earned a reputation as the mastermind behind some of the most addicting reality TV shows on air. Viewers find themselves hooked on the drama, unable to look away even as storylines get more outrageous. The network has become synonymous with a certain brand of reality TV, consistently churning out hit after hit.
Since the debut of The Real Housewives franchise in 2006, Bravo has cemented its place in pop culture by delivering highly sensationalized reality programs that audiences can't seem to get enough of. The network boasts a diverse range of shows, from ones that center around coworkers-turned-best friends to head-to-head competitions showcasing the best cooking or design skills.
19 The Real Housewives of Orange County (2006-)
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Despite being on the air for 16 seasons and having launched several spin-offs, The Real Housewives of Orange County tends to get overlooked by fans in comparison to its sister shows. One possible reason for this is that the only original cast member remaining is Tamara Judge, who even left the show for two years before returning in 2022. Vicki Gunvalson also briefly returned as a "Friend of" in the same season. With these OG cast members back, however, it's worth reevaluating the show's reputation.
While it may not have the highest viewership numbers in the Real Housewives franchise, Real Housewives of Salt Lake City offers a fresh perspective and captivating storylines, such as Jen Shah's ongoing legal battle and the ongoing feud between Meredith and Lisa. As more people start tuning in, it's possible the show could eventually surpass its predecessors in popularity.
Everyone raves about Below Deck, but the spin-off Below Deck Med proves to be just as captivating as its predecessor. This series follows the crew of a superyacht as they travel to various locations in the Mediterranean and try to make each trip as luxurious as possible for their clients. Sandy Yawn has captained the ship since the second season and is a great counterpart to Below Deck's Lee Rosbach.
Back in 2003, Bravo aired the debut of Queer Eye. A smashing hit, the show persisted for 100 episodes and five seasons, with the Fab Five transforming the appearance, mannerisms, and grooming of a chosen participant - initially a straight man in early seasons. The program's success earned it an Emmy Award in 2004, as well as a recent reboot featuring a new cast.
The Real Housewives of New York was the franchise's second city to be incorporated, and it is almost impossible to resist. The show sparkled the careers of powerhouses such as Bethenny Frankel, and its setting in the bustling Big Apple ensured that there was always something exciting going on.
Despite its devoted fandom, the show plummeted in ratings and viewership in its thirteenth season, making it one of the franchise's least favored cities. However, its passionate fan base still admires the cast, believing that the show's later iterations failed to maintain its initial charm. RHONY offers some remarkable episodes, and despite many hoping for the city's redemption in season 14, it hasn't quite lived up to expectations.
Selling Sunset, Netflix's latest style of real estate reality TV, has drawn the attention of Bravo fans, who now prefer it over Million Dollar Listing - the franchise with two cities, Los Angeles and New York. It's fascinating to follow the brokers' lives as they sell astronomically expensive properties in one of the nation's most competitive areas, leaving fans marveling at the cost of living while simultaneously entangled in the drama the agents face.
Yet another of Bravo's most successful shows, Project Runway, is a reality competition that follows aspiring designers as they battle it out in creative challenges, getting eliminated one by one. The program won a Peabody Award in 2008 and spawned several spinoffs, with host Tim Gunn present during the show's zenith. Although its 19th season has ended, the show still captivates fashion lovers.
Bravo's after-hours talk show, hosted by Andy Cohen, is none other than Watch What Happens Live. While the show doesn't fall under the reality category, Andy interviews Bravo's beloved reality stars and delves into the shows they star in that keep fans hooked. Celebrity appearances run aplenty on the show, with some even making recurring appearances.
When it comes down to interviewing celebrities, Andy Cohen doesn't mince his words. Burning questions fans are dying to know get answered, and sometimes a drink or two is involved. Audience members and social media users get an extra chance to chime in on the discussion.
Bravo's The Real Housewives Of Potomac, newbie in the famed Real Housewives franchise, has fans hooked from every storyline and one-liner moment. The husbands of Potomac are deeply invested and create some of the most shocking storylines in the entire franchise. Fans can't wait for the seventh season to air in 2022 and are eagerly anticipating reliving each moment all over again.
Vanderpump Rules, a spinoff of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, quickly took shape into its franchise and became iconic as its own show. Starring the staff of Lisa Vanderpump's restaurant, SUR, with big dreams of making it as actors or models, the show's dramatic edge and romantic entanglements keep viewers coming back for more. Its tenth season may mark the end of an era, but it still holds its place as one of Bravo's best, with Vanderpump dealing with young people and stirring up their drama in her signature way.
Launched in 2017, Summer House became a platform for the stars that participated, and it is still going strong. The series follows a group of friends who rent a house in Montauk, New York during summer. Most of the cast live in New York City, and camera rolls capture their weekend pool and beach getaways.
Summer House stands out from heavily produced reality shows like Vanderpump Rules due to its focus on a tight-knit group of long-term friends who persevere through hookups, breakups, and explosive fights. Its popularity even spawned a spinoff, Winter House, in 2021.
The Real Housewives franchise boasts a range of shows set in different cities, each with its own unique cast of characters. Of all the entries, The Real Housewives of New Jersey is particularly memorable, with several famous faces recognizable even to those who haven't watched the show. With a strong focus on family and plenty of Jersey flair, it offers a wholly different dynamic compared to other cities in the franchise.
Southern Charm is another Bravo show that delves into the drama among a group of friends from humble beginnings navigating the ups and downs of work, love, and friendship. Set in the charming city of Charleston, South Carolina, it offers a fascinating glimpse into Southern culture and has been no stranger to controversy.
Shahs of Sunset is a reality TV show that stands out for its portrayal of Persian-American culture, including family background, religion, and cultural customs. While the group of friends appears as BFF goals on the surface, the underlying tensions and explosive fights make it unmissable entertainment.
Finally, The Real Housewives of Atlanta offers a taste of Southern flair through the larger-than-life personalities of its cast, including iconic characters like NeNe Leakes and Kenya Moore. As a successful addition to The Real Housewives franchise, it remains a fan favorite for its distinctive energy.
The Real Housewives of Atlanta boasts an eclectic mix of lovable and controversial characters, who add to the show’s already heightened drama. Unlike other cities, Atlanta is known for its authenticity and gives rise to some of the most uproarious one-liners in Real Housewives history, making it a must-watch.
While most Bravo shows revolve around the wealthy, Below Deck takes its audience on a luxurious journey aboard multi-million dollar yachts. The series offers a sneak peek into an industry that remains largely obscured and introduces viewers to some of the most difficult clients who make for great TV. It’s a unique and enthralling reality show that sets itself apart from the norm.
RHOBH is an iconic reality show that features memorable Housewives who have been a part of some of the most explosive arguments, adding to the series’ dramatic quality. Each season produces more outrageous moments than the previous, such as the latest season featuring a storyline surrounding Erika Jayne that had viewers on the edge of their seats.
Married to Medicine is a gem among reality TV shows that is often overlooked. Set in Atlanta, Georgia, the series follows women and their families in the medical profession, depicting a balance between their professional and personal lives. It’s a smart and thought-provoking show that explores both hopeful moments and complicated family dynamics.
Top Chef is one of Bravo’s most acclaimed series, where contestants compete for the title of Top Chef through a grueling cooking competition. It’s one of the network’s few competition-based shows and a must-watch for culinary enthusiasts. The series has won several awards and has even spawned multiple spinoffs and adaptations.
NEXT: Here Are The 10 Best Top Chef Chefs, Ranked By Skill Level
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