I watched the first two seasons of Survivor. I watched the first episode of Big Brother, Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire, and most of a rather prurient show called Temptation Island. Then I got bored. Why? Because, seriously, who wants to watch losers like these? I mean, I could barely sit through the first episode of The Osbournes without wanting to call Child Protective Services and have Ozzy placed in a more caring home.
Then I got into Frontier House. The whole "House" series was created by PBS to try and cash in on the reality show phenomenon. Like most reality shows, they take normal people and put them in odd situations. Unlike most reality shows, the PBS versions have people try and live as though they were in other time periods and educate along the way. The series is obviously very popular, since it spawned several versions (Colonial House, Edwardian House, etc.).
What threw me was when I heard about the first one: 1900 House. It seems that, just living the way people did only 100 years ago, was very difficult. I got to thinking about other reality shows I'd like to see.
Three families try to live as their ancestors did back in the 70s. They wear 100% polyester clothing, listen only to 8-track tapes, and repaint their homes as tackily as possible.
Six budding young stock market analyists are forced to share a small office. Whoever manages to backstab the other five the most thoroughly wins.
December 1999 House
A group of teenagers has to figure out how to reconfigure all of their electronic devices to avoid the Y2K issue before the end of the month. Various doomsday cults periodically enter the house in the middle of the night and try to scare the participants.
You get the idea.