10 Canceled Reality Shows That Need To Return, According To Reddit

Since the format exploded in the late 90s and early 2000s, there have been many reality TV shows that have come and gone without a trace, let alone a satisfying conclusion. However, when it comes to the online community on websites like Reddit, long memories will keep some of the most short-lived reality TV shows from fading into obscurity.

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In fact, some Redditors are clamoring for both popular and long-forgotten reality shows to make a comeback at some point in the future. While none of these are likely to join the ranks of the best reality TV shows of all time, there are some interesting concepts that arguably deserve a second chance. From cooking competitions, adventurous game shows, reality dating fare, and more, find out which canceled reality shows still have legions of fans on Reddit.


The Colony (2009-2010)

The cast of The Colony pose together for a promo

On a Reddit thread posted by ChloeJoy88 asking specifically what reality shows need to come back, ColonelBy launches into a fully supported essay on why the 2009 reality show The colony is the number one answer. The show brings together a collection of aliens who spend three months together in a post-apocalyptic environment trying to build a civilization from the ground up.

“This one was conceptually fun,” ColonelBy writes, adding “at best the show was a really interesting look at the kind of things that are possible with limited resources and how even simulated high stress conditions can have a real impact.”

The Mole (2001-2008)

Anderson Cooper uses a computer on The Mole

On the same thread, several Redditors express their undying love for The mole, a reality game show in which several participants travel around the world and solve puzzles to win cash prizes. The real challenge is to identify the group’s secret saboteur. Redditors like boomtronic and JohnnyReeko hyped up The Mole, with original poster ChloeJoy88 jumping up to say “Oh yeah, I loved The Mole too.”

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During five seasons from 2001 to 2008, The mole was hosted by Anderson Cooper and had an immersive element that allowed viewers to actively guess along with the contestants. If the show returns, Cooper should do the same.

Dog Eats Dog (2002-2003)

Dog Eat Dog players line up

According to jogoso2014, dogs eat dogs is another canceled and long-forgotten reality TV show set to return to the airwaves. The series follows six strangers who compete in mental and physical challenges before rejecting the weakest link with each passing week. Those who are eliminated go to the Dog Pound, which can be saved by the Top Dog if they choose to spend their prize to help a friend or keep it for themselves.

Aside from a handful of upvotes, OneManFreakShow adds to the speech by stating that “Dog Eat Dog was both very of its time and ahead of the curve. I think it would be a huge hit if it came back and I’m surprised he’s not yet.”

The Joe Schmo Show (2003-2004, 2013)

Joe Schmo Show players were deliberating

Created by Rhett Reese and Paul WernickThe Joe Schmo Show was a comedy reality game show that ran for three seasons. Poking fun at the reality TV format, the show used real actors to unwittingly prank non-famous contestants into thinking they were on a real show.

Redditor uknolickface kicks off the party by saying “I could always do a Joe Schmo show. Season 1 was the best TV season ever.” Samhain13 backs the idea, calling it a “wonderful show”, while phatelectribe adds “I hate reality TV, but the Joe Schmo Show was legitimately one of the most entertaining, and the last episode was just a rollercoaster.”

In the Field (2007)

Carrie Fisher appears in In the Field

Similar to Bravo Greenlight Project, Fox’s short-lived reality show In the field followed 16 aspiring filmmakers as they went through the production process and competed for a DreamWorks contract. KingEuronIIIGreyjoy hopes the show will improve upon his return, saying “I wish On The Lot could have been a better show because watching amateur filmmakers work on their craft was kind of fun.”

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The Redditor adds a wise point, saying “any show with this topic could be interesting, especially in the era of YouTube filmmakers.” Several others supported both sentiments with upvotes.

Ruthless Kitchen (2013-2017)

Alton opens a box on Camp Cutthroat

ChloeJoy88 begins her post by saying “These are the shows I really miss and would love to see more episodes of” and listing a series of reality shows, with Food Network’s Ruthless Kitchen and its summer fallout Camp Cutthroat make list. Alton Brown hosts the culinary reality contest, throwing severe curveballs that cripple cooks mid-meal.

For the summer spinoff, Alton hosts a series of outdoor campers and has them do wildly inappropriate activities while cooking meals, resulting in a series of hilarious mishaps and unappetizing falls.

Child Nation (2017)

The cast of Kid Nation throws their hands up

With 14 upvotes supporting the notion, Eriosyces simply names child nation like their number one canceled reality show set to return. Running for a single season in 2007, the show follows a group of children who learn to forge a self-sufficient society without adult supervision.

As the show progresses, weak links are weeded out and alphas take over, leading to social strata that reflect the real world. In one of the most dangerous reality TV shows, audiovisual club reports that four kids drank bleach during production, which could definitely be a reason the show was canceled.

Cha$e (2008)

Players wear glasses on Cha$e

Not to be confused with TV quiz show Hunting, Cha$e was a Pacman-like live-action reality game that OneManFreakShow wants to see make a return. In order to win cash prizes, players must outwit a clock as well as relentless hunters to eliminate them from the competition.

The Redditor states “There was this game show on SyFy of All Places called Cha$e that was great fun… It was really interesting but definitely on the wrong network.” Maybe with a revival, cha$e could find more suitable accommodation.

Beauty and the Geek (2005-2008)

The cast of Beauty and the Geek pose together

Surprisingly, few reality shows have been named by Redditors as their favorite comeback contestants. However, Vaninto got a handful of upvotes for naming the CW show Beauty and the Geek for a favored rebirth. Lasting 3 seasons from 2005 to 2008, the beloved reality show attempts to pair a beautiful woman with a nerdy man with a genius IQ and see if the sparks fly.

Although several spin-offs have been made in other countries, an American version would be ideal for a comeback given the success of similar shows such as sexy beasts and Love is blind.

Treasure Hunters (2006)

Players wear camouflage in Treasure Hunters

Lasting a single season and 12 episodes in 2006, treasure hunters followed groups of teams that have traveled the world in search of hidden clues and numbers that must be deciphered to find buried gold. The catch is that neither team knows they have competitors.

With a handful of upvotes, SharksFan4Lifee says it well, stating “Treasure Hunters. It was a cross between Fantastic race and national treasureand it was really fun to watch.” Considering the current success of Unexploredit’s the perfect time to treasure hunters to return.

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