Outsourced: Five International Reality Shows We’d Love To Have In The U.S.A.

America loves to outsource its reality TV

Markus Lanz is the host of Wetten-Dass

Made in the U.S.A.?  No way!

America loves to outsource its reality TV.

Our DVRs are loaded up with singing shows, dancing shows and talent shows that all originated in other countries.

THE VOICE began in Holland.  DANCING WITH THE STARS in the U.K.  And SHARK TANK?  Yup, that was adapted from a program called DRAGON’S DEN which actually started in Japan.

But isn’t it all getting a bit old?  Wouldn’t it be fun to try something new?

There’s no doubt American reality television could use an injection of fresh ideas this fall, so here are a few international formats we’d like to see adapted for American audiences.



Since the 1980’s, this mashup of GERMANY’S GOT TALENT and LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON has featured hundreds of celebrities and audience members performing tricks, gimmicks, and other stunts to the delight of an onlooking crowd.

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The 1900 HOUSE  (UK)

Imagine putting a family in a meticulously remodeled home, designed specifically to be exactly as it would be at the turn of the century… the 20th century. This British reality show did just that, complete with Victorian-era clothing and technology. The only thing that would make this one better is a cast of attention-craving D-Listers. (Think CELEBRITY AMISH FAMILY.)

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It’s the ultimate celebrity competition:  Competitors wear masks to negate factors which would prejudice a judge, such as popularity or career. In round one, competitors sing the same song and in subsequent rounds, they sing solo. The winner of the Third Round challenges the Mask King, either dethroning him or being eliminated via voting from judges and the audience.

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INTERVENTION meets CELEBRITY REHAB in this reality pitch from Britain’s Channel Four.

Where Rehab could seem exploitative and even counterproductive at times, Cold Turkey followed heroin addicts seeking treatment at an actual London rehab center while focusing on the lives of those around the addict and how they’re affected too. The 2015 upfronts showed a renewed interest in documentary reality and Cold Turkey would be a welcome addition.


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There’s no show I’d like to see adapted for American audiences more than Canada’s Mantracker. The show features an expert tracker, who pursues two individuals (called “prey”) in the wilderness. The prey must elude capture on their way a finish line within thirty-six hours. The celebrity version would be even better. This is the best opportunity for a reality show crossover ever – imagine Survivorman vs. Mantracker.


Have you seen a foreign show that would be perfect for American TV?  Tell us all about it in the comments section below.


Blake Stilwell

Blake Stilwell

Blake Stilwell is a writer and adventurer who loves television, film, and international relations. He is a former military combat photojournalist who has worked for ABC News, NBC Olympics, and HBO. Based in New York, often found elsewhere.
Blake Stilwell