Far too many of those shows never found the audience they were looking for. There are a number of reasons for that. Perhaps, the network didn't promote it properly. Maybe the characters were just too unlikable to want to root for. Could it be that the show's concept was just too awful (we remember you, Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling)? So take a stroll with us down memory lane as we revisit the remains of TV's most utterly ridiculous reality TV shows. We promise you, that these all existed, whether you remember them or not.
Murder in Small Town X (2001, 1 season)
This reality series only lasted a single season but deserved so many more. Murder in Small Town X turned contestants into detectives in a murder mystery that spanned across a small New England town. Yes, the show essentially took over the entire town, filled it with actors playing characters, and set a fictional murderer on the loose on what was equal parts horror movie and mystery thriller.
Kid Nation (2007, 1 season)
Take a bunch of kids and strand them in an abandoned Wild West ghost town to build their own civilization. What could go wrong? That was the premise for Kid Nation, a nearly perfect reality series that only lasted one season because having 40 kids between the ages of 8 and 15 filming for 24 hours a day probably isn't the best idea. Granted, the crew on the show were adults, so the kids weren't totally alone. One did drink from a bottle of bleach, though.
Big Brother OOT (2016, 1 season)
Typically, a season of Big Brother airs three episodes each week, plus fans can watch the online feeds from within the house filled with strangers figuring out how not to hate each other. For the one and only "Over the Top" season, though, things changed a bit. The episodes were available exclusively on CBS All Access (now Paramount+) and the live feeds became far more integral to the experience of the show. Events that were normally blocked from the feeds (games, moving into the house, major moments being saved for TV) were shown live online. It was Big Brother's attempt to make CBS All Access a major player in the streaming world. It didn't work.
Joe Millionaire (2003, 2 seasons)
In the early '00s, reality dating shows were all the rage. So many people wanted to go on TV to find the love of their lives. With Joe Millionaire, they got more than that too. The show's aim was for a millionaire to find true love in a group of women who competed for his attention. The wrinkle was that the man the women were all vying for was not a millionaire. In fact, he was actually a rookie independent wrestler in Southern California (and a construction worker and former underwear model). Shockingly, the woman who "won" the show did not stay with the faux millionaire. Still, the pair got to split a million dollars, so it wasn't all for nothing.
The Search for the Next Elvira (2007, 1 season)
Surely, you're shocked this series even exists. It does, though. Cassandra Peterson, Elvira herself, had a whole show about essentially finding her replacement. The goal of the series was to find a new horror host to carry on the tradition. The series only lasted for four episodes, with writer April Wahlin being crowned as the winner. You may be surprised to find out that Wahlin didn't, in fact, replace Elvira. In fact, Elvira is still doing her thing.
I Wanna Marry Harry (2014, 1 season)
Before Meghan Markle married Prince Harry, a TV show tried to find love for him. Well, sort of. I Wanna Marry Harry featured a bunch of women competing for the chance to marry someone the show leads them to believe is Prince Harry. Guess what? It's not. Instead, it's a lookalike named Matthew Hicks who was definitely not a member of the royal family.
The Swan (2004, 2 seasons)
What a strange show The Swan was. It should have been simply called Plastic Surgery: The TV Series. On it, several female contestants deemed to be "ugly" were given radical makeovers, complete with plastic surgery. Each episode featured two contestants who were judged on the changes they made in their life following their "transformations," with the winners going on to a final beauty pageant to crown "The Swan." So it featured several women getting plastic surgery and competing to gain entry to a beauty pageant. It should come as no surprise this only lasted two seasons.