Reality Romances: Which Show Gets the Rose?

11 February, 2016

Valentine’s Day is a celebration of all things romance, so this week we’re examining demand for what we call “reality romances”: reality shows focusing on dating, marriage and relationships.

In this analysis, we rank the median demand for dating and romance-themed reality shows throughout the month of January 2016. In the United States, these are the top five reality romance titles:


The Bachelor, which is currently airing a typically drama-filled season, takes the top spot while the similar Bachelorette is only fourth by demand. Married at First Sight and Marriage Boot Camp are also currently airing new episodes, explaining their high demand. In contrast to the traditional romances of these reality romances, Catfish: The TV Show focuses on a more modern take on love: people talking and falling for each other over the internet without having ever met in person. Despite this atypical approach to romance, this show ranks second in the United States.

How do these reality romances fare in international markets? We ranked the same set of shows by Demand Rating™ in Germany, Malaysia, Mexico and Saudi Arabia:

Out of the twenty shows we considered, only nine unique titles appeared in the top five reality romances in these five markets. The Bachelor and The Bachelorette appeared in each country’s list, with The Bachelor coming out on top in all cases. Catfish: The TV Show was in the top five in all markets except Malaysia, and Married at First Sight was popular in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia in addition to the United States.

Unlike the United States, all four of these international markets had Dating Naked, a show about people dating while nude. Other reality romances popular in these markets include the Bachelor spin-off Bachelor in Paradise in Mexico, Ex on the Beach in Malaysia and Couples Therapy in Germany.

The Bachelor is clearly the winning show among these markets, but where does it have the most demand? To evaluate this, we use the median Demand Rating™ for The Bachelor in January; Demand Ratings™ are numbers derived from Demand Expressions™ that are comparable across countries.



Saudi Arabia has the least demand for The Bachelor out of these five markets. Since The Bachelor was the top reality romance show in Saudi Arabia, it seems that this genre is not very popular overall in that country. In contrast, North America has fairly high demand for The Bachelor: it is most in-demand in Mexico, though the United States is close behind. The special—The Bachelor at 20: A Celebration of Love — airing on Valentine’s Day may push demand even higher for this ultimate reality romance show.

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