Viewers say watching reality TV is one of their guilty pleasures and has even been said to be the crack cocaine of television since it is cheap to produce and viewers can't stop watching.
The stars in these shows are making big time money for giving you a glimpse into their everyday lives.
Take for example the highest-rated reality show on the History Channel Pawn Stars. Rick Harrison who is seen making most of the pawn shop deals is worth $5 million and his son Corey is worth $1.3 million just from the business profits alone. Add to that what they are both getting paid for the show. Richard "Old Man" Harrison who isn't seen as often on the show gets $15,000 per episode. Austin "Chumlee" Russell who is Corey's best friend and isn't related to the family takes home a reported $25,000 per episode.
Dancing With the Stars celebrity contestants make $125,000 plus a $20,000 bonus for every week they remain. The show's professional dancers make upwards of $100k per season.
The hit E! series show Keeping Up With the Kardashians is making their family the richest on reality TV since they have signed a $40 million deal for just three seasons. Their first season started in 2007 and is still going strong. Kim Kardashian reportedly gets $40,000 an episode however is worth a whole lot more considering her fragrances, clothing lines and endorsements.
The Duggar family on TLC's, 19 Kids and Counting are reportedly taking in between $25,000 and $40,000 an episode. The family was self-sufficient before the reality show through a lucrative real estate business.
A reality show that just aired this week for the first time is The Houstons: On Our Own. The show is getting some criticism for airing the show so soon after Whitney Houston's death who just passed away in February, 2012. Cissy Houston, Whitney's mother was even seen on The View this week defending her families decision to do the show that will make them very rich since they will take home about 10 percent of the show's budget per episode.
Due to Emily Maynard's popularity from a previous season of, The Bachelor, she received twice as much money than any other Bachelor or Bachelorette. For example Ashley Hebert the star of Season 7, made $100,000 while Emily just recently received $250,000 and has reportedly cut off her relationship with Jef Holm who was seen proposing at the end of the show.
Reality TV covers almost every aspect of daily life that even includes cramming cameras into a hoarder's home if say a home has an infestation of spiders. Not to worry, Aninal Planet's Infested covers that one. In fact reality shows have become so popular it would be difficult to say just how many there are since the numbers of shows change from day to day. It's anybody's guess what reality show will be next.
Video - Barbara Walters, the Kardashians among her 2011 "10 most fascinating people."