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The Unique TV Record You Didn't Know The Challenge Holds

MTV's "The Challenge" has been a competition TV staple since the end of the 1990s, piggybacking on the popularity of "The Real World." The show was initially was a spinoff of "The Real World" and "Road Rules," but became a major franchise that stands on its own. The show takes a variety of contestants, many of whom are stars from other reality TV shows, and tests their physical and mental strength as they compete in various challenges for the chance to win $1 million. While it might sound easy, there's actually a whole lot of strategy involved. 

Not only do contestants on "The Challenge" need to compete in tests of strength, agility and logic, but they have to navigate equally challenging relationships. Contestants vote to eliminate their own, so alliances are made and betrayal is inevitable. And while "The Challenge" is one of the longest-running reality shows still on TV, it also holds an even more impressive title considering its endurance. 

The Challenge has been around longer than most reality shows

"The Challenge" has been on TV since 1998 and is still airing — and also creating special seasons and spinoffs. The original show has aired 37 seasons and counting (via MTV). But somehow, it's still not the longest-running reality show on TV — "COPS" aired 32 seasons between 1989 and when it was pulled in 2020, and "The Real World" aired from 1992 to 2011 (via IMDb). However, "The Challenge" is the longest-running competition series on TV, beating out major shows like "Survivor," which first premiered in 2000, or "Big Brother." 

"The Challenge" has always provided for steady competition TV entertainment. The contestants, if they aren't already, become bonafide stars in their own right. And with so many seasons under its belt, MTV has clearly not run out of ideas for how to keep its loyal viewers tuned into "The Challenge" week after week. It has the thrill of survivor and the petty drama of shows like those from the "Real Housewives" franchise (thanks to the use of confessionals) all wrapped into one. And while it has been around forever, it doesn't seem like MTV plans on ending the historic run of "The Challenge" anytime soon.