Road Rules, MTV's second reality show, debuted on July 19, 1995. The series followed six strangers between the ages of 18 and 24 (five strangers in the first four seasons) and stripped them of all of their money and threw them on an RV traveling from location to location only guided by a set of clues and a mission to complete at each location. It was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2001.

The ground-breaking series was a pioneer in travel/adventure/reward reality television (aside from Mark Burnett's Eco-Challenge). Road Rules was created by Jonathan Murray and Mary-Ellis Bunim of Bunim/Murray Productions. After Bunim lost her battle with cancer in early 2004, the show went on hiatus for three years.

The show was spawned from its sister show The Real World. The idea of Road Rules came to mind, when Real World castmates Jon, Tami and Dominic traveled in an RV across the United States to get to their The Real World: Los Angeles house in the first two episodes of the second season. Bunim-Murray began working on the show soon after the third San Francisco season, and finally debuted in 1995. The show garnered a spin-off series, still in production today, Real World/Road Rules Challenge.

There was also a 1998 mini-series, Road Rules: The Real World All-Stars, in which 5 former stars from The Real World go on a short Road Rules course managed by infamous former Real World housemate Puck, who, until the very end of the series, was disguising his identity with the alias "Mr. Big". However, this is generally considered the first season of Real World/Road Rules Challenge.

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