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Another precursor may be considered Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom which aired from 1963 through 1988.
This show featured zoologist Marlin Perkins traveling across the globe and illustrating the wide variety of animal life on the planet.
In 1948, talent search shows Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour and Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts featured amateur competitors and audience voting.
In the 1950s, game shows Beat the Clock and Truth or Consequences involved contestants in wacky competitions, stunts, and practical jokes.
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Every seven years, a film documented the life of the same individuals during the intervening period, titled the Up Series, episodes include "7 Plus Seven", "21 Up", etc.; it is still ongoing.
Precedents for television that portrayed people in unscripted situations began in the late 1940s.
Queen for a Day (1945–1964) was an early example of reality-based television.
The program was structured as a series of interviews with no element of plot.
However, it did have the then-new effect of turning ordinary people into celebrities.