I remember a couple of years ago while watching PBS, they showed their version of a reality show. Although I'm no fan of this type of TV, Frontier House was the most novel and worthy in its approach.
The skinny of this show was that three haplessly modern families had to live the life of 1880 settlers for six months. Their goal was to be able to survive the coming winter, by doing what the settlers did. Needless to say, I was stuck to the TV; not because the families chosen were simply entertaining in their folly, but because I thought it was an indicment of how society has changed in the past century.
PBS also did another show earlier called 1900 House, which put modern families in roles of people of a Victorian-age household in the UK. The concept was a bit different than in Frontier House, with only one family and some contact with the outside world.