CMT’s Popularity Contest debuts, Sundance’s Staircase continues tonight.

CMT’s Popularity Contest debuts, Sundance’s Staircase continues tonight.

CMT debuts its original reality series Popularity Contest tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET, repeating it Tuesday at 8 and Wednesday at 6. The series watches as “10 city slickers chuck the bright lights and the big city to immerse themselves in small town life as they compete to be named the town’s ‘most popular’ resident.”

They’ll move to Vega, Texas, for a month, competing in community service-oriented challenges and will be eliminated one by one by the residents. One will with $100,000, and that person will award a cash prize to the local resident he or she likes the best.

Meanwhile, the Sundance Channel’s four-week, eight chapter documentary series The Staircase continues tonight at 9 p.m. ET. (The first two chapters reair Friday at 8, followed by chapters 3 and 4.) Produced by Oscar-winning director Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, the show “chronicles the sensational story of North Carolina author Michael Peterson, who stood trial in 2003 for the murder of his wife.” As Sundance says, the filmmakers had “unusual access to Peterson’s lawyers and his immediate family.”

Salon’s Heather Havrilesky calls the series “unforgettable” and says it’s an “engrossing and ultimately tragic story,” while The AP’s critic said it “is one of the best TV programs I have ever seen.”

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