ABC debuts Brat Camp tonight

More obnoxious heathen children come to prime-time TV tonight when ABC debuts Brat Camp at 8 p.m. ET. Nine families send their problem children “to SageWalk, The Wilderness School, in the wilds of Oregon for a period of more than fifty days, in the desperate hope that, once it’s over, they’ll get back the children they once knew.”

Here’s ABC’s description for the first episode: “Forced to hike 10 miles with 40-lb. backpacks, the kids celebrate Thanksgiving in the wilderness without family, and with the ultimate question being whether they’ll make it home for Christmas” — or whether they’ll be mauled to death by lions.

The Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan says says it’s an “excellent program” and “simply gripping.” And The New York Daily News’ David Bianculli says it starts awkwardly but “eventually finds its way and its heart.”

A two-hour episode airs tonight; the series will normally air Wednesdays at 9.

Brat Camp [ABC]

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Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.