Cable networks plan new reality shows

It’s the time of year when cable networks reveal their plans for upcoming series, and their recently-announced shows include plenty of reality series.

Bravo will bring back Blow Out this March, while Kathy Griffin’s My Life on the D-List will return next October. The network will also air Work Out, a reality series that follows the trainers and clientele of a high-end/celebrity gym.

Next December, USA will air an “unscripted movie” The Great American Christmas. For the film, the producers of Laguna Beach look at “holiday highs and lows through the eyes of six very different — but equally dysfunctional — families.”

Lifetime is planning to air Cheerleader Nation in March; the series is “about the roller coaster relationship of mothers and daughters on a high school cheerleading team.” Immediately after the debut of that show, Lifetime will air Face the Family, a show that watches as “each young lover, who arrives as an outsider, is submerged in a family of strangers from a contrary background” and faces “differences [that] just may throw the couple’s once-happy future into jeopardy.” Ooh, fun.

Also at the TCA Winter Press Tour, A&E announced seven new reality series, indicating that the network intends to keep moving in the Dog the Bounty Hunter direction, away from its Biography past. Among its new series are the previous rumored Gene Simmons show, Family Jewels. Other shows include, as Variety reports, Driving Force, which follows a dragster and his family and King of Cars, “a behind-the-scenes look at the world of car sales.” In development are Finally a Family, in which two sets of parents try to adopt the same kid; Polar Posse, “which follows a young volunteer fire-fighting and EMT squad that take place of 911 officials in a small Alaskan town”; and Commander Castle, which focuses on “U.K. cop Paul Castle as he trains Stateside officials with his unorthodox methods.”

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about the writer

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.