Fear Factor returns, CBS’ Tuesday Night Book Club debuts tonight

Fear Factor returns tonight, most likely to burn off its final episodes and then fade into reality TV history. At 8 p.m. ET, the three-episode reality stars arc begins, and will apparently include the fight between Jonathan Baker and Joe Rogan.

The stars are The Apprentice‘s Tana Goertz and Craig Williams, Survivor‘s Jonny “Fairplay” Dalton and Twila Tanner, American Idol‘s Carmen Rasmusen and Anthony Federov, The Real World‘s Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and Trishelle Cannatella, and The Amazing Race‘s Jonathan Baker and Victoria Fuller. For those people who voted Anthony Federov the second sexiest male reality star of last year, a preview shows him shirtless and covered in mud, so that ought to fuel your fantasies for a good six months.

Also tonight, at 10 p.m., CBS debuts Tuesday Night Book Club, its first attempt at a Laguna Beach-style docusoap reality show. The show “follows the lives of a group of real women as they deal with the day-to-day pressures of raising kids, maintaining households, satisfying their husbands and keeping it together on a personal level,” according to its web site.

If that sounds familiar, it may be because Bravo aired a series that basically did the exact same thing, The Real Housewives of Orange County. And that’s why The New York Post’s Linda Stasi calls it “a line-for-line ripoff of Bravo’s” show, while Variety’s Brian Lowry calls it “a cheap knockoff for those who can’t survive a summer hiatus from housewives married to, and often equipped with, oversized boobs.”

Tuesday Night Book Club [CBS]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.