Upcoming shows: Bravo’s Top Designer, WE’s Unwrapping Macy’s, BET’s Next Level: Vince Young and Christies Committed, and Spike’s Bullrun

In the past few we weeks, both at the critics’ press tour and elsewhere, a number of new reality series–and a few renewals–were announced by various networks. Highlights of some recently announced upcoming reality series:

  • FOX renewed both So You Think You Can Dance and Hell’s Kitchen for new seasons, both of which will air next summer.
  • NBC has renewed both America’s Got Talent, for a second season, and Last Comic Standing, for a fifth season, according to a press release.
  • Bravo will air Top Designer, a Top Chef-like series that features, well, designers. They “will be put through a series of weekly challenges testing their stamina and creativity. Winner will land enough cash to start his own design firm and a spot in one of New York’s finest designer showcases,” Variety reports. The show is being produced not by the producers of Project Runway, like Top Chef, but instead by Stone & Co.
  • The Women’s Entertainment Network will air Unwrapping Macy’s in September, an eight-episode, 30-minute reality show about the department store. The New York Times reports that “[r]ather than featuring grumbling customers, as the A&E show ‘Airline’ did in its portrayal of Southwest Airlines, ‘Unwrapping Macy’s’ will, for the most part, depict the daily lives of employees.” It debuts Sept. 30 at 10 p.m. ET.
  • BET is planning a couple of new reality series. Next Level: Vince Young “will chronicle former Texas quarterback Vince Young’s journey from the collegiate to the pro ranks,” the network said in a press release. It starts October 4. Christies Committed is a “show based on the life of NBA star Doug Christie and his wife Jackie.”
  • Spike has ordered Bullrun, in which “amateur drivers will compete in a series of driving challenges out on the open road, Variety reports.
  • Los Angeles County Sheriff’s will be part of two reality shows that have yet to be sold to a network. The Academy “would follow a number of cadets through training,” and The Assignment “would film the daily activities of deputies,” according to the AP. That is, they will if 44 Blue Productions can find an interested network now that the county has given approval. If sold, LA County will get “5 percent of the license fees once the shows are sold to a network. License fees range from $500,000 to $3 million,” the AP reports.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.