ABC’s celebrity impersonator series The Next Best Thing debuts tonight

ABC again rolls out its summer reality TV strategy of creating derivatives of other reality series, debuting The Next Best Thing tonight at 8 p.m. ET. The network originally planned a two-hour debut for tonight, but now the show is just one hour.

The series is a talent competition that will search for a celebrity impersonator. Jeffrey Ross and two others (Lisa Ann Walter and Elon Gold) judge and narrow a group of celebrity interpreters; ABC says they “will use their razor sharp wit and comedic skills as they evaluate, critique and sometimes skewer celebrity impersonators based on how much they look, sound and act like the celebrity they’re impersonating.” Viewers will eventually vote for one to win $100,000.

The show is produced by Peter Engel and Barry Katz, who also produce Last Comic Standing, and ABC’s trailer for the show makes it look like the NBC show’s sibling.

Next Best Thing [ABC]

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.