Comedy Central will mock other shows in its first reality competition Reality Bites Back

In a few weeks, Comedy Central will debut its first reality series, one that both satirizes other shows and is a genuine competition. While the network has aired multiple seasons of Drawn Together, an animated series that started as satire of reality TV, it hasn’t aired a real reality show until now.

Reality Bites Back “satirizes and pokes fun at such staples of the reality genre,” according to Comedy Central, mocking such shows as American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, American Gladiators, The Amazing Race, and Survivor. Michael Ian Black hosts the competition, which will award one comedian $50,000. Here’s how Comedy Central describes some of the challenges:

The already patriotic “American Gladiators” becomes the hyper-nationalistic “Almost-American Gladiators,” in which the contestants must fight off roided-out Border Patrol Agents as they replicate the immigrant experience through physical challenges; sub-lebrity exploitation is taken to new heights as the contestants stalk and shoot down their d-list partners in “Hunting with the Stars,” and, because the public loves to see amateurs fail at skills it takes years to master, the comedians are given 24 hours to become Olympians in “So You Think You Can Dive.”

Here’s a preview of the new series, which debuts July 17 at 10:30 p.m. ET:

Reality TV Just Got a Whole Lot Realer! [Comedy Central press release]
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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, 37, 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.