The CW, Oxygen, Showtime, Sci Fi, Bio Channel announce new shows, renewals

Several networks have announced new shows and renewals over the past week or so, and those shows range from a weight-loss dance competition to a competition that involves attempting to escape from a locked room.

The CW will air a new series this fall called In Harm’s Way that follows current reality TV trends and “looks at lives of people doing dangerous jobs,” the network says. It’s produced by Pilgrim Films and Television and debuts Sept. 21.

Besides renewing Bad Girls Club for a third season–and expanding its episodes to one hour–Oxygen has ordered Dance Your Ass Off, on which “talented, full-figured contestants who struggle with their weight will dance to unleash their inner thin,” according to the network.

Next year, Showtime will air a reality series that follows the owner of a Colorado gun store and those who buy guns at his establishment, which also includes a shooting range. Most interestingly, it’ll be filmed with “hidden cameras which will only be revealed after the transaction is completed in order to insure a particularly candid and compelling point of view,” according to Showtime. Lock ‘N Load‘s six half-hour episodes follow “‘The Shootist’ gun store in Englewood, Colorado, where salesman Josh Ryan is always in full-on pitch mode,” according to Showtime, and it also follows buyers, such as “the new parent who wants to protect his family; the teenager who’s an expert hunter; the 30-something woman who feels a little more at ease with a revolver in her purse and the avid collector who simply has a fascination with guns of all kinds.”

The Sci Fi channel will air Endemol’s Estate of Panic, “large quantities of cash are hidden in a massive estate and seven strangers are invited to find the money” and deal with “terrors that await them,” and Cash or Capture, a “reality competition show that pits a group of contestants against each other in the quest for a cash prize, while being stalked by relentless ‘hunters,’” according to SciFi. Both debut in November 2008.

Sci Fi is also developing three new reality series: Soul Evidence, which follows the woman who inspired NBC’s drama Medium, Allison Dubois, as she “leads a team of psychics, scientists and investigators to solve cold case murders”; Danger Game, which “takes viewers behind the scenes at a secretive organization known as Modern Reality Adventures (MRA) that creates alternate reality experiences for select clients”; and Escape, a competition produced by Magical Elves on which “[t]hree contestants locked in a room must endure a series of physical challenges, decipher riddles and break codes in order to escape” while “their prize money decreases and their anxiety builds while three contestants locked in an identical room also race to find their own way out,” the network says. Finally, it has renewed Ghost Hunters for a fifth season.

The Bio Channel has renewed its true-story telling series I Survived, and has also ordered a similar show, Why I Ran, on which “actual people who have led the police on some of the most dangerous high-speed pursuits ever” tell their stories, according to the network. It has also ordered Female Forces, on which “viewers will ride shotgun with a police department’s female officers and get an in-the-squad car view of what it’s like to be a female crime fighter.”

Media Rights Capital and The CW Network Announce… and [The CW press releases]
Oxygen Picks Up Third Season of Hit Series “The Bad Girls Club” and Expands Show to One-Hour Format [Oxygen press release]
Showtime is Armed with New Reality Show and… [Showtime press release]
Sci Fi Greenlights Three Original Series,
Sci Fi Announces All-New Development Slate, and Ghost Hunters Returns to Sci Fi for Season 5 [Sci Fi press releases]
Bio Channel Aggresively Expanding Original Programming Slate [Bio Channel]

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.