Shaq competition, ninja warrior search, Toby Maguire’s family among new shows

Among new series announced recently are a search for a ninja and a docudrama following Toby Maguire’s mother and younger brother.

G4 is looking for a new ninja warrior–really–on American Ninja Warrior, for which they’re currently casting via “an open tryout where you can take on a new Ninja-inspired obstacle course, for a chance to compete on Ninja Warrior in Japan.”

Shaquille O’Neal will star in a new ABC competition called Shaq Vs., on which he competes against pro athletes in their sports. The show debuts Aug. 18, and ABC announced that he “will challenge Olympian and World Champion Michael Phelps in swimming; Ben Roethlisberger, Super Bowl-winning quarterback for the Pittsburgh Steelers, in football; reigning U.S. Open, Australian Open and Wimbledon Champion Serena Williams in tennis; championship fighter Oscar de la Hoya in boxing; two time NL MVP and St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols in baseball; and Olympic gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor in beach volleyball.”

Toby Maguire’s brother Weston and mother Wendy may star in a new reality series, as Page Six reported that “Bob DeBrino — who produced “Find Me Guilty,” directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Vin Diesel — plans to show how Wendy, a single mother, sacrifices to shield her children from the downside of the entertainment industry.”

A. Smith and Co. is developing Shark Boat, a docudrama “set inside Hawaii Shark Encounters, run by world-class free diver Stefanie Brendl” and “will focus on the struggles that Brendl and her staff face as they attempt to stay in business following the death of her boyfriend and business partner,” Variety reported.

Cory Gunz is working on a reality show with Nick Cannon, who told MTV News, “It’s about bringing hip-hop back and taking it all the way to the top.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.