Here’s what happened last week, and what to watch for next week:
- This past week was all about Jon and Kate Plus Eight plus a vagina. The TLC reality show’s ratings dropped and then TLC dropped Jon from its title, promoting Jon to threaten camera crews with arrest, which led TLC to shut down production. We also learned how much money Jon and Kate make, and how much The Hills’ cast makes, although three of them are leaving after this season ends. But who cares about that when we can have a national debate about an anonymous SYTYCD auditoner’s private parts.
- Friday, Oct. 2
DietTribe [Lifetime, 9 p.m.] returns for a second season tonight, and offers a good alternative to the now-overloaded and bloated Biggest Loser. At the same time, Animal Planet’s docudrama Jockeys ends [9 p.m.], and I won’t miss it; unlike Whale Wars, it relies too much on the editing to create drama, and even fakes it sometimes, like when it showed jockey Alex Solis watching the Santa Anita Derby after his horse The Pamplemousse was removed for medical reasons, even though he was racing another horse in the race that he was watching on TV. That reality didn’t fit the narrative, so the producers lied to us.
- Saturday, Oct. 3
If you’ve ever had hopes of training your pet to do something like bring you a beverage from the fridge, watch the debut of Superfetch [Animal Planet, 8 p.m.], because that’s what Zak George does on the new series: trains pets to do amazing tricks. As Halloween approaches, it’s time to start scaring ourselves shitless, and celebrities help us do that by telling their own Celebrity Ghost Stories [BIO, 10 p.m.]. The first episode is super-creepy, with now-dead actor David Carradine talking about being haunted by the ghost of his new wife’s ex, and BIO says “the haunting takes place in his bedroom closet” (Carradine later died in a closet in Thailand from autoerotic asphyxiation).
- Sunday, Oct. 4
The Amazing Race [CBS, whatever the fuck time 60 Minutes ends] will hopefully keep up the momentum from its second hour last week and not duplicate its weak first hour. A new food competition starts with The Next Iron Chef 2 [Food Network, 9 p.m.], and hopefully it’ll borrow more from The Next Food Network Star than its first, kinda boring season did.
- Monday, Oct. 5
Tonight’s the TV debut of controversial documentary Outrage [HBO, 9 p.m.], which outs closeted gay politicians who support anti-gay legislation.
- Tuesday, Oct. 6
If you’re watching NCIS instead of Shark Tank [ABC, 8 p.m.], give the reality series a shot: it’s great TV, and better than its competing reality series The Biggest Loser and Hell’s Kitchen, although it was stupid of ABC to counter-schedule it like that. Also, as a bonus, there’s no Mark Harmon. An hour later, watch the sixth-season debut of the show that spawned it, Dragon’s Den [BBC America, 9 p.m.], or the return of the always fun Mike Rowe with his Dirty Jobs [Discovery, 9 p.m.]. Another ghost-focused reality show debuts tonight: Ghost Lab [Discovery, 10 p.m.], which follows Texas brothers and their ghost-hunting company Everyday Paranormal.
- Wednesday, Oct. 7
Design Squad returns for a third season [PBS, check local listings], following college students who use their engineering skills to design cool things “from remote-controlled flying football targets for Hasbro to dry land dog sleds for the Jamaica Dog Sled Team,” PBS says. If you’ve ever been in an Anthropologie store, you might be interested in Man Shops Globe [Sundance Channel, 10 p.m.], a new series that follows the man who shops for the stuff sold in those stores. Also Wednesday night, Top Chef Las Vegas returns [Bravo, 10 p.m.] returns after taking a week off for no reason except that Andy Cohen must have wanted us to go to Bravotv.com to figure out why the hell Bravo was depriving us of its best competition series.