Next week: documentaries about WWII, Mumbai terrorism, headshrinkers, conjoined twins

A look back at last week’s reality TV news, and a look ahead at what’s on the air next week:

The Past

The Forward

  • Sunday, Nov. 15
    The title of the History Channel’s special mini-series WWII in HD [9 p.m.] explains it all: The 10-hour Gary Sinise-narrated series, which airs two hours each night through Thursday, follows 12 Americans who participated in the second world war using color, never-before-seen high-definition footage. Also Sunday, Three Foot Giant [Bio, 10 p.m.] profiles a 30-year-old who’s three feet tall, following him as he goes on a date and throws out the first pitch at a baseball game, while TLC airs four hours of one-hour specials about conjoined twins starting at 7 p.m. ET. Finally, National Geographic launches its Expedition Week with Search for the Amazon Headshrinkers [NatGeo, 9 p.m.], a documentary that includes “45-year-old archive footage captured by explorer Edmundo Bielawski, purportedly the only known footage that shows the process of an actual — recently deceased — human head being shrunk,” according to the network.
  • Monday, Nov. 16
    I’m watching Million Dollar Listing [Bravo, 10 p.m.], mostly because it’s fun to hate the cast members, but it seems so contrived now, particularly almost everything Josh Flagg does or says. He’s just not a good actor. Anyway, after a new episode of Josh, Chad, and Madison, Bravo gives us a new food show: Chef Academy [11 p.m.], a docudrama that follows Jean Christophe Novelli as he opens, well, a chef academy.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 17
    Being Neil Armstrong [BBC America, 8 p.m.] follows an author’s search for information about the first man on the moon, who has dropped out of the public eye. Later, on The Hills [MTV, 10 p.m.], that crazypants Heidi Montag decides to get secretly pregnant by her crazypants husband Spencer Pratt. I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Spencer here, but I hope he gets his balls clipped before she gets near him.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 18
    Top Model ends its 13th cycle [The CW, 8 p.m.] and produces yet another model who will immediately fade into obscurity. That’s followed by a one-hour special with never-before-seen footage, in case you care.
  • Thursday, Nov. 19
    Survivor Samoa‘s episode [CBS, 8 p.m.], is titled “The Day of Reckoning.” Hmm. On a more serious note, a new documentary, Terror in Mumbai [HBO, 8 p.m.], looks at the terrorist attacks in India last year, and the footage, narrated by Fareed Zakaria, includes “exclusive audio tapes of the intercepted phone calls between the young gunmen and their controllers in Pakistan, and testimony from the sole surviving gunman,” according to HBO.

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.