Next week: the Jackson family comes to reality TV, and cook with Gordon Ramsay live

December is fading rapidly, and even here in Florida, it’s been winter gray. Here’s what you may have missed last week, and what reality TV you should look forward to watching on TV next week:

The Past

The Forward

  • Saturday, Dec. 12
    Ninja Warrior comes to the US with American Ninja Warrior [G4, 6 p.m.], which G4 is for some reason airing as four back-to-back half-hour episodes this Saturday and next, starting well before prime-time.
  • Sunday, Dec. 13
    It’s a big night, as Dexter concludes its dramatic season and a ton of reality TV fills cable networks. A two-hour special called The People Speak [History, 8 p.m.] features celebrities such as Marisa Tomei and Viggo Mortensen, plus producers Josh Brolin and Matt Damon, illustrating history by performing regular people’s stories about their involvement in major events. Also tonight, a one-hour documentary about Susan Boyle, creatively titled I Dreamed a Dream: The Susan Boyle Story [TV Guide, 8 p.m.] will be narrated by Piers Morgan. A&E’s long-awaited series about the Jackson family, The Jacksons: A Family Dynasty will debut [A&E, 9 p.m.] with two back-to-back one-hour episodes, and Keeping Up With The Kardashians returns [E!, 10 p.m.].
  • Monday, Dec. 14
    The four-night a capella singing competition The Sing Off debuts tonight [NBC, 8 p.m.], and airs Tuesday, Wednesday, and next Monday. Hosted by Nick Lachey, NBC insists that it’s “like Glee meets American Idol.”. Minus the interesting parts, probably. Meanwhile, the Ryan Seacrest-produced series Bank of Hollywood [E!, 10 p.m.] debuts, and watches as people ask quasi-celebrities for cash, kind of like Shark Tank but without much of a point. Also tonight, following Carrie Underwood’s Fox holiday special last week, Jennifer Hudson gets her own special on another network [ABC, 8 p.m.].
  • Tuesday, Dec. 15
    After the top six do their final performances on So You Think You Can Dance [Fox, 8 p.m.], you’ll get a chance to cook with Hell’s Kitchen hellion Gordon Ramsay. During a one-hour special, Gordon Ramsay’s Cookalong Live [Fox, 8 p.m.], he’ll show you how to cook a three-course meal. Buy the ingredients you need in advance and get a pot of water boiling, or he’ll call you a stupid donkey.
  • Wednesday, Dec. 16
    During a two-hour finale, So You Think You Can Dance 6 [Fox, 8 p.m.] will waste a lot of time before announcing who America’s favorite dancer is (Jakob, probably). At least their finale results show will feature lots of amazing dancing, in addition to filler like performances by Adam Lambert.
  • Thursday, Dec. 17
    Tonight is Survivor Samoa‘s final Thursday episode [CBS, 8 p.m.], but the season concludes during its traditional three-hour finale on Sunday, Dec. 20.

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.