This week, I and a lot of other TV critics have been engaged in an orgy of publicity, breaking news, and crazy shit, like Legacy dancing in the aisle of a hotel ballroom and shaking his butt at my face.
- Last week, hundreds of Survivor cast members partied days before Simon Cowell surprised no one by quitting American Idol and launching another singing talent competition on Fox. Also in our future: a Bachelor spin-off, a return to a familiar city for MTV’s oldest reality show, and exoneration for Richard Hatch, at least according to him. Also, American Idol debuted without Paula and with a song about pants.
- Friday, Jan. 15
The third season of I Shouldn’t Be Alive [Animal Planet, 9 p.m.] debuts as a woman and extreme athlete tells the story of falling into a canyon in the desert. Meanwhile, people who log in the swamp are followed on the second season of Swamp Loggers [Discovery, 10 p.m.]
- Saturday, Jan. 16
The new docudrama series Pit Boss debuts [Animal Planet, 10 p.m.] and follows little people who rescue and rehabilitate pit bulls.
- Monday, Jan. 18
MTV counters its general reality nonsense with The Buried Life [MTV, 10 p.m.], a series that follows four 20-something friends who work to check items off of their list of dreams, like playing basketball with Barack Obama, and then help other people accomplish something they dream about doing. Also that hour, Be Good Johnny Weir debuts [Sundance Channel, 10:30 p.m.] and follows the 24-year-old athlete as he competes and tries to make the Olympic team.
- Tuesday, Jan. 19
Patti Stanger’s abrasive matchmaking returns on the second season of Millionaire Matchmaker [Bravo, 10 p.m.], and yet another ghost exploration show (seriously? really? WTF?) debuts: Paranormal Cops [A&E, 10:30 p.m.], which follows Chicago cops who search for ghosts while off duty. Oh, and American Idol [Fox, 8 p.m.] is still on, though its audition episodes shrink to just one hour tonight and tomorrow night.
- Wednesday, Jan. 20
Making sure its brand is firmly established as the place for disturbing television, TLC debuts a third season of Toddlers & Tiaras [TLC, 10 p.m.] Elsewhere, the Meteorite Men [Science Channel, 9 p.m.] are two guys who look for, well, meteroites on their six-episode show, which was previewed with a special last May. At least they’re not looking for ghosts. Oh, and American Idol [Fox, 8 p.m.] is still on.
- Thursday, Jan. 21
Although it feels like we just met Snooki and were debating about the use of the term “guido,” Jersey Shore [MTV, 10 p.m.] ends its eight-episode run tonight. I’d bet it and its cast members will be back.