Next week: Christian Siriano has a moment; Top Chef Masters and Chopped both return

If you were too giddy in anticipation of pranks you were going to pull on April Fool’s Day to pay attention this week, here are the stories you should read from last week, and a look at shows to watch next week.

The Past

Also this week, I had some fun with my favorite day of the year, April 1, with stories about the Gosselin kids’ new reality show; Bravo’s plans for Project Funway, complete with slip ‘n’ slide; Michael Ausiello’s annoying “scoops”; and Jesse James new VH1 dating show.

The Forward

  • Friday, April 2
    Wife Swap [ABC, 8 p.m.] is back for its sixth season of teaching people life lessons as they swap homes; tonight, a regular hard-working mother switches places with a woman who has three spoiled kids and 14 fake “reborn” babies that have heartbeats and breathe but are fake. That is scary shit.
  • Saturday, April 3
    Playboy Shootout, a new competition series, debuts tonight [Playboy TV, 10 p.m.]. While the title is suggestive, the series is a bit more prosaic, although still has nudity: it’s a competition between photographers who are competing to have a pictorial published in Playboy. Celebrity Apprentice cast member Brande Roderick hosts while Girls Next Door cast members will appear.
  • Sunday, April 4
    Jessica Alba helps out on a special two-hour Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [ABC, 8 p.m.], which features a family that has 13 foster kids and a home wrecked by a hurricane. Meanwhile, Tool Academy concludes its third season [VH1, 10 p.m.] while Deadliest Catch gears up for its mid-April debut with a special best-of season five episode [Discovery, 10 p.m.], that highlights the king crab season; a second best-of is next Sunday.
  • Monday, April 5
    Celebrity Fit Club [VH1, 10 p.m.] ends its seventh season, while two new specials debut on the Fox Reality Channel’s replacement, Nat Geo Wild: Expedition Wild [9 p.m.] follows Casey Anderson, who goes to Alaska to learn how bears function, and then goes back to teach the bear he has in captivity those same skills, like catching fish; Mystery Gorillas with Mireya Mayor [10 p.m.] follows the Expedition Africa star as she teaches us about gorillas. Also tonight, Project Runway winner Christian Siriano gets his own special, Christian Siriano: Having a Moment [Bravo, 10 p.m.].
  • Tuesday, April 6
    Chopped [Food Network, 10 p.m.], returns for its fourth season, and I’ve really missed it, because it grew from a show I kinda hated to one that I really look forward to every week. At least until that stupid judge complains about the size of his appetizer, or that other stupid judge complains about red onions.
  • Wednesday, April 7
    We won’t have Camilla Alves red ick loss hossin to may fun uh after tonight, because Shear Genius ends its season [10 p.m.], and I’m hoping that annoying Brig wins because I cannot stand those other two. Speaking of people I can’t stand, a new Challenge debuts [MTV, 10 p.m.], and it’s the second “Fresh Meat” version, perhaps because producers realized it gets boring to watch the same 40-year-olds compete season after season. But who cares about that crap: Top Chef Masters returns for a second season [Bravo, 11 p.m.]. I can’t wait.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.