Next week: Dancing with the Stars cast revealed, Big Brother dumps two hamsters

Summer’s winding down, but there are still a few shows kicking around, and even a few new debuts this coming week.

The Past: last week’s most-read stories

  1. Top Shot host Colby Donaldson: “I certainly don’t want to rip Probst off”
  2. Lane masturbates on Big Brother live feeds
  3. Rachel Zoe’s Taylor fired or quit
  4. Food Network has its next star, and Aarti Party will debut Sunday
  5. Mary Murphy details her limited role on So You Think You Can Dance: “I’m back in the pool”

The Forward: what to look for this week

  • Friday, August 20
    Three episodes of the still-amazing, why-aren’t-you-watching Whale Wars [Animal Planet, 9 p.m.] remain, including two next week as part of the two-hour, season three finale, as the battle between Japanese whalers and the Sea Shepherds gets even more intense. Later, Twisted [Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.] profiles a different serial killer each week through interviews with people who knew them before they were outed as serial killers.
  • Saturday, August 21
    Survivor Fiji winner Earl Cole lets cameras document his wedding and related drama for Whose Wedding is it Anyway? [Style, 9 p.m.]
  • Sunday, August 22
    Ten hours after Aarti Party debuts [Food Network, noon], HGTV’s Design Star concludes its season [10 p.m.] after a pretty awful makeover that seems to have damaged both the show and Vern Yip’s reputations with fans. Michael and Emily remain, and one will get their own show on the network. At the same time, Food Network goes docudrama with Family Style [10 p.m.], a series that follows a brother and sister who run a Italian restaurant. Also, Keeping Up with the Kardashians [E!, 10 p.m.] returns for its fifth season, and it’s followed by Spin Crowd [E!, 10:30 p.m.], which follows the staff of a PR agency. Finally, Swamp People debuts [History, Aug. 22], and you’ll be forgiven if you confuse it with the Kardashians. Instead, it’s a show that follows Louisiana swampers during their alligator hunting season.
  • Monday, August 23
    [Correction: The Dancing with the Stars cast is actually being announced next week, Aug. 30. I regret the error.] The Real Housewives of New Jersey [Bravo, 10 p.m.] ends its second season, but of course it will be followed by 312 reunion and lost footage episodes. If you’re tired of all that nonsense, Witness: Katrina [National Geographic, 9 p.m.] looks at the disaster through home video shot by people who lived through it, while HBO debuts Spike Lee’s follow-up to his documentary about Hurricane Katrina. The first part of If God Is Willing And Da Creek Don’t Rise [HBO, 9 p.m.] debuts tonight, followed by the second half Tuesday, and it explores both the aftermath of Katrina and, in a last-minute addition, the effect of the BP oil spill on people in the region.
  • Tuesday, August 24
    Tonight, MTV takes its successful reality series Made and turns it into a fictional movie [10 p.m.] described as a “high school comedy,” stripping everything from it that works.
  • Wednesday, August 25
    Animal Planet’s hoarding show Confessions: Animal Hoarding [9 p.m.] ends its first, six-episode season, while Ghost Hunters [SyFy, 9 p.m.] returns for its sixth season. Also tonight, Top Chef DC sends its chefs to run the concessions at the home of the Washington Nationals, which is apparently a baseball team.
  • Thursday, August 26
    Big Brother 12 [CBS, 8 p.m.] airs its annual fast-forward, double-eviction episode, with Britney’s nominee being evicted followed by a new HOH competition, a veto competition, and an eviction. If anything, these episodes are usually good for some entertainment when some part of a challenge fails and Julie Chen tries to make it work.

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.