Here comes the first official week of the 2010-2011 TV season. Buckle your DVR belts, or something10
The Past: last week’s most-read stories
- Big Brother’s Allison Grodner on live feed watchers (including Les Moonves), sex, bigotry, and more
- The Amazing Race 17 clip that proves this season will be great
- Little People, Big World ending after its upcoming, “dramatic” sixth season
- Survivor contract, rule book are back online
- Survivor contestant contract: the waivers, agreements that cast members, families sign
- Survivor rules: the contract that details pay, tie-breakers, prohibited behavior, and more
The Forward: what to look for this week
- Friday, Sept. 10
Stand Up To Cancer [8 p.m., all broadcast networks, many cable networks] is a one-hour special to raise money for cancer research, and the special will include cancer survivor and Survivor winner Ethan Zohn, who’s the spokesperson for CBS and Survivor’s Stand Up to Cancer campaign.
- Saturday, Sept. 11
Cops [Fox, 8 p.m.] debuts its 23rd season and 800th episode. It’s definitely a precursor to modern reality TV; had it followed cops and storylines for more than a segment in a half-hour episode, it would have been a pioneer in episodic, narrative unscripted TV, the kind that The Real World and Survivor became known for.
- Sunday, Sept. 12
Jersey Shore airs a special pre-VMA episode [MTV, 7 p.m.], while the VMAs will be followed by a preview of World of Jenks [MTV, 11 p.m.], a show on which a semi-pretentious 20-something documentary filmmaker lives with people to try to understand their lives and condescend to them. At least, that’s the way it comes off to me, and I can’t imagine the crowd who finds Snooki and The Situation engaging will watch this, however well-intentioned it is. Besides, Morgan Spurlock did this better in FX’s 30 Days. Meanwhile, The Great Food Truck Race [Food Network, 9 p.m.] heads to a small town in Tennessee; if you haven’t given this competition series a shot yet, you should, although it’s now down to the final three. Finally, Big Brother 12 [CBS, 8 p.m.] airs a clip show, because the producers know the Brigade can’t possibly carry another episode on their own, although there’s three hours of them live on TV every night [Showtime 2, midnight].
- Monday, Sept. 13
After six episodes, Bachelor Pad [ABC, 8 p.m.] comes to an end with a two-hour finale, followed by the season finale of Dating in the Dark [ABC, 10:02 p.m.]. Also tonight, Hoarders [A&E, 9 p.m.] may or may not air the “worst house ever” episode that A&E kept teasing last weekend but didn’t actually show in its first two episodes. A&E’s bullshit aside, it’s a fantastic series.
- Tuesday, Sept. 14
Wipeout [ABC, 8 p.m.] ends its summer run with its finale and then a one-hour clip show. That’s just in time, because while watching people bounce off things during the qualifier never gets old for me, the rest of the competition does, and I’ve started deleting episodes after watching the qualifier. Also tonight, the final four perform on America’s Got Talent [NBC, 9 p.m.].
- Wednesday, Sept. 15
It’s a crazy night tonight: Summer’s most-popular series, America’s Got Talent, airs its two-hour finale [NBC, 8 p.m.], and summer’s most-popular new series, Masterchef, also concludes [Fox, 8 p.m.] at the exact same time that Survivor Nicaragua debuts on its new night [CBS, 8 p.m.]. That competition won’t help it in the ratings, but it may help the ratings of Big Brother 12, which concludes with a two-hour finale [CBS, 9 p.m.] the second hour airs at the exact same time that Top Chef DC ends its season [Bravo, 10 p.m.]. And if that wasn’t enough to make your head spin, Top Chef Just Desserts debuts [Bravo, 11 p.m.].
- Thursday, Sept. 16
The Apprentice returns in its original form [NBC, 9 p.m.] with a two-hour premiere that will feature candidates who have lost their jobs–or can’t find jobs–because of the economy. Donald Trump will probably still yell at them, though, thankfully. Meanwhile, The Fence [HBO, 8 p.m.] explores the impact of the $3 billion, 700-mile fence built between Mexico and the U.S.