This week: Survivor promises “a venomous fight,” MTV Challenge turns Cutthroat

It’s so nice outside this week I might not watch any TV at all. But if you do, here’s what to look out for, and what you may have missed last week.

The Past: last week’s most-read stories

  1. Survivor Redemption Island: season 22′s big twist
  2. Survivor 22 call sheets leaked, reveal crew schedules, merged tribe name
  3. Shannon Elkins: “I was concerned that [Sash] was gay and I was protecting my butthole”
  4. Real World’s Dunbar, VH1′s Pumkin also on Playboy’s sex series Foursome
  5. VH1 burning off edited I Love Money 4 after skipping season three

The Forward: what to look for this week

  • Sunday, Oct. 3
    Food Network keeps producing great competition series, and another favorite returns tonight as The Next Iron Chef debuts its third season [Food Network, 9 p.m.] with a 90-minute premiere. A spin-off of Ice Road Truckers debuts tonight [History, 9 p.m.]; IRT: Deadliest Roads follows truckers from the original series navigating roads in the Himalayas.
  • Monday, Oct. 4
    If you can stand more craziness, The Real Housewives of Atlanta return [Bravo, 9 [p.m.], and another network tries its hand at a similar series with an all-gay cast on The A-List [Logo, 10 p.m.], although the latter is being pretty universally derided before it even debuts. Then again, most of these shows succeed based on how intolerable their casts are.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 5
    Flipping Out [Bravo, 9 p.m.], is definitely the best docudrama on the network right now, and this week, though it’s getting rough: Last week, Jeff’s emotional abuse left an employee sobbing in the bathroom, and this week, the preview shows a new client assaulting Trace by slapping him across the face. Meanwhile, House of Glam [Oyxgeny, 11 p.m.] debuts, following an agency full of celebrity stylists. Just what the world needed.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 6
    Survivor Nicaragua [CBS, 8 p.m.] promises more conflict as “[t]he hunt for the hidden immunity idol widens the rift between two castaways at the La Flor camp, triggering a venomous fight.” La Flor is the younger tribe, which you’ll be forgiven for not knowing because not even Jeff Probst uses its name. Later, the Mythbusters team debuts their eighth season [Discovery, 9 p.m.] as they test myths about crime-fighting dogs, and The Challenge: Cutthroat [MTV, 10 p.m.] features three teams of MTV attention whores fighting for the show’s biggest-ever prize, $500,000 in cash and prizes (hmm, I wonder how much of that is prizes and how much is actual cash). Also tonight, two of A&E’s embattled reality series see their series return: Dog the Bounty Hunter [A&E, 9 p.m.] and Steven Segal Lawman [A&E, 10 p.m.]
  • Thursday, Oct. 7
    The Real Housewives of DC[Bravo, 9 p.m.] ends its first season after nine episodes that culiminated last week with the news event that got the world to pay attention to the show long before it debuted.

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.