This week: Survivor mixes up the fetuses and fogies, another Real Housewives debuts

As both fall and fall series ramp up, some summer cable reality shows are ending this week.

The Past: last week’s most-read stories

  1. Real World’s Dunbar has sex and shows all on Foursome, unlike his reality TV co-stars
  2. Survivor Redemption Island: season 22’s big twist
  3. Hurricane NaOnka doesn’t make landfall or dissipate, but Survivor is still annoying
  4. Shannon Elkins: “I was concerned that [Sash] was gay and I was protecting my butthole”
  5. Tony Danza’s A&E series Teach is the opposite of the joke we expected it would be

The Forward: what to look for this week

  • Sunday, Oct. 10
    Tonight’s episode of The Amazing Race 17 [CBS, 8:30 p.m.] is titled “In Phil We Trust,” though the episode description just mentions that one contestant needs medical attention. I’m intrigued to see how these are related. Meanwhile, comedians including Cedric the Entertainer, Tommy Davidson, and Ralphie May show up to help out on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition [ABC, 8 p.m.], and Undercover Boss [CBS, 9 p.m.] follows the CEO of DirecTV.
  • Monday, Oct. 11
    Bill Rancic and Giuliana DePandi return for a third season of their show Giuliana & Bill [Style, 8 p.m.], and this season starts with the couple, who’ve been talking in interviews about their recent miscarriage, focusing on starting a family.
  • Tuesday, Oct. 12
    Flipping Out [Bravo, 9 p.m.] ends its fourth season, which was uneven: sometimes just like the old show I loved, sometimes boring and without much going on, and sometimes uncomfortable, like when Jeff went too far with his employees and that crazy client went to far hitting Trace for no reason. Also tonight, two of MTV’s better series have their finales: Teen Mom [MTV, 10 p.m.] and If You Really Knew Me [MTV, 11:30 p.m.]
  • Wednesday, Oct. 13
    Survivor Nicaragua [CBS, 8 p.m.] ends its old fogies versus young fetuses tribe experiment as the tribes are mixed up. The episode is titled “turf wars,” so the whole mix-up probably doesn’t excite the contestants as much as it excites us. Also, Hell’s Kitchen airs its 100th episode [Fox, 8 p.m.] as part of its eighth season, although I challenge you to tell any of those episodes or seasons apart, since it’s been the same damn thing for those 100 episodes. On cable, Storm Chasers returns [Discovery, 10 p.m.] as crazy guys try to get next to and/or in the middle of actual tornadoes: it’s compelling and dramatic, if you’ve never seen it before. Earlier, storm chasers Reed Timmer and Sean Casey show up on Mythbusters [Discovery, 9 p.m.] to help test storm-related myths and, of course, promote their show.
  • Thursday, Oct. 14
    After The Real Housewives of DC reunite [Bravo, 9 p.m.] to accuse each other of things and to give Andy Cohen the chance to further hone his hosting skills, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills debuts [Bravo, 10 p.m.]. It stars Kelsey Grammer’s ex-wife and women who are Paris Hilton’s aunts.
  • Friday, Oct. 15
    A new series gives makeovers to schools that desperately need help; School Pride [NBC, 8 p.m.] basically Extreme Makeover: School Edition, as its even produced by one of that show’s original producers, but it’s on a different network, NBC. Also, if you haven’t yet checked out Teach: Tony Danza [A&E, 10 p.m.], it’s pretty great watching Tony Danza struggle with his actual job as an actual high school teacher.

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.