Next week: idol-flushing on Survivor, a cheating scandal on Apprentice, and the Fashion Show tries again

Some big stuff is going down on competition series next week, from the rebirth of a cable competition to a scandal on a network series that few people are watching.

The Past: last week’s most-read stories

  1. Project Runway’s results may have alienated the show’s remaining fans
  2. Skating with the Stars cast: six people, no stars
  3. Survivor contestants pee in their own pool
  4. Why Survivor Why Survivor has 20 people instead of 16, and why there’s usually a final three
  5. Executive producer Jon Murray explains why Project Runway changed this season

The Forward: what to look for this week

  • Friday, Nov. 5
    Tonight, Tony Danza’s year of teaching high school English ends–or, at least, the reality show following him does. Teach concludes [A&E, 10 p.m.] with back-to-back final episodes, which comes after A&E gave the tragically low-rated show a slight reprieve. Also, Next Food Network Star runner-up Tom Pizzica gets his own series, Outrageous Food [10 p.m.], on which he searches out and helps prepare insane food, such as a 105-pound hamburger and a 52-inch burrito.

    Earlier, Supernanny returns [ABC, 8 p.m.] for its final season of the naughty step, while Operation Wild debuts its second season [Planet Green, 9 p.m.] of following Florida Fish and Wildlife commission officers who patrol the swamps that we Floridians call home.

  • Saturday, Nov. 6
    Downsized [WE tv, 9 p.m.] follows a family of seven kids and two parents whose lived have been impacted not by a reality show (yet), but by the recession. There’s no twist, just their financially devastated lives on display for all to see.
  • Sunday, Nov. 7
    Kate Gosselin returns in one of her periodic specials, Kate Plus 8 [TLC, 9 p.m.], for her clan’s trip to Alaska to cross-promote Sarah Palin’s upcoming TLC reality series. Later, Kendra returns [E!, 10 p.m.] for a third season, and she’s followed by Married to Rock [E!, 10:30 p.m.], a new Housewives-like series that follows four women married to rock stars. And of course, I use the word “stars” very loosely.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 9
    The Fashion Show [Bravo, 10 p.m.] tries again, and hopefully won’t just be a bad Project Runway clone this time. Besides having a new co-host, the show has a brand-new format, too. Is it enough to get Bravo back into the fashion reality competition game that it started? Also tonight, Bad Girls Club ends its fifth season [Oxygen, 9 p.m.] with an episode called “Punching Out,” and Spike gets into the finding-stuff reality series game with Auction Hunters [Spike, 10 p.m.].
  • Wednesday, Nov. 10
    On Survivor Nicaragua [CBS, 8 p.m.], the newly merged tribe is going after one of its idol-holders. CBS’ episode description says that one person “makes a difficult decision that backfires, allowing another castaway the opportunity to devise a strategy to flush out the hidden immunity idol and blindside a rival.” Also, Top Chef Just Desserts [Bravo, 10 p.m.] gets down to its finalists going into next week’s finale.
  • Thursday, Nov. 11
    The Apprentice [NBC, 10 p.m.] teased a scandal at the end of last week’s episode, and the preview, at least, suggested Trump will fire someone for texting and getting money as a result from someone outside the competition. Crazy.

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.