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19 renewed and new reality shows

19 renewed and new reality shows
Eddie Huang with a panda in Chengdu, China, in a scene from the Huang's World's web series. His Viceland show has been renewed for a second season.

The following is a list of notable, newly announced reality show renewals, and newly announced reality shows—including several spin-off series, from shows such as Married at First Sight and Mythbusters.

Renewed reality shows

  • A&E renewed Born This Way, which just won an Emmy, for its third season (season two concluded Tuesday night). A&E’s head of programming, Elaine Frontain Bryant, said in the announcement that the Bunim-Murray produced reality series “is a shining example of what the entertainment business needs more of—powerful, thought-provoking storytelling with a greater purpose. It was incredibly rewarding to see the show recognized with the Emmy Award for giving a platform to the extraordinary abilities and wisdom of the cast and their families.”
  • NBC’s Better Late Than Never, which features older actors traveling the world and participating in semi- (or fully) scripted stunts and shenanigans, will be back next year. NBC said that it “was the #1 new series introduced by the broadcast networks this past summer, averaging a 1.8 rating, 7 share in adults 18-49 and 8.1 million viewers overall.” While a location has yet to be announced, the same cast will return: Henry Winkler, William Shatner, Terry Bradshaw, George Foreman, and Jeff Dye.
  • Unsurprisingly, American Ninja Warrior will return next summer for its sixth season on both NBC and Esquire. NBC called it “a cultural sensation, ratings powerhouse and first-time Emmy Award nominee,” and said that season five was “its most-watched season in total viewers,” never mind that it was in the top 10. Esquire’s president Adam Stotsky said in the press release, “We are in constant awe of the extraordinary athletes on ‘American Ninja Warrior’ who make the show as exhilarating to watch as it is to produce. It is incredibly exciting how the series has evolved from an unconventional Japanese game show with a cult following to the global hit phenomenon that it is today in partnership with NBC—and we are looking forward to many more seasons to come.”
  • Hell’s Kitchen will return for two more seasons, giving Gordon Ramsay his 17th and 18th opportunities to scream at incompetent people who shouldn’t be in a kitchen. Fox’s announcement said “the series is looking for chefs and accomplished line cooks with several years of experience in professional kitchens.” Casting is underway.
  • AMC’s Ride with Norman Reedus, which stars the Walking Dead actor, was renewed for its second season, which will air next year.
  • Destination America’s Mountain Monsters will air its fifth season in the spring. The show follows the Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings who search and search and search for Bigfoot. In its renewal announcement, Destination America said that the season-four finale was “Destination America’s #1 telecast ever among” households, people over the age of two, and men 25 to 54.
  • Time Commanders is coming back: BBC Four recently concluded casting for the show, on which “two teams of three friends, family, or colleagues will take control of opposing ancient forces, facing our computer, pre-programmed by our historical experts, before they face off against each other in one of history’s biggest battles.”
  • Viceland renewed Huang’s World, which follows Eddie Huang’s personal journeys around the world, and States of Undress, on which Hailey Gates explores fashion and its impact around the world.

New and spin-off reality series

  • The former Mythbusters build team is heading to Amazon for their own new series, but the Discovery Communications franchise will continue on Science Channel. That starts with Mythbusters: The Search, a competition between 15 people to become the next Mythbusters cast. Science just announced the show will be hosted by Nerdist’s Kyle Hill, and says the show “marks the start of a new myth-busting era on Science Channel as Hill introduces the contestants and the myths they attempt to bust each week. Using never before seen spectacular stunts, some myth-busting challenges will focus on build skills, while others require science know-how; some will test ingenuity, while others will test resolve, all with the goal of busting new myths.”
  • Married at First Sight may not be producing healthy relationships, but it is producing spin-offs. This time, FYI has ordered Married at First Sight: Second Chances, on which season three’s David Norton and Vanessa Nelson “get another shot at finding life-long love,” according to the network. But they won’t be marrying strangers. Instead, “men and women located in David and Vanessa’s hometown area of Atlanta will take part in multiple rounds of dating and courtship in an attempt to win the hearts of these two eligible singles,” and David and Vanessa will have help from the show’s experts “as well as their family and friends.” The Kinetic Content-produced show will air next year.
  • A new A&E show, Little Funny, will follow an 11-year-old comedian, Saffron Herndon, in a show executive produced by Ellen DeGeneres. The network says that “Saffron, or Saffy, as she prefers to be called, is not like most 11-year olds. … Saffy is a stand-up comedy prodigy with a unique brand of edgy, adult humor who has been making waves on the comedy circuit for the past three years, and now Ellen DeGeneres is stepping in to executive produce a series about her journey to the stage. Saffy will receive advice and encouragement from Ellen and other notable stand-up pros like Chris Rock, George Lopez, Wanda Sykes, Tom Papa, Iliza Shlesinger and more to help hone her skills.”
  • Amazon is continuing to add unscripted series, and its next is a documentary series about tennis player Novak Djokovic. The show, called Novak, “will follow Djokovic, the winner of 12 Grand Slam titles, to explore what drives the champion and show his motivation to be the best man he can on and off the court.” It’s being produced by The WorkShop and Peter Berg’s Film 45; John Henion, who worked on Netflix’s Chef’s Table as a producer, will be its showrunner. In a press release, Djokovic said, “My fans have been suffering and celebrating with me from the very beginning of my career on the tennis courts and now I want to share with them all my daily life and what’s important to me—my values, my beliefs, and my habits—and also introduce to them all the amazing people that are always next to me.”
  • Anthony Anderson will host a new Animal Planet series with the working title of Animal Review. It’s described as “a one-hour weekly comedy-variety series that will celebrate all the amazing ways animals have captivated our hearts, minds and funny bones,” and “will feature celebrities (and their pets) and animal experts (and their companions), while engaging viewers in new and ongoing conversations about animals as they pertain to pop culture, politics and anything else people are buzzing about.” In the press release, Anderson said, “Some of my favorite TV moments have been watching iconic TV hosts like Johnny Carson and David Letterman interact with their animal guests. They are some truly classic unscripted moments that have made TV history. … I look forward to the surprises that the animal kingdom has in store for me and audiences.”
  • Viceland announced that it will air Jungletown, a show produced by award-winning filmmaker Ondi Timoner, who “has embedded herself within a group of idealistic young students and staff members alongside a charismatic entrepreneur, who facing impending climate disaster, have committed themselves to the creation of ‘the world’s greatest sustainable modern town’ in Panama, called Kalu Yala (‘Sacred Land’).” The series, Viceland’s press release promises, “captures the conflict and catharsis that comes when their dream of a ‘sacred land’ collides with the reality that they are in the middle of the jungle and must make everything they need, literally building something from nothing—from basic shelter to a functional community.”
  • FYI is getting in bed with Dance Moms producer Collins Ave for Stove Tots, a series about “the cut-throat world of junior culinary competitions.” (I presume that’s not literal and the little kids don’t actually go from chopping onions to cutting each others’ throats.) The network’s press release said that the one-off episodes “will feature a new group of culinary wunderkinds, along with their overbearing parents, as they prepare recipes, search for inspiration and deal with the pressures of competition. It all leads up to competition day, where three culinary phenoms will go head-to-head in a two-round elimination tournament.”
  • WE tv’s Hustle & Soul will follow Brooklyn’s Pink Tea Cup “owner and head chef Lawrence Page [who is] on a quest to make the Pink Tea Cup the first soul food restaurant to garner the coveted Michelin Star, all while trying to manage staff in-fighting, power moves and love triangles.” Six hour-long episodes will air in early 2017.
  • A pilot episode following the town of D’Lo, Mississippi, has been ordered to series: UP TV’s Small Town, Big Mayor follows “456 big-hearted residents and a passionate mayor [John Henry Berry] with an ambitious 95-point plan to revitalize his beloved town. Each episode will tackle a different point on the mayor’s plan.” Ten episodes, including the already-aired pilot, will air next year in the third quarter.
  • FYI will air a new 13-episode food competition called Men vs. Master, on which “unknown chefs working in the trenches of the food industry will compete for the opportunity of a lifetime—a coveted apprenticeship with a world-renowned celebrity chef—but in order to win, they will have to beat the master in a face-off first.” The culinary masters include “Art Smith, Elizabeth Falkner, Jonathan Waxman, Ming Tsai and Rick Bayless.” The host, for some unknown reason, is Top Chef‘s Richard Blais.

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.


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