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45 new and renewed reality shows

45 new and renewed reality shows
Steve Harvey and Little Big Shots contestant Joanna Lomelino. Harvey will be hosting a new show that swaps kids for senior citizens. (Photo by Danny Feld/NBC)

Below are lists of new and renewed reality TV shows across broadcast and cable networks that have been announced in recent weeks and months. They don’t yet have specific airdates; shows that were announced and immediately scheduled are on the winter reality TV schedule.

Renewed and returning reality TV series

  1. History’s Alone just started season three, which moved from the Pacific Northwest to Patagonia, but before that season started, the network renewed the series for its fourth season. The press release didn’t offer any details about when the new season of the show, produced by Leftfield Pictures, will air.
  2. Also back on History: the blacksmith competition series Forged in Fire. 20 new episodes have been ordered. The network said that the show’s third season was “exhibiting growth across key demographics during season three including +11% in Adults 18-49 and +13% in Adults 25-54 in Live+3 viewing.” It’s produced by Outpost Entertainment.
  3. CNN renewed United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell for an eight-episode second season, which will debut in the spring. CNN executive Amy Entelis said in a press release, “Kamau has an unparalleled ability to use his natural curiosity and sense of humor to ignite necessary and sometimes tough conversations around race and society in this country.”
  4. Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party will continue, as VH1 ordered a second season of the 495 Productions-produced talk/cooking hybrid. A press release said that the show is “cable’s top new unscripted franchise of 2016 winning its time period with all key demos and scoring 3 million total viewers and a 1.5 18-49 rating in L3.”
  5. YouTube has renewed Scare PewDiePie and Joey Graceffa’s hybrid series Escape the Night for second seasons. A press release said that episode one of Escape the Night, which is free (other episodes require YouTube Red subscriptions) “has generated over 9.2 million views and 1.1 billion social impressions.”
  6. Adam Ruins Everything is still airing its first season, and will be back with 16 more episodes next summer. truTV called the truth-seeking show, which is scripted but still nonfiction, “a breakout hit with season one delivering an average of 839,000 total viewers per episode season-to-date and earning a top 10 ranking among all ad-supported cable networks in its timeslot among most key demos.”
  7. truTV also renewed The Carbonaro Effect, on which Michael Carbonaro does magic for people who don’t know they’re watching magic, for a third, 17-episode season that will air next year. Also renewed: Greatest Ever (a countdown show) and You Can Do Better (“with hosts Matthew Latkiewicz and Abbi Crutchfield doling out all those real-life skills you’re expected to know but no one ever taught you”).
  8. Bravo renewed Southern Charm (for season four), Shahs of Sunset (for a sixth season), Million Dollar Listing New York (for season six).
  9. E! renewed Rob & Chyna, taking advantage of Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna’s real life-drama. Season two will have six episodes and air next year. E! said the premiere was “cable’s most-watched unscripted launch of 2016 among adults 18-34, women 18-34 and women 18-49,” and its programming executive Jeff Olde said in a press release that “Rob and Chyna’s romance struck such a chord with our viewers, who were engaged in their story even before we started filming the first season.”
  10. E!’s Famously Single has produced a second season, on which eight celebrities (including Karina Smirnoff, Chad Johnson, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro, Tiffany Pollard, and Malika Haqq) move into an L.A. loft and seek attention. I mean, “embark on an emotional journey that reveals a never-before-seen, unfiltered side of themselves,” as E!’s press release said.
  11. Botched has been renewed for its fourth season by E!, though its third season still has to air its back half, which starts in the spring. The network also renewed WagsWags Miami; and Total Bellas, which will offer “exclusive access as WWE Superstars Nikki Bella and John Cena temporarily relocate to Phoenix, AZ to help Brie Bella and Daniel Bryan through their first pregnancy.”
  12. The Duggars reality show Jill and Jessa: Counting On will return next year, with 11 new episodes on TLC.
  13. Destination America renewed Ghost Brothers, which follows Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey, who the network says are “best friends on a mission to uncover whether some legendary haunted houses are the real deal” and “offer a fresh, funny take on the spirit world along with a dose of southern hospitality.”
  14. Bad Girls Club has been renewed, and the next season of the Oxygen series will feature “Bad Girls from the East Coast versus Bad Girls from the West Coast.” It’s called Bad Girls Club: East Meets West.


New documentary and reality shows

  1. NBC’s hit Steve Harvey show Little Big Shots has inspired a spin-off: Little Big Shots: Forever Young, on which “young-at-heart seniors will showcase their hidden talents, vibrant personalities and incredible wisdom.” Steve Harvey will host both shows. The original, NBC said in a press release, was “the #1 new show of [last] season in total viewers and #1 new alternative series in adults 18-49.”
  2. Gordon Ramsay’s The F Word is coming to Fox, airing in 2017, based on the UK format. Fox says the live, half-hour show “has foodie families from across the U.S. will battle it out in an intense, high-stakes cook-off,” and they “must win over the hearts and taste buds of the diners, celebrities and VIP guests whom they’re serving.”
  3. Food Network is resurrecting Iron Chef in the form of a series called Iron Chef Guantlet, which Food Network said is “an all-new reboot of the beloved Iron Chef America” that will star Alton Brown as host and have “new twists.”
  4. The company behind the Halo video games partnered with reality TV producers Pilgrim Media Group for a reality TV competition featuring Halo 5: Guardians. 343 Industries’ Kiki Wolfkill said in a press release, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Pilgrim on developing a reality series that will bring the intensity and extreme competition of Halo 5: Guardians esports to a television audience. There is no better partner than Pilgrim to give our fans insight into the world of Halo esports.”
  5. Ken Burns will turn The Gene: An Intimate History into a PBS series, sharing the production team with the 2015 adaptation of Siddhartha Mukherjee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies. In the press release, Ken Burns said, “Sid stands alone in his ability to translate the scientific and medical into a deeply compelling, human narrative. With The Gene he explores the very nature of how we pass on biological information from one generation to the next, and how our inherited physiology defines who we are. I’m thrilled to work with WETA and Barak to bring Sid’s remarkable work to film.”
  6. Sundance will air a four-episode series about Truman Captoe’s seminal work In Cold Blood. On Murder in the Heartland: In Cold Blood Revisited, the show’s working title, which is “produced and directed by Academy Award-nominated and Emmy and Peabody Award-winning documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger,” there will be “a 360-degree view and re-examination of the crime and subsequent events.” Sundance executive Joel Stillerman said in a press release that “Joe Berlinger has created a framework to explore this story that has as much to do with the cultural impact of the crime as it does the crime itself. … His vision for this SundanceTV event series gets at the idea that crime, in and of itself, is rarely the most interesting piece. The impact comes from exploring the broader story, and what a crime says about the culture, and how it shapes that culture moving forward.”
  7. As part of its new Spike Serialized brand, which offers limited-runs shows with “a compelling, in-depth look into fascinating and often controversial subjects or individuals,” Spike will air the six-part series It Was Him: The Many Murders of Ed Edwards.
  8. CNBC ordered The Deed, which will premiere in March and follow “two savvy multi-millionaire real estate moguls—Sidney Torres and Sean Conlon—who …  come to the aid of struggling property investors in dire need of help.”
  9. truTV is sticking with the prank show format with its new series Chris Webber’s Full Court Pranks. Its eight episodes will show some of the nation’s biggest athletes and sports celebrities playing elaborate — but good-natured — pranks on their most adoring fans.”
  10. truTV also ordered 16 episodes of Talk Show the Game Show, on which “celebrity guests become contestants as they compete in various talk show-inspired challenges and are judged by a comedic panel who awards points and roasts their performances,” and Upscale with Prentice Penny, on which “creator and host Prentice Penny will embark on a journey to demystify what it takes to live an upscale life, exploring a variety of topics ranging from food and wine to travel and fashion.”
  11. HBO will air a four-part documentary series that “tells the stories of Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre — one the son of a Brooklyn longshoreman, the other straight out of Compton — and their improbable partnership and surprising leading roles in a series of transformative events in contemporary culture.” It’s called The Defiant Ones and will air in the spring.
  12. Bravo greenlit three new shows: First Family of Hip Hop, which follows Sugar Hill Records’ Sylvia Robinson and her family; Relative Success with Tabatha, on which Tabatha Coffee “brings her no-nonsense style and expertise to the complicated world of family businesses” (i.e. does exactly what she did on Tabatha Takes Over); and Southern Charm Savannah, which follows six rich people (who else) in Savannah, Georgia.
  13. Bravo also announced Cyrus vs. Cyrus, on which “Tish Cyrus and her daughter, Brandi Cyrus, propose competing interior design ideas to Nashville-based clients.”
  14. Oxygen’s new show Unprotected will follow “a family leaving the witness protection program to start a new life” that will air next year.
  15. MTV International is producing Just Tattoo of Us, which the network says “will put relationships to the test by asking pairs of friends, family members and couples to design tattoos for each other. But they’ll only see the final designs once they’re inked on each other’s bodies.” It will launch in the spring.
  16. Viceland renewed Kings of the Road, a skateboarding competition series, and Weediquette, which will return for a season three of examinations of marijuana across the United States.
  17. The Comedy Jam has been picked up to series after airing a special in August on Comedy Central. The Ugly Brothers Studios show “will feature stand-up comedians performing in front of a live audience where they share memorable moments from their lives that are linked with an iconic hit song. After the telling of each story, the comedians live out their rock star fantasy, performing the song while backed by The Comedy Jam Band.”
  18. Fuse has renewed Big Freedia: Queen of Bounce, but has renamed the show Big Freedia Bounces Back and expanded its eight episodes to one hour for its return next summer.
  19. Following its broadcast of two Booze Traveler: Best Bars specials, Travel Channel has ordered a 10-episode series that will launch in the spring. It follows Jack Maxwell who’s “on a new, fun-filled mission to find the best bars and drinks in the United States for any and every occasion.”

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About the author

  • 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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