Here are your reality TV highlights and debuts for this week, Jan. 23 to 29, 2017.
Drag queen snow days
Logo has sponsored programming all this week hosted by RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants Alaska, Katya, Ginger Minj, and Shangela. The theme: “Logo Snow Days,” and it has that theme because the network is sponsoring Aspen Gay Ski Week.
Logo says that its “stars will lead viewers on a new adventure each day in a series of 10 original short segments. From a snowman-building competition to ski lessons, their antics will keep viewers entertained during the commercial breaks of your favorite Logo programs. The group will also have the run of the town, playing out hilarious skits and getting the gay skiers excited for the nightly naughtiness ahead.”
- Thursday, “A Logo-hosted Aprés Ski Party featuring all kinds of naughty stage games and antics, including a speed dating game” and “The Comedy Cabaret hosted by Ginger Minj, featuring a roster of hilarious comedians including Logo’s very own Shangela, Matteo Lane and Fortune Feimster,” according to the network
- On Friday, the network says it will air “‘The Downhill Drag Race’ costume contest” and “The Top of the Mountain finale party, where the Queens of Drag Race will put on a series of performances throughout the epic dance party. Drag legend Lady Bunny will DJ the event.”
Take me into the abyss, James Cameron
More than 100-year-old photos from Titanic’s chief electrical engineer reveal “a range of substandard materials and shoddy workmanship primarily due to cost-cutting and dangerous shortcuts taken by shipbuilders under intense pressure to complete the largest ship in the world on time and within budget,” according to The Smithsonian Channel, which presents those findings in Titanic: The New Evidence on Saturday (Smithsonian Channel, Jan. 21 at 8).
In an unrelated project, on Sunday, Titanic director James Cameron will look for the lost city of Atlantis on Atlantis Rising (National Geographic Channel, Jan. 29 at 9 p.m.).
NatGeo says he’ll be joined by “three-time Emmy-winning filmmaker Simcha] Jacobovici; and a group of archeologists, scientists and historians as they set out to search for the true ‘Atlantean’ civilization and for a possible location for the mother city, the lost city itself.”
Although they presumably didn’t actually find Atlantis (spoiler alert!), NatGeo says “the investigators discovered six ancient anchors that could date back to the Bronze Age and that together may be the greatest ancient anchor hoard ever found on the Atlantic side of the Strait of Gibraltar.”
Why did two 12-year-olds stab their friend 19 times?
That’s the question asked by Beware the Slenderman (HBO, 10 p.m.). Director Irene Taylor Brodsky interviews experts and the girls’ families to try to understand how they were motivated by fear of a fictional character.
I’ll be watching, and not just because I was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, where this awful crime happened.
Also this week
- Face Off: All Stars (Syfy, Tuesday at 9) debuts, pairing its returning contestants into season-long teams. I’ll have a long interview with the show’s producer tomorrow to look at the changes this season.
- Total Divas (E!, Jan. 25 at 9) airs its mid-season finale.
- Mariah’s World (E!, Jan. 29 at 9) ends its first—and perhaps only—season as “Mariah is faced with the overwhelming demands of her time as she launches her world tour, plans a wedding and is a loving doting mommy to her twins,” according to E!. I really wanted to love this show; I found it to be too full of reality b.s. to be fully engaging, though the truly unscripted moments with Mariah are great.
- Food Network debuts Bakers vs. Fakers (Jan. 25, Wednesdays at 10), which is a baking version of Cooks vs. Cons. Buddy Valastro hosts.
- A man looks at the death of his sister, Kitty Genovese, who was stabbed and murdered in 1964 as 38 people watched but didn’t help. At least, that’s the story Bill Genovese explores in The Witness (PBS, tonight, Jan. 23, at 10 p.m.), which airs as part of Independent Lens. Here’s a scene from it:
And let’s not forget
Here are all the shows returning or debuting this week:
- Vanity Fair Confidential (ID, Jan. 23, Mondays at 9)
- Terrace House: Aloha State (Netflix, Jan. 24)
- Face Off: All Stars (Syfy, Jan. 24, Tuesdays at 9) news
- Tattoo Girls (TLC, Jan. 24, Tuesdays at 10)
- Bakers vs. Fakers (Food Network, Jan. 25, Wednesdays at 10)
- Rise (Viceland, Jan. 27, Tuesdays at 9)
- Detroit Steel (History, Jan. 28, Saturdays at 10)