This week, besides watching my usual reality TV, I’ll be attempting to finish Shittown, though I don’t want it to end.
Here’s your weekly round-up of highlights in reality-based entertainment for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy—and feel free to let me know if something wonderful is coming up on a show you watch that I don’t.
A big Friday for the networks
Last fall, as I wrote about in the Los Angeles Times, networks aired even fewer reality TV shows in prime-time. They seem to be making up for it this spring, and this Friday has three major shows debuting:
- The Toy Box (ABC, Fridays at 8)
- First Dates (NBC, Fridays at 8)
- You the Jury (Fox, Fridays at 9)
The Toy Box is a Shark Tank-ish competition between toy makers, with the twist being the kids get to judge their creations.
First Dates lets cameras eavesdrop on first dates—no twists, no host, though Drew Barrymore will narrate—between “daters from cities across the country, and of all ages, sexualities and dating experience.”
And You The Jury brings daytime judge shows to a prime-time stage. Viewers will vote during a five-minute window to determine the outcome of the case—and in a fun twist, West coast viewers votes, which come in three hours later, will be added and could potentially cause that initial verdict to be overturned.
I’ll have reviews of all three shows, at least two of them on Friday morning.
A game show from Talk Shows
A fun twist on the talk show starts this week: Talk Show the Game Show (truTV, April 5, Wednesdays at 10) features host Guy Branum subjecting his celebrity guests to game show elements, but the guests are also judged on things such as name-dropping and other typical talk show behavior. It looks fun, and I’m excited to see more.
The Vanderpump Rules month-long reunion
The Vanderpump Rules reunion starts tonight (Bravo, April 3, 10, and 17 at 8), but it’ll continue through the majority of the month, since it’s three hours long.
Bravo promises that “Lala Kent shocks the group with her return and Mike Shay confronts Scheana,” and that “Jax Taylor, Stassi Schroeder, Scheana Shay, Tom Sandoval, Ariana Madix, James Kennedy, Katie Maloney, Tom Schwartz, Kristen Doute, and Brittany Catwright hold nothing back as they answer the tough questions.”
Tough questions Andy Cohen will read to them off of cards.
Other highlights this week
- Survivor (CBS, Wednesdays at 8) introduces more twists and brings back a player for an as-yet-unknown reason.
- The Real Housewives of New York City returns (Bravo, Wednesdays at 9), and I’m all in—this is the one Housewives I watch and love. If this amazing preview is at all accurate, it’s going to be a wonderful season.
- The Voice starts its knockout rounds (NBC, Monday, April 3 at 8), during which Alicia Keys, Gwen Stefani, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton will pair off their remaining teammates and choose one to go on to the live shows; the losers can be stolen by other coaches.
- Marcus Lemonis selects a partner on The Partner (CNBC, April 4 at 10), at least according to the commercials. According to me, he needs to start over, because this group just doesn’t seem up to the job.
- Total Divas returns (E! April 5, Wednesdays at 9) as “the big WWE draft is finally here and the superstars are all on pins and needles awaiting the outcome, affecting their relationships and friendships,” according to the network. Also this season: “Nikki is determined to get cleared by WWE following her injury and asks an apprehensive Nattie to train with her in the ring.”
- Food Network cobbles together words from other cooking shows tonight with Kid Chef Nation (Mondays at 8).
- Here’s a full list of reality show debuts this week:
- Southern Charm (Bravo, April 3, Mondays at 9)
- The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo, April 5, Wednesdays at 9)
- Total Divas (E!, April 5, Wednesdays at 9)
- Talk Show the Game Show (truTV, April 5, Wednesdays at 10)
- Flip or Flop Vegas (HGTV, April 6, Thursdays at 9)
- Dark Net (Showtime, April 6, Thursdays at 10)
- American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story (Amazon, April 7)
- The Toy Box (ABC, April 7, Fridays at 8)
- First Dates (NBC, April 7, Fridays at 8)
- You the Jury (Fox, April 7, Fridays at 9)
- Road Hauks (History, April 8, Saturdays at 10)