reality TV reviews and news

This week: a new Queer Eye, a real-life Best in Show, Celebrity Big Brother, and more

The new Fab Five from Netflix's rebooted version of Queer Eye: Karamo Brown, Jonathan Van Ness, Tan France, Antoni Porowski, and Bobby Berk. (Photo by Carin Baer/Netflix)

It’s a big week in reality TV—and in television, as the Winter Olympics begin Friday on NBC.

There are some big reality shows returning this week, starting with CBS’ first-ever Celebrity Big Brother, which debuts Wednesday at 8 and then airs at random times over three weeks.

Here’s the schedule: Feb. 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 21, 23, 24, and 25. The cast of Dancing with the Stars and reality TV alumni are already in the house.

As a result of Big Brother’s premiere, The Amazing Race 30 will move to 9 p.m.—and introduce a major twist, the partner swap. How exactly it’ll work isn’t clear, whether for an entire leg or just one competition.

On Wednesday, look for a second interview I’ll publish with host Phil Keoghan about TAR’s twists throughout the years, including this. (Here’s the first interview, if you missed it; it has good news about the show’s future.)

Queer Eye, Bethenny and Fredrik, and more

Meanwhile, Queer Eye returns Friday on Netflix with a new Fab Five.

Also this week: Bravo stars Bethenny Frankel and Fredrik Eklund get their own show, Bethenny & Fredrik (Bravo, Tuesdays at 10); Vanity Fair Confidential (ID, Mondays at 9) returns for another season of stories told in part by Vanity Fair reporters and editors; and HGTV’s Design Star winner David Bromstad helps lottery winners choose new homes on My Lottery Dream Home (HGTV, Fridays at 9).

There are also these specials:

  1. Five gymnasts who were abused by Larry Nassar will be interviewed as part of  Breaking Their Silence: Inside the Gymnastics Scandal (Lifetime, tonight at 10), which “dives deep into the stories of multiple survivors and examine how organizations meant to keep girls and young women safe ultimately silenced their voices,” according to the network.
  2. Safari Live returned last night for five nights, so it’ll be on tonight through Thursday (NatGeo WILD, 10 p.m.) with live footage from Kenya and South Africa.
  3. New technology has allowed scientists to learn more about the Maya, and what they found—”60,000 previously unknown structures that reveal a vast, interconnected network of cities, fortifications, farms and highways” underneath the forest”—is revealed in Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings (National Geographic, Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 9).
  4. The skeleton of a teenage girl discovered in 2007—the Americas’ oldest human remains—is examined in NOVA’s First Face of America (PBS, Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 9).
  5. There’s an FX show about Gianni Versace killer Andrew Cunanan, and now there’s a special looking at the real story: Killing Versace: The Hunt For A Serial Killer (Oxygen, Sunday, Feb. 11, at 7) is hosted by NBC’s Kate Snow and “re-examines the infamous manhunt for Cunanan through new and revisited expert insider interviews,” according to the network.

A real-life Best in Show

It’s a good week to be a dog lover: Yesterday was the Puppy Bowl, Saturday was the Dog Bowl, and next weekend, BarkFest begins. It’s NatGeo WILD’s dog-themed programming, which expands to one week this year.

One part of that is Road to Westminster Dog Show (NatGeo WILD, Sunday, Feb. 11, at 8), a special that follows dog owners and their dogs. If that sounds familiar, it may be because there’s already been a mockumentary version: the wonderful Best in Show.

NatGeo WILD calls its version “an unprecedented all-access look at the journey to Best in Show”—and it means the prize for dogs, not the movie.

Also part of BarkFest, according to the network:

  • Science of Dogs, Friday, Feb. 9 at 8/7c
  • The Incredible Dr. Pol: Be My Canine, Saturday, Feb. 10 at 8/7c
  • Road to Westminster Dog Show, Sunday, Feb. 11 at 8/7c & 9/8c
  • The Westminster Kennel Club Daytime Sessions, Day One: Monday, Feb. 12 at 1 p.m. ET & Day Two: Tuesday, Feb 13 at 1 p.m. ET
  • A Dog Saved My Life, Monday, Feb. 12 at 8/7c
  • The Masters Agility Championship at Westminster (Special Encore Presentation), Wednesday, Feb. 14 at 8/7c
  • The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (Special Encore Presentation), Day One: Thursday, Feb. 15 at 8/7c & Day Two: Friday, Feb. 16 at 8/7c

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