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The 21 reality shows returning or debuting this week

The 21 reality shows returning or debuting this week
Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart, stars of Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party, return this week. (Photo by VH1)

Of the 19 reality shows debuting and returning this week,  the highlight for me is a new network competition show that premieres tomorrow night, Making It.

Amy Poehler + Nick Offerman + talented people + the DNA of The Great British Bake-Off = a wonderful series (NBC, Tuesdays at 10).

Read my review here. And read on for a loosely categorized list of reality TV debuts coming your way this week.

People working and playing

  • Season seven of the show that follows Persian-American friends in L.A., Shahs of Sunset (Bravo, Thursdays at 9).
  • Keeping Up with the Kardashians season 15 (E!, Sundays at 9) will probably be more of the same Kardashian drama.
  • Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (CMT, Thursdays at 10) returns to follow people trying to join the squad.

Relationships, functional and otherwise

  •  The spin-off of 90 Day Fiance returns for its second season of following couples who live in different countries and meet for the first time on 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days (TLC, Sundays at 8).
  • Unexpected (TLC, Sundays at 10) follows five teenage couples who have unplanned pregnancies.
  • Bachelorette Weekend (CMT, Thursdays at 11) is not an ABC spin-off; instead, it “follows the staff of Bach Weekend, a Nashville-based company specializing in creating once-in-a-lifetime bachelor/bachelorette experiences,” according to CMT.
  • Celebrity clients throw big parties on David Tutera’s CELEBrations (WEtv, Fridays at 10).


  • Contestants have to use a grill in addition to their basket of secret ingredients on Chopped Grill Masters (Food Network, Tuesdays at 9).
  • Damaris Phillips and NASCAR’s Rutledge Wood, who are friends, explore southern cuisine on Southern and Hungry (Cooking Channel, Mondays at 10).
  • The lunacy that is Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (VH1, Wednesdays at 9) returns for more jokes and meals with celebrity guests.
  • Chefs with “their own connection to the summer season” compete in a new four-episode competition, Ultimate Summer Cook-Off (Food Network, Sundays at 8).

Dudes, bro-ing

  • The prize for the 24-day survival challenge on  Ultimate Ninja Challenge (Discovery, Sundays at 10) is a trip to Japan to learn from the last remaining ninja.
  • The Diesel Brothers (Discovery, Mondays at 10) return for a new season.
  • Tim Kennedy follows people who do dangerous jobs on Hard to Kill (Discovery, Tuesdays at 10).


  • A documentary series about Trayvon Martin’s murder and the activism that followed debuts tonight. Rest In Power: The Trayvon Martin Story (Paramount, Mondays at 10) is described as “the definitive look at one of the most talked-about and controversial events in the last decade.”
  • “Maritime murders” are the subject of Dark Waters: Murder in the Deep (ID, July 31, Tuesdays at 10).
  • Kelly Siegler is back for a new season of Oxygen’s revival of Cold Justice (Aug. 4, Saturdays at 6).


  • The Harry Potter and Mamma Mia actor Julie Walters explores the UK aboard trains on Coastal Railways with Julie Walters (Acorn, July 30).
  • Outback (PBS, Aug. 1, Wednesdays at 8) covers “the people and animals of Australia’s Kimberley region in North West Australia”
  • The three episodes of Wonders of Mexico (PBS, Aug. 1, Wednesdays at 9) explore three parts of the Mexico: the “Forests of the Maya”; “Mountain Worlds”; and the “Burning North,” the deserts of northern Mexico.

Specials coming this weekend

This weekend, one special airs and another starts its four-night run:

  • Golden State Killer: Main Suspect (Oxygen, Saturday, Aug. 4, at 7) looks at the life of Joe DeAngelo, the former police officer and 72-year-old veteran who was recently arrested and charged with “one of the most ruthlessly enduring crime sprees of all time and is believed to have raped more than 45 women and murdered at least 12 people,” according to Oxygen. NBC News’ Stephanie Gosk hosts the two-hour special.
  •  Yellowstone Live (National Geographic, starts Sunday, Aug. 5, at 9), will broadcast live from the park in 35 locations using 25 cameras over four consecutive nights. Josh Elliott will host, with zoologist naturalist Chris Packham commenting and reporter Jenna Wolfe interviewing people in the area.

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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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