Good morning, and happy first day of October. The air here in Florida is as crisp as a shower taken with your clothes on, meaning we’re still waiting for fall to show up. But what’s definitely here are fall reality TV shows, with 13 more premiering this week—plus four documentaries, including
Dancing with the Stars Juniors premieres Sunday (ABC, Sundays at 8), with this cast of young celebrities or kids of celebrities. The show was pre-taped, so it’ll be the first non-live DWTS, and the first to not rely on viewer votes—which is probably better for young contestants.
There’s another show with kid dancers debuting this week: Dancing Queen (Netflix, Oct. 5), which follows Justin Johnson and the kids at his Texas dance studio. You may know him best as Alyssa Edwards from RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’ll have a full review of his show in a few days.
And in more kid news, kids help game show contestants on the return of Child Support (ABC, Fridays at 9), which is hosted by Fred Savage and Ricky Gervais.
The original Below Deck and Captain Lee Rosbach return with an entirely new crew—except for Kate—to have hijinks while they’re ferrying passengers around Tahiti. Ever wonder whether or not Below Deck charter passengers have to pay for the experience of being filmed by a Bravo crew, and if so, how much do the Below Deck cruises cost? Click those links for answers!
Ghost Adventures (Travel Channel, Saturdays at 9) is back with a month of episodes that will culminate with “a special four-hour live investigation inside Zak Bagans’ Las Vegas Haunted Museum,” according to Travel Channel.
Cooking Channel has two shows returning: Michael McKean’s Food: Fact or Fiction? (Mondays at 10) and Jordan Andino’s Late Nite Eats (Thursdays at 10).
Discovery has two car-focused shows: the new game show Brake Room (Discovery, Mondays at 11), which tests celebrity contestants’ knowledge using viral videos, and Trans Am (Discovery, Tuesdays at 10) which follows the Warmack brothers as they restore Trans Ams.
The actor Danny Trejo hosts Man at Arms: Art of War (El Rey, Thursdays at 8), which asks people to create weapons “inspired by pop culture” and then tests them.
Dr. Oakley, Yukon Vet is back to help more animals in the remote Yukon territory (NatGeo WILD, Saturdays at 9). I’ll have an interview with her this coming Friday.
Unearthed (Science Channel, Tuesdays at 10) looks at “the hidden secrets of iconic monuments,” while Unprotected Sets (Epix, Fridays at 11) follows stand-up comedians.
Dark Money, The Queen, and two other documentaries
- Dark Money (PBS, Monday, Oct. 1, at 10) is described as a thriller—and for good reason. Director Kimberly Reed’s film dives into money secretly being spent on political campaigns by corporations, focusing on a riveting case in Montana. Watch its trailer:
- Queen of the World (HBO, Monday, Oct. 1, at 8) profiles Queen Elizabeth II, but also her “role as a figure on the global stage, and the baton she is passing to the younger members of the Royal Family as they continue to build upon the Commonwealth, an association of free and independent nations, the majority of which were formerly part of the British Empire,” according to HBO. It was produced by ITV and aired previous in the UK.
- 13 Sons and Pregnant (Lifetime, Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 10:30) follows Kateri and Jay Schwandt, who have 13 boys from age two to 25, who are pregnant and waiting to see if they’ll have a 14th male child or their first female child. Why the sex of any of their children matters was not in Lifetime’s press materials.
- Operation Bridge Rescue (PBS, Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 9) focuses on rebuilding wood bridges, including the rebuilding of New York’s Old Blenheim Bridge, which was built in 1855 and destroyed by a hurricane seven years ago. PBS says it follows “a team of elite bridge builders and engineers [who] faithfully reproduce the intricate timber structure under grueling time pressure—they must rebuild and move it on to new foundations before spring floods destroy their worksite,” and also goes to China, where “traditional craftsmen [are] restoring thousand-year-old covered bridges based on ingenious frameworks of woven timber beams.”