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The 15 reality shows premiering this week, from RHOA to Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge

The 15 reality shows premiering this week, from RHOA to Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge
Cynthia Bailey and Marlo Hampton on The Real Housewives of Atlanta.(Photo by Annette Brown/Bravo)

Good Monday morning. It’s the last week in October, with Halloween landing in the middle of the week. But before next Monday arrives, Thanksgiving-themed reality programming will already have started.

Here’s your look at that show, and all fall reality TV shows debuting this week.

Following the finale of Halloween Baking Championship tonight, and Halloween Wars last night, Food Network will shift gears to the next holiday with Ultimate Thanksgiving Challenge (Food Network, Sundays at 9), a three-episode competition hosted by Giada De Laurentiis.

The Real Housewives of Atlanta (Bravo, Sundays at 8) are back this coming weekend, and Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, NeNe Leakes, and Porsha Williams are joined by two new cast members, Eva Marcille and Shamari DeVoe, and friends Marlo Hampton and Tanya Sam.

Update and correction: Ann Curry is not back this week with emotional stories of people who reunite, sometimes after decades and decades, on We’ll Meet Again. PBS moved the premiere to Nov. 13.

Destiny’s Child’s Michelle Williams and her fiance Chad Johnson are followed by cameras as their wedding approaches for the new series Chad Loves Michelle (OWN, Saturdays at 9).

Speaking of marriages: A new follow-up series for those who were Married at First Sight is coming to Lifetime: Married at First Sight: Happily Ever After (Lifetime, Tuesdays at 10).

On Friday, Bravo moves into HGTV’s territory with two new shows, plus the next episode of a show that premiered a few weeks ago. They are:

  1. Get a Room with Carson & Thom (Bravo, Fridays at 9) is the reunion of two original Queer Eye cast members who redesign spaces—and goof around—together. Its third episode airs this Friday, between two other new shows:
  2. Buying it Blind (Bravo, Fridays at 8) is Married at First Sight, but with homes, and
  3. Sweet Home (Bravo, Fridays at 10) follows an interior designer in Oklahoma who redesigns homes and offices.

Basketball players who use their celebrity and platforms to advocate for causes and candidates are the subject of the new series Shut Up and Dribble (Showtime, Saturdays at 9), which promises an “inside look at the changing role of NBA athletes through the lens of our shifting cultural and political environment.”

Following episode 3 of Gold Rush season 9 on Friday, Discovery will air Master of Arms (Discovery, Fridays at 10), a competition between people who will try to “re-create the armaments that have changed the course of history,” according to the network.

Also new to the Discovery Channel: Race Night at Bowman Gray (Discovery, Mondays at 10), which follows racing at a track that’s hosted weekly NASCAR races since 1949.

Wildlife expert Casey Anderson has Monster Encounters (Travel Channel, Tuesdays at 10), while there will be five straight nights of lions, cheetahs, and leopards on Big Cat Tales (Animal Planet, Oct. 29 to Nov. 2 at 8 p.m.), which features Jonathan and Angie Scott, and Jackson Ole Looseyia.

The family on 7 Little Johnstons (TLC, Tuesdays at 8) makes a move this season.

MTV gives a series to a person banned from YouTube for his dumb stunts: Too Stupid To Die (MTV, Fridays at 9:30) follows Zach Holmes and his friends as they do stupid shit. (I remember this show! It was called Jackass.)

Four new documentaries airing this week

Alexandra Pelosi tries to “gain an unfiltered understanding of other perspectives” on her new HBO documentary Outside the Bubble: On the Road with Alexandra Pelosi (HBO, Monday, Oct. 29, at 8). Among the places she travels: Sutherland Springs, Texas, where 26 people were shot to death at the First Baptist Church last year; Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis and white supremacists marched and one of them killed a protester and injured 19 others; the border wall in San Diego; and a coal mine in Pennsylvania.

Virginia 12th (NowThis News on YouTube, Oct. 30 at 5) follows Chris Hurst, whose TV news station colleague and girlfriend Alison Parker was murdered along with Adam Ward in 2015. Hurst “quit journalism to run for political office in his local district, VA’s 12th,” and the documentary “follows Chris’s entire campaign journey,” according to NowThis.

Watergate (History, Friday, Nov. 2, at 9) is a six-hour documentary airing over three nights that tells the story of the break-in and cover-up that led to Richard Nixon’s resignation. History says the documentary “explores many of the same issues being debated today on a national level, including executive privilege and the handling of Presidential misconduct.”

The Disappearance of Phoenix Coldon (Oxygen, Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3 and 4, at 7) is about the mysterious and unsolved disappearance of a 23-year-old black woman whose car was found running with her belongings inside. It explores theories about what might have happened to her. Oxygen says “Phoenix’s parents pleaded with law enforcement to help find their daughter, but the investigation was slow to start and the media paid little attention to her story.”

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  • 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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