Good Monday morning! If you like starting your week with this look at reality TV shows that are coming soon, you might also like my end-of-the-week round-up of news that happened I send that by e-mail every Friday.
Subscribe here—it’s free and you can unsubscribe any time, should you change your mind. Okay, on to this week’s reality TV:
American Ninja Warrior spins off another series on another network with American Ninja Warrior Junior (Universal Kids, Saturdays at 7).
Discovery’s hit show Gold Rush returns for season 9, which will follow the miners as they dig, still looking for gold (Oct. 12, Fridays at 9).
In food TV, there’s the return of Chopped Champions (Food Network, Tuesdays at 9), a new five-week tournament featuring previously undefeated chefs, and Scraps (FYI, Thursdays at 10), a new series on which chef Joel Gamoran “travels across the U.S. creating incredible feasts in the most breathtaking locales, using ingredients people throw away,” according to FYI.
Also this week, the author of this bestselling book/cookbook adapts it for Netflix: Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat (Netflix, Oct. 11) follows Samin Nosrat around the world, but also into a kitchen, where she shares techniques. My interview with Samin is coming later this week.
MTV’s strategy of cray-cray reality shows brings us How Far is Tattoo Far? (MTV, Thursdays at 9), a show on which people get tattoos that their friends and family members designed. They don’t get to see the tattoo until it’s permanently on their body. Nico Tortorella and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi are the hosts.
The horror director Eli Roth takes over the AMC Visionaries documentary series for a new season that starts Sunday. Eli Roth’s History of Horror (AMC, Sundays at midnight) takes a deep dive into scary movies, from their directors to their stars.
TLC is bringing back Long Island Medium (Mondays at 8), Long Lost Family (Mondays at 9), and The Little Couple (TLC, Tuesdays at 8) for new seasons.
Fish My City with Mike Iaconelli (NatGeo WILD, Fridays at 10) follows a pro bass fisherman as he travels and talks to people, while Mythical Beasts (Science, Sundays at 10) promises to explore “the history, archaeology and truths behind legendary creatures.”
And Criminal Confessions (Oxygen, Saturdays at 8) is a crime reality series focused on police interrogations and, as the title spoils, criminals’ confessions.
Sandra Lee’s ‘cancer journey,’ the circus, and two other docs
Sandra Lee, the Food Network personality, chef, and author, is the subject of a short, 40-minute documentary airing tonight: RX Early Detection: A Cancer Journey With Sandra Lee (HBO, Monday at 8). As the title suggests, it’s about her diagnosis for breast cancer after a regular annual exam, and “highlights the importance of early detection and informed decision-making in regards to treatment options,” according to HBO.
Getting Naked: A Burlesque Story (Starz, Monday, Oct. 8, at 9) goes behind the scenes of what Starz calls the “neo-burlesque scene in New York City,” where it “follows four performers, each of whom has discovered a new identity and a sense of belonging” but find that “this liberating community does not insulate them from the harsh realities of sexism, illness and existential crisis.”
Volcano on Fire and Volcano on the Brink (PBS, Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 9 to 11 p.m.) are two back-to-back NOVA specials following “an intrepid international team of volcano experts” in the Democratic Republic of Congo who are “seeking clues to the forces at work deep beneath the volcanoes that are splitting East Africa apart.”
A new four-hour, two-night documentary looks at the history of circuses, at least until 1956. The Circus (PBS, Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 8 and 9, from 9 to 11 p.m.) has the same name as a Showtime series, but is not about politics.
Instead, it tells the “intertwined stories of several of the most innovative and influential impresarios of the late 19th century, including P.T. Barnum, James Bailey, and the five Ringling Brothers,” PBS says, and as it does that, the show “reveals the circus as a uniquely American phenomenon created by a rapidly expanding and increasingly industrialized nation.”
Watch the first nine minutes of The Circus: