It’s a bright spring day here in the swamps of Florida, and I’m tired and hating this time change nonsense. But March’s onslaught of new reality shows is continuing this week, whether I’m ready or not.
More than 25 shows premiered last week, and more than two dozen premiere this week, including the return of shows including Terrace House, Queer Eye, and Trading Spaces—plus the rebooted versions of While You Were Out and Project Runway.
All of the designers from the Trading Spaces are back, except one designer (TLC, Saturdays at 8). I’m curious to see if they’ve stuck with the same 2000s-era formula, which I appreciated but also got bored of pretty quickly.
I’m more excited to see what happens withWhile You Were Out (HGTV and TLC, Saturdays at 9), which will have teams of TLC designers competing against teams of HGTV designers, as you can see in the preview above.
And the show will air simultaneously on both networks—with different versions of the episode on each network.
In other reboot news, Bravo is bringing back Project Runway for season 17 (Bravo, Thursdays at 8). Besides the new host, judges, and mentor, will there be other substantive changes? I’ll have a review on Thursday.
Queer Eye is back on Friday (Netflix, March 15), for its true second season (last year’s two seasons were filmed at the same time, and just split up by Netflix).
Netflix is also bringing back Terrace House: Opening New Doors (Netflix, March 12) with six new strangers.
Also returning for new seasons are Masterchef Junior (Fox, Tuesdays at 8), Black Ink Crew (VH1, Wednesdays at 9), Mama June: From Not to Hot (WEtv, Fridays at 9), and Bridezillas (WEtv, Fridays at 10).
There’s also Fear the Woods (Travel Channel, Mondays at 8)., which tells the stories of murders in forests, because that’s the kind of aspirational travel people are looking for in their lives now.
The cleverly named Moonshiners: Whiskey Business premieres this week (Discovery, Wednesdays at 10), and follows Tim Smith who will be helping people “pull struggling distilleries back from the brink,” according to Discovery. But is it as full of shit as Moonshiners?
What Joseph Fiennes, Richard Nixon, Richard Pryor, and punk have in common
They’re all the subjects of feature documentaries or documentary series that will be premiering on TV this week.
First up: Punk (EPIX, Mondays at 10), which promises that it “explores the music, the fashion, the art and the DIY attitude of a subculture of self-described misfits and outcasts,” according to EPIX.
And Richard Nixon’s political life is the subject of Tricky Dick (CNN, Sundays at 9).
Last month, the actor Sam Neill, from Jurassic Park and The Tudors, set out to recreate a famous expedition for a documentary reality series (read my interview with him about his show—and about how his career started in documentary).
This week, the actor Joseph Fiennes, from Shakespeare in Love and The Handmaid’s Tale, will join his cousin, who’s been called “the world’s greatest living explorer,” on an expedition.
Joseph and Sir Ranulph Fiennes will retrace the elder Fiennes’ 1969 trip down the Nile River on Egypt with the World’s Greatest Explorer (National Geographic Channel, Thursdays at 10).
The life and career of influential comedian Richard Pryor are the focus of the documentary I Am Richard Pryor, which premieres at SXSW Tuesday and then airs on TV later this week (Paramount Network, Friday, March 15, at 10, then Comedy Central at 11:30).
A&E’s next Biography installment is about John Lennon’s “Imagine” album, and how it was created. John and Yoko: Above Us Only Sky airs Monday, March 11, at 9.
Finally, the Oscar-nominated documentary Of Fathers and Sons follows the filmmaker, Talal Derki, who embedded himself, undercover, with a radical Islamist family for two years, watching and filming as the kids became jihadist fighters. (Starz, Monday, March 11, at 9).