With more than 20 reality shows premiering last week, you’d think this week would have fewer premieres—but no, more than a dozen series are premiering in the next seven days. Here’s your look at what’s ahead, including several fascinating-looking documentaries exploring everything from death to magic.
Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli gets her own show tomorrow: Supermarket Stakeout (Food Network, Tuesdays at 10) takes place outside a grocery store, as contestants have to cook with what other people purchased.
The game show reboot Hip Hop Squares (VH1, Tuesdays at 8) returns for a new season.
Adam Ruins Everything (truTV, Tuesdays at 10) is back for a new season of debunking our common misconceptions. For one example, see the episode in which he looked at “the myth that video games cause violence.”
Also, don’t miss my story on why Adam’s use of humor is actually effective at persuasion, when other kinds of humor fails to convince us.
Black Ink Crew: New York (VH1, Wednesdays at 9) returns for a new season, and is followed by a new spin-off, Black Ink Crew: Compton (VH1, Wednesdays at 10) which follows the first tattoo shop in the neighborhood, IAMCompton.
Love After Lockup (WEtv, Fridays at 9) returns to follow seven couples; half of each couple awaits the release of their partner from prison, and they try to navigate life after incarceration.
Following last week’s premiere of Chasing the Cure comes the Netflix version: Diagnosis (Netflix, Aug. 16), which is based on the New York Times Magazine column and follows patients as they seek a diagnosis for mysterious ailments.
Also streaming Friday is QB1: Beyond the Lights (Netflix, Aug. 16), a new series that follows three high school quarterbacks during their final year of high school before going on to college.
Happy Jail (Netflix, Aug. 14) is a five-part series filmed at the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center in the Philippines, “where dancing is part of the inmates’ exercise and rehabilitation,” according to Netflix.
In the ghost/paranormal/mystery category is Ghost Brothers: Haunted Houseguests (Travel Channel, Fridays at 9), on which ghost hunters Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey help people who think ghosts are living in their homes, and Mysteries Decoded (The CW, Tuesdays at 9), which says it looks at “unsolved mysteries.”
Turquoise Fever (INSP, Wednesdays at 9) follows a family business involving rocks, while Storm Stories: The Next Chapter (Weather Channel, Sundays at 8) tells the stories of what happened after natural disasters.
I still remember the first time I watched The Amazing Jonathan perform his weird combination of magic and comedy. A new documentary, The Amazing Jonathan Documentary (Hulu, Aug. 16), follows him as he returns to the stage following a terminal diagnosis in 2014. Hulu says director “Ben Berman sets out to capture The Amazing Johnathan’s comeback tour while peeling back the curtain on his unique, meth-fueled life.” And as the trailer suggests, it becomes very meta very quickly:
Family Pictures USA is a three-episode series airing tonight and tomorrow (PBS, Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 12 and 13), which tells the stories of communities through family photos.
Tonight’s episode is set in North Carolina; tomorrow’s episodes are in Detroit and Southwest Florida. Read my interview with its host and producer, Thomas Allen Harris.
Tonight’s POV documentary is Happy Winter (PBS, Monday, Aug. 12, at 10), which is set on the beach in Mondello, Italy, and intersecting lives there. One reviewer called “a real-life comedy on the beach.” Here’s its trailer:
Alternate Endings: Six New Ways to Die in America (HBO, Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m.) is, as HBO says, about “a subject some might rather avoid”: what happens to us after death. HBO points out that last year “was the first time more Americans chose cremation over more expensive, traditional burials, disrupting the $16 billion a year funeral industry,” and this documentary tells the stories of six dying or dead people who’ve decided on non-traditional ways of being remembered after death.
Ted Bundy: Mind of a Monster (ID, Sunday, Aug. 18, at 9 p.m.) promises a to be a “comprehensive, most intimate look into Bundy’s life from beginning to end, detailing his transformation into one of the worst serial killers America has ever seen.” And Twisted Sisters (ID, Mondays at 10) tells more stories of “dynamic sister duos turned disastrous,” according to ID.