Happy President’s Day and good Monday morning. I’m still recovering from being beaten up by the flu last week; opening a can of cat food winded me yesterday, which was a humbling moment. (The cat food wasn’t for me, just in case that wasn’t clear.) I am very fortunate to be recovering swiftly, but also now am behind on everything, reality TV included. I couldn’t even really focus to watch anything, so when I had the TV on, it was just mostly just reruns of The Golden Girls, movies I’ve seen dozens of times, or HGTV.
Enough about me: Here are the reality TV premieres coming to a TV or streaming service near you this week—in addition, of course, to all the other TV currently airing, from American Idol season 18 (which premiered last night) to Survivor Winners at War (which premiered last week).
Reruns of Forensic Files have been airing on HLN for years, and now the network is bringing it back, renamed slightly as Forensic Files II (HLN, Sundays). Its new narrator is actor Bill Camp.
Fans of Dr. Pimple Popper might want to check out Save My Skin (TLC, Feb. 20 at 11, then Thursdays at 9), which follows a UK dermatologist, Dr. Emma Craythorne, who treats “extreme skin conditions.” 😝🤢
Now that Naked and Afraid: Alone has aired six episodes, the regular Naked and Afraid is returning (Discovery, Sundays at 8), though with some casting twists, including an episode featuring two sets of twins (twin brothers, twin sisters), and another episode with a married couple. There’s also a “threesome” episode.
The producers of Life Below Zero are returning to a small Alaskan town, Port Protection, a town with no roads or government, to follow residents who live there. The series is Life Below Zero: Port Protection (National Geographic Channel, Tuesdays at 9).
The web series Hot Ones, on which celebrities eat increasingly spicy wings and then answer questions, has now become a competition series on TV.
On Hot Ones: The Game Show (truTV, Tuesdays at 10), which is also hosted by Sean Evans, contestants eat increasingly spicy hot wings and attempt to answer trivia questions for a $25,000 grand prize. Contestants include Drag Race alum Alexis Michelle.
American Ninja Warrior Junior returns (Universal Kids, Saturdays at 7) with a new season of kids ages 9 to 14 competing on a modified version of the ANW course.
Also returning for new seasons:
- The Chef Show (Netflix, Feb. 19)
- The Dead Files (Travel Channel, Thursdays at 10)
- Gold Rush: Dave Turin’s Lost Mine (Discovery, Fridays at 9)
- 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days (TLC, Feb. 23, Sundays at 8).
Steve Shippy, a filmmaker who’s also a rapper known as Prozak, investigates ghost sightings in the midwest on Haunting in the Heartland (Travel Channel, Fridays at 10).
In documentaries and doc series: Babies (Netflix, Feb. 21) is a series that follows 15 babies around the world for one year—that’s actual babies, not people on Bravo reality shows.
Amazon Empire: The Rise and Reign of Jeff Bezos (PBS, Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 9) tells the story of Amazon’s growth and domination, and Frontline says it also “investigates the darker side of the company’s rapid growth, and the challenge of trying to rein in the power of the richest man in the world.”
D. Wade: Life Unexpected (ESPN, Sunday, Feb. 23, at 9) follows NBA champion Dwyane Wade’s “experience on and off the court as he enters into his final year in the league, and reflects on personal and professional victories and set-backs throughout his legendary career,” according to ESPN.
We Believe in Dinosaurs (PBS, Monday, Feb. 17, at 10) is set at Kentucky’s Creation Museum, where its operators want, according to Independent Lens, “to prove the Bible is scientifically and historically accurate, with detailed exhibits alongside animatronic Biblical characters and animals,” including humans existing with dinosaurs.
The documentary features “Doug, who creates lifelike animals for the Ark, and other colleagues working behind the scenes; Dan, a geologist who blows the whistle on the Ark’s discriminatory hiring practices; David, a former creationist and frequent member of the Museum who now blogs critically about the beliefs he used to hold; atheist activist Jim Helton, co-founder of Tri-State Freethinkers who led a protest rally outside the Ark’s opening; and residents who support the Ark in hopes it will revive the local economy,” according to PBS.
For the 40th time this year, hundreds of kids from pre-K to high-school seniors gather to compete in the Martin Luther King Oratorical Festival, where they perform poetry and deliver speeches. We Are the Dream: The Kids of the Oakland MLK Oratorical Fest (HBO, Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 7) follows students’ preparation for that event, and is “a portrait of passionate young people raising their voices about issues they care about – racial injustice, immigration and more – and of a community that celebrates them,” according to HBO.
The Hidden Kingdoms of China (NatGeo, Saturday, Feb. 22, at 9) is a two-hour documentary narrated by Michelle Yeoh that showcases China’s wildlife, including giant pandas, snub-nosed monkeys, Tibetan foxes, snow leopards, and others.
The first expedition to explore the wreckage of the Titanic in 15 years was captured for Back to the Titanic (NatGeo, Sunday, Feb. 23, at 9).