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HGTV marathons all week! RHONY and The Challenge return! Shark Week and Puppy Bowl marathons too!

HGTV marathons all week! RHONY and The Challenge return! Shark Week and Puppy Bowl marathons too!
Good Bones stars Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen Laine (Photo by HGTV)

I hope this Monday morning finds you well and truly rested. In case we didn’t have enough to watch already, we’re getting a lot of new unscripted content this week—more than 15 reality shows and a dozen documentaries premiere this week—and some old, in the form of marathons.

As a reminder, you can get this weekly preview of reality TV premieres in your inbox on Sundays as a perk of being a Patreon supporter, or if you subscribe to my newsletter, Reality in Focus. Okay, on to the reality TV premieres.

Marathon madness

HGTV is airing several marathons (times are ET/PT) this week, all of which start at 6 a.m., and the network invites viewers to “spend their days … with favorite HGTV stars including Ben and Erin Napier, Drew and Jonathan Scott, Hilary Farr and David Visentin, Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E. Laine, and David Bromstad.” 

Here are HGTV’s marathons, with some shows airing new episodes in prime-time:

  • Monday: Fixer to Fabulous, 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Home Town: 1 p.m. to midnight
  • Tuesday, March 31: Good Bones, 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Love It or List It, 12 to 9 p.m.
  • Wednesday, April 1: House Hunters, 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Property Brothers: Forever Home, 12 to 8 p.m.
  • Thursday, April 2: Unsellable Houses, 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and Windy City Rehab, 12 to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, April 3: Log Cabin Living: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and My Lottery Dream Home: 6 p.m. to midnight 

Animal Planet’s marathons include a two-day marathon of Puppy Bowls, starting at 6 a.m. today, Monday, March 30, and continuing to 4 a.m. tomorrow. Animal Planet will also air:

  • Tuesday, March 31: My Cat From Hell, 6 a.m. to 4 a.m. Wednesday
  • Thursday, April 2 through Sunday, April 5: The Zoo, The Zoo San Diego, Secret Life of the Zoo, and The Aquarium

Shark Week in a Weekend is Discovery’s name for its marathon of Shark Week specials. They’ll air Saturday, April 4, from 9 to 6 a.m., and Sunday, April 5, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Finally, The Biggest Loser ends its new season (Tuesday, March 31, at 9), and will marathon the entire season all day Tuesday, starting at 10:30 a.m. ET.

As the show ends its rebooted new season, it’s worth remembering that The Biggest Loser is still hurting people with its methods and messages.

RHONY, Nailed It, The Challenge, and other premieres

Ramona Singer and Tinsley Mortimer on the RHONY season 12
Ramona Singer and Tinsley Mortimer on the RHONY season 12. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/Bravo)

This new show sounds like a blast: Dishing with Julia Child (PBS, Fridays at 10 and 10:30) is a show on which great chefs watch and comment on Julia Child’s show.

Just in time: The Real Housewives of New York City (Bravo, Thursdays at 9) return with a new season, which has the old cast except for Bethenny and with new cast member Leah McSweeney. 

MTV’s recycling bin for reality stars from its shows and now CBS and other networks returns this week. The Challenge: Total Madness (MTV, Wednesdays at 8) promises a return to a solo game but also “a shocking twist” and “mental warfare.”

Also returning for new seasons are:

  • Fast ‘N’ Loud (Discovery, Mondays at 10)
  • Little People, Big World (TLC, Tuesdays at 9)
  • 7 Little Johnstons (TLC, Tuesdays at 10)
  • Nailed It! (Netflix, Wednesday)
  • Bering Sea Gold (Discovery, Wednesdays at 9)
  • Paranormal Caught on Camera (Travel Channel, Sundays at 9)

Driven (Discovery, Mondays at 9) is a new show on which three guys restore and rebuild “historic and one-of-a-kind cars,” according to the network.

Here are three mystery-oriented shows premiering this week:

  1. “Scientists and experts” explore a large property that’s allegedly the source of paranormal and UFO activity on The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch (History, Tuesdays at 10)
  2. Legends of the Wild (Discovery, Wednesdays at 10) has Damian Duffy and Matt Hoffmann trying to “solve the most extraordinary mysteries of the natural world.” So glad a Discovery reality show is on the case.
  3. Jeremy Wade is back with Mysteries of the Deep (Science Channel, April 2, Thursdays at 9), on which he looks into “underwater mysteries.” Sounds familiar.

David Blaine: The Magic Way (ABC, Wednesday, April 1, at 10) is the magician/whatever’s latest special, and it’ll include appearances by celebrities including Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Odell Beckham Jr., Tom Brady, Gisele Bündchen, Dr. Dre, Bryan Cranston, and Michael Jordan.

The wonderful series One Strange Rock and NatGeo’s intentionally brutal and gruesome Hostile Planet are among the shows joining Disney+ on Wednesday.

How to Fix a Drug Scandal (Netflix, Wednesday) is a four-part series about a forensic chemist who was supposed to be testing narcotics but instead used them and then faked the results of actual tests.

Outcry (Showtime, Fridays at 9) is a five-part doc series about “high school football star Greg Kelley, his controversial conviction and the quest for truth and justice,” Showtime says.

A new HBO series examines Atlanta’s Missing and Murdered: The Lost Children (HBO, Sundays at 8), which explores the murder of 30+ black kids and young adults in the 1970s and ’80s.

The world’s tiniest hummingbird and “giant, bat eating boas” are among the stars of Nature: Cuba’s Wild Revolution (PBS, Wednesday, April 1, at 8).

Kim Kardashian West: The Justice Project (Oxygen, Sunday, April 5, at 7) follows “Kim’s efforts to secure freedom for Americans who she believes have been wronged by the justice system,” Oxygen says.

The West Memphis Three: An ID Murder Mystery (ID, Sunday, April 5, at 9) is ID’s contribution to the documentaries about the 1993 case.

The Scheme (HBO, Tuesday, March 31, at 9) is a documentary about Christian Dawkins, who was “convicted in federal court in the biggest criminal case in collegiate sports history,” HBO says.

Valiant (Amazon Prime, Wednesday) is a documentary about the Vegas Golden Knights, which a press release points out “had the most successful inaugural season ever for an expansion team in the history of U.S. sports in 2017-2018,” a season that began right after the mass shooting that took place on the Las Vegas strip.

One Child Nation (PBS, Monday, March 30, at 10) focuses on “China’s one-child policy, the extreme population control measure that made it illegal for couples to have more than one child” which PBS points out “may have ended in 2015, but the process of dealing with the trauma of its brutal enforcement is only just beginning.”

Frontline “investigates whether the plastic industry used the promise of recycling to sell more plastic” in Plastic Wars (Tuesday, March 31, at 10, then streaming).

In Jeffrey Epstein: His Victims Tell All (Reelz, Saturday, April 4, at 8), Michelle Licata and Alicia Arden “describe the intimate and disturbing details of encounters with Epstein,” the network says.

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About the author

  • 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. Learn more about Andy.

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