Somehow, this week will bring us the conclusion of the 40th season of Survivor. It feels like just yesterday I was in my apartment in Chicago watching that first episode; that was almost 20 years ago, and 39 finales, from Bryant Gumbel struggling to care to this year’s virtual reunion.
While Survivor ends, a lot of shows are premiering this week: almost 20! Here’s your look at what’s premiering this week. (And if you’d like to get this via e-mail, subscribe to my newsletter Reality in Focus!)
Tonight, RuPaul will compete on The Price is Right’s latest prime-time special (CBS, Monday, May 11 at 8). He’s competing for a charity, Planned Parenthood, and will play against regular contestants, who can win prizes and cash.
Four years ago, Survivor contestants appeared on The Price is Right, and I published a fan’s behind-the-scenes story about his dad’s appearance on that episode, including their interaction with Survivor alum.
Also tonight, but on Food Network, two new celebrity-driven shows—one of which is not a competition—premiere! They are:
- Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart (Food Network, Mondays at 9) on which contestants compete, outside, to be mentored by Martha.
- Amy Schumer Learns to Cook (Food Network, Mondays at 10), on which Amy’s husband, chef Chris Fischer, teaches her to cook. The couple and their nanny filmed the show themselves.
Also on Food Network this week: Even before this spring, many restaurants were struggling to stay open, and some got Robert Irvine’s help on a new season of Restaurant: Impossible (Food Network, Thursdays at 9).
And on its sibling network, Eddie Jackson’s show Yum and Yummer returns (Cooking Channel, Thursdays at 10).
BYUtv is premiering two cooking shows, including one BBC show:
- Step Up to the Plate (BYU TV, Tuesdays at 8:30 ET/5:30 PT) is from the UK and lets kids 10 to 14 try to run a restaurant.
- Best Cake Wins (BYU TV, Tuesdays at 8 ET/5 PT), a competition to make a kid’s birthday cake
Also on the network, Jeff’s Homemade Game Show (BYU TV, Tuesdays at 9 ET/6 PT), on which the host creates a game show out of a family’s household objects and locations.
Dog lovers, Quibi—remember that?—has a new show premiering today: Barkitecture, which say sit “captures the lifestyles of dog-loving, dog-obsessed people who are gifting their beloved fur-babies with the most ridiculously extravagant dog houses imaginable.”
Back with new seasons:
- The Misery Index (TBS, Thursdays at 10:30), with host Jameela Jamil and the Impractical Jokers
- Masters of Illusion (The CW, Fridays at 8)
- Magic for Humans (Netflix, Friday)
- Bering Sea Gold (Discovery, Friday at 10, then Fridays at 8)
OWN is premiering two remotely-produced new series this week:
- Fear Not with Iyanla Vanzant (OWN, Saturdays at 9), on which Iyanla offers advice about what we’re all living through right now.
- Each episode of Girlfriends Check In (OWN, Saturdays at 10) will have “different groups of female celebrity friends” talking to each other.
In the two episodes, which are focused on “Sneakers” and “Pools,” Goldblum “uncovers how even the simplest things have incredible, sometimes eccentric back stories,” according to NatGeo.
And he may also be demonstrating how cable networks with streaming services may fill holes of programs they weren’t able to air: by borrowing shows.
Asian Americans, Trial By Media, and 5 other docs and doc series
Several documentary series will premiere this week, starting with Asian Americans. It’s a five-episode series that will air over two nights (PBS, Monday and Tuesday, May 11 and 12, at 8).
PBS says it is “the most ambitious television chronicle of the Asian American story to date” that “delivers a bold, fresh perspective on a history that matters today more than ever.”
The streaming service CuriosityStream, which is basically offers the kind of documentary programming that Discovery Channel used to off before it was reality TV, is launching its first reality series this week.
4th and Forever: Muck City (CuriosityStream, Thursday) is about two high school football teams and their rivalry, which is considerable because, as the network says, those “two small towns in south Florida produce more pro football players per capita than anywhere else on Earth.”
Trial By Media (Netflix, today) is a look at “the most dramatic and memorable trials in recent history.”
The kidnapping and murder of a DEA agent in the 1980s is the subject of The Last Narc (Amazon, Friday).
And three documentaries:
- Rewind (PBS, Monday, May 11, at 10) is “an autobiographical documentary following [director Sasha Neulinger’s] journey to confront, unpack and understand the multi-generational child sexual abuse that haunted him and his family,” according to its website.
- Basketball County: In the Water (Showtime, Friday, May 15, at 9) is about the county that has, Showtime says, “produced more elite basketball players than anywhere else in the world,” including one of the documentary’s producers, Kevin Durant.
- Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (Netflix, today) is described as a “comedic documentary” in which “celebrities recall their most mind-bending trips.”