Good Monday morning! It’s May the fourth be with you, which also happens to be my parents’ anniversary, though they were married long before both Star Wars and before the Internet made today a thing.
This week in reality show premieres are several shows and reunions filmed in our new reality: remotely, virtually, Zoom-ly. American Idol did that spectacularly well last week, and has set a high bar. But before we get to those, let’s look at some shows produced in the normal way, including ones filmed around the world.
By the way, as I was putting together this preview, I discovered that at least two shows—Food Network’s Duff Takes the Cake and Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing LA—were scheduled to premiere new seasons this week, but have now been pushed back to later this year. I assume that’s just networks holding completed seasons so they’ll have something to air now since they haven’t been able to be in production over the past two months. Also, it’s possible schedules will continue to shift and change.
But we are getting new reality TV, and new seasons this week, plus some feature documentaries and specials.
Bravo’s newest entry in its adults-acting-like-children collection of shows is titled Camp Getaway (Bravo, Mondays at 10), and follows the staff at a place called Club Getaway. It’s in the Berkshire Mountains, setting for many of RHONY’s best episodes.
Also in New England, a small-town business that sells moose shit—well, gifts and things made out of moose turds—becomes the subject of its own reality show: Tirdy Works (truTV, Tuesdays at 10).
Returning for new seasons this week are:
- Worst Cooks in America: Celebrity Edition (Food Network, Sundays at 9) with Anne Burrell and Tyler Florence leading teams
- Accident, Suicide or Murder (Oxygen, Saturdays at 6)
- Drain the Oceans (National Geographic, Tuesdays at 9)
- Rust Valley Restorers (Netflix, Friday).
- Restaurants on the Edge (Netflix, Friday)
Reality TV, virtually
Bravo brought the UK’s Gogglebox to America about six years ago, and now the show is back on a new network, rebranded as Celebrity Watch Party (Fox, Thursdays at 8). We’ll see celebrities and their family members “watch and react to the week’s most interesting television shows.”
TLC’s Find Love Live (TLC, Sundays at 11) also is perfectly timed for this era. On the show, a “featured single” person will talk to viewers from around the country, in the hopes of connecting with them romantically. It’s just like The Bachelor, now with viewer participation!
Another special episode of Restaurant: Impossible airs this week, with Robert Irvine and his wife Gail watching the first episode of the show (Food Network, Thursday, May 7, at 9).
Two Bravo reunions this week will both be conducted virtually:
- The Real Housewives of Atlanta, which will air over three weeks, starts Sunday at 8. Andy Cohen will check in with Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, Kenya Moore, Nene Leakes, Eva Marcille, and Porsha Williams.
- Summer House, which airs Wednesday at 10, with Andy Cohen interviewing Kyle Cooke, Amanda Batula, Danielle Olivera, Carl Radke, Lindsay Hubbard, Paige DeSorbo, Jules Daoud, Hannah Berner, and Luke Gulbranson.
Last week I wrote about how ridiculous it is that MTV airs Ridiculousness so much—almost 90 hours last week—and this week MTV has two themed episodes of the clip show starring Jake Paul (ugh).
They’re called “Bustedness” (MTV, Wednesday and Thursday, May 6 and 7, at 10), which has “Jake and his entourage react[ing] to the internet’s most viral and entertaining videos, reveling in the joy and humiliation of watching people get caught in the act.”
On Mother’s Day, Comedy Central will air a documentary on which comedians’ mothers are interviewed to discuss “how the relationships between comedians and their mothers shape their craft,” as network executive Sarah Babineau said in a press release. Call Your Mother (Comedy Central, Sunday, May 10, at 10) is directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady.
George W. Bush (PBS, Monday and Tuesday, May 4 and 5, at 9), which PBS calls a “biography on the life and presidency of George W. Bush,” is the newest entry in American Experience’s “The Presidents” collection. It starts with his “unorthodox road to the White House” and then explores the crises he faced in office: Sept. 11, the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina, and the 2008 financial crisis.
Finally, The Queen At War (PBS, Tuesday, May 5, at 8) profiles Queen Elizabeth’s early life and looks at how, as a 13-year-old at the start of World War II, her “life and character were shaped by the challenges of war.”
That’s it for this week, though I can’t mention the Queen without sharing this hilarious collection of creativity.
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