A parade of fall reality TV premieres began last week and continues this week, with new and returning shows on broadcast networks, streaming, and cable. That includes Halloween Baking Championship (with new host Carla Hall!); Netflix’s new barbecue and karaoke competitions; and The Great Pottery Throw Down, a UK show that’s finally made its way to the US.
As always, this weekly preview of reality show premieres also includes documentary series and specials, which this week includes a new Netflix series on the Challenger disaster. Here’s everything that’s premiering—and when, and where.
Dancing with the Stars season 29 premieres tonight (ABC, Mondays at 8). ABC is promising “a fresh take,” but so far the only notable change is Tom Bergeron being replaced by Tyra Banks. Will the show actually be different?
Halloween Wars premiered last night, and tonight Halloween Baking Championship premieres (Food Network, Mondays at 9).
Its new host is the awesome Carla Hall, a long-time Food Network judge judge and former Top Chef contestant. She’ll also judge alongside Stephanie Boswell and Zac Young.
Meanwhile, Netflix continues to go after Food Network’s territory with another competition series: American Barbecue Showdown (Netflix, Friday). Its contestants are “the country’s best backyard smokers and competitive barbecuers,” according to Netflix.
Netflix is also launching another new competition series: Sing On! (Netflix, Wednesday), a karaoke competition hosted by Tituss Burgess, who most recently hosted one of Quibi’s best reality series, Dishmantled.
If you’re missing The Great British Bake-Off, HBO Max is importing all three seasons of The Great Pottery Throw Down (HBO Max, Thursday). I’ll have a full review then: it’s different than GBBO, but it’s great.
Terry Bradshaw and his family invited cameras into their home for their own reality series, Bradshaw Bunch (E!, Thursdays at 9), while a koala
Izzy’s Koala World (Netflix, Tuesday) focuses on an 11-year-old who cares for koalas that have been rescued.
Returning for new seasons:
- Windy City Rehab (HGTV, Tuesdays at 9)
- Flipping 101 with Tarek El Moussa (HGTV, Thursdays at 9)
- MeatEater (Netflix, Tuesday)
- Keeping Up With the Kardashians (E!, Thursdays at 8). While the show is ending forever, it’s not ending with this season; this is just the second half of season 18.
- Masters of Illusion (The CW, Fridays at 8)
- Long Way Up (Apple TV+, Friday), a follow-up to Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s Long Way Round and Long Way Down. In this series, they travel from South America to LA
Hundreds of years of human trafficking from Africa is the subject of Enslaved (EPIX, Mondays at 10), part of which follows Samuel L. Jackson as he goes to Gabon to connect with his ancestors and their descendants.
Actors, athletes, and musicians tell their origin stories on Becoming (Disney+, Friday).
Islands of Wonder (PBS, Wednesdays at 8) focuses on a different “isolated environment” in each episode: Borneo, Madagascar, and Hawaii.
World’s Funniest Animals (The CW, Fridays at 9) has a self-explanatory title, and a panel of celebrities commenting on the funny videos.
Challenger: The Final Flight (Netflix, Wednesday) is a four-part documentary about the space shuttle explosion in 1986.
All In: The Fight for Democracy (Amazon, Friday) is about voter suppression in America. The documentary, which has Stacey Abrams as a producer, “interweaves personal experiences with current activism and historical insight to expose a problem that has corrupted our democracy from the very beginning,” according to Amazon.
Policing the Police 2020 (PBS, Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 9) is a follow-up to the 2016 Frontline documentary. In it, New Yorker writer Jelani Cobb “examines prospects for reform, and returns to the case of one troubled department he first visited in 2016.”
Love Child (PBS, Monday, Sept. 14, at 10) is about a family that flees Iran, with the father posing as the child’s uncle, because, as PBS notes, “[w]ith adultery punishable by death, this family could never live together in Iran, so they flee their country in search of a safe place in the West where they can build a life together.”
Hope Frozen: A Quest to Live Twice (Netflix, Tuesday) is the story of a two-year-old whose head was frozen after death: “the youngest person in the world to undergo cryo-preservation,” Netflix says. The documentary follows her family who hope to bring her back to life one day.
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