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Weakest Link and Dr. 90210 return, First Ladies profiled, and more reality TV premieres

Weakest Link and Dr. 90210 return, First Ladies profiled, and more reality TV premieres

Good Monday morning! It’s somehow already the final days of September, and it’s time for your last weekly preview of the month. Our look at what’s ahead includes several new documentary series, returning cable reality shows, and the revival of an early 2000s game show and a late 2000s reality show.

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Let’s start with the two shows that are being resurrected this week. First, the game show The Weakest Link (NBC, Tuesdays at 8 until Oct. 19, then Mondays at 10) is coming back. Jane Lynch is taking over the role originated by Anne Robinson, who, in the early 2000s, was surprisingly vicious and cruel to the contestants, who vote each other out of the game as it progresses.

On cable, Dr. 90210 (E!, Mondays at 10) is returning after 12 years off the air. The plastic surgeons featured are all women: Dr. Cat Begovic, Dr. Kelly Killeen, Dr. Michelle Lee, and Dr. Suzanne Quardt. E! says that they are “a new squad of women redefining age-old beauty standards.”

By the way, if you watched the other TV show named after that zip code, I suggest you get yourself a copy of this brand-new book: A Very Special 90210 Book: 93 Absolutely Essential Episodes from TV’s Most Notorious Zip Code. It’s by Television Without Pity founders Tara Ariano and Sarah D. Bunting, who currently co-host the podcast Extra Hot Great.

Also returning for new seasons this week:

  • Undercover Boss (CBS, Fridays at 9)
  • Little People, Big World (TLC, Tuesdays at 9)
  • Sweet Home Sextuplets (TLC, Tuesdays at 10)
  • Rock & Roll Road Trip With Sammy Hagar (AXS TV, Sundays at 9)

In other premieres, Song Exploder, an excellent podcast that breaks down how songs were written and created, is becoming a thematically similar TV show (Netflix, Friday).

Calls to 911, and the people who answer them, are the subject of Emergency Call (ABC, Mondays at 10).

A new documentary series looks at First Ladies (CNN, Sundays at 10), specifically Michelle Obama, Jackie Kennedy, Nancy Reagan, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, and Hillary Rodham Clinton. Another documentary series, True Colors (Peacock, Tuesdays), “tells the stories of Hispanic trailblazers and thought leaders,” including Alex Rodríguez, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mario Lopez, and Laurie Hernandez.

The long list of comedians who’ve performed at The Comedy Store include Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, Tim Allen, David Letterman, Chris Rock, Sarah Silverman, Andy Kaufman, Jay Leno, and Joe Rogan, and now the documentary series The Comedy Store (Showtime, Sundays at 10) “chronicles the evolution of comedy from within the walls of the iconic L.A. club,” according to Showtime.

To help process her father’s inevitable death, a filmmaker stages and films comedic versions of his death on the new documentary Dick Johnson is Dead (Netflix, Friday).

Whose Vote Counts (Netflix, Monday) looks at the election process and how it can be rigged—not actual voter fraud, which is rare, but things like gerrymandering, voter suppression, and even the Electoral College.

David Attenborough has narrated so many documentary films about life on the planet, and now he gets one about his own life: David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet (Netflix, Sunday).

The Real Black Panther (National Geographic, Friday, Oct. 2, at 10) is nature doc about “the only black panther in the entire Kabini Forest” in South India.

American Murder: The Family Next Door (Netflix, Wednesday) says it is “the first film to give a voice to the victims” of a 2018 murder: a pregnant woman and her daughters were killed by her husband/their father.

Kingdom of Silence (Showtime, Friday, Oct. 2, at 9) is about “the complicated dynamic between the United States and Saudi Arabia as a backdrop to the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi,” according to the network.

The Lost Lincoln (Discovery, Sunday, Oct. 4, at 9) is “an investigation by professional authenticator Dr. Whitny Braun to reveal extraordinary, groundbreaking evidence uncovering whether a newly discovered, secret photograph could be the 131st and final image of President Lincoln,” according to the network.

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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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