Before we get to the remaining reality TV premieres for the year, I want to thank you for reading reality blurred this year. There’s been a lot of awfulness and pain, but one of the bright spots has been connecting with each other over through our TVs, including watching and discussing all of the outstanding reality TV that came this year.
I’m taking a break until 2021, though I’ll be working on some behind-the-scenes improvements here, and planning for the new year. These two weeks are actually somewhat quiet in terms of new shows—especially compared to what’s coming in January: more than 50 premieres in the first 10 days of January 2021 alone.
Before the New Year’s Day premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 13, the show is back on Logo for a week-long marathon of every season from 1 to 12, hosted by Jaida Essence Hall and Heidi ‘N Closet (Logo, starts Friday, Dec. 25, at 9 a.m.).
The Masked Singer may be over, but Fox is ready with a spin-off: The Masked Dancer (Fox, Sunday, Dec. 27, at 8, then Wednesdays at 8).
It has celebrities—and quasi-celebrities—dancing in costume, with a celebrity panel trying to guess who they are. Craig Robinson hosts, and Ken Jeong returns to judge alongside Paula Abdul Brian, Austin Green, and Ashley Tisdale.
The Profit star Marcus Lemonis has a new show, filmed during the Before Times, in which he explores “the stories of those determined to make it in America” by focusing on streets, like diamond sellers on 47th Street in Manhattan to the Denver’s Green Mile, where people sell marijuana.
Streets of Dreams with Marcus Lemonis (CNBC, Tuesdays at 10, starting Dec. 29) is produced by Zero Point Zero, the production company behind Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, CNBC points out, perhaps trying to create an expectation for the show’s tone or approach.
- The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal are airing Christmas-themed prime-time specials tonight (CBS, Monday, Dec. 21, at 8).
- Dr. Pimple Popper: Season’s Squeezings (TLC, Monday, Dec. 21, at 9), which is too much for me just based on that title alone
- My Feet Are Killing Me: Under the Mistletoes (TLC, Monday, Dec. 21, at 10), a special in which TLC says the “doctors are in for some shock in their stockings.”
- Surprising Santa Claus (HGTV, Friday, Dec. 25, at 9) follows Flea Market Flip’s Lara Spencer as she “work[s] with a team of designers, contractors and volunteers, to give the town of Santa Claus, Indiana,” two home renovations and town square decorations.
Returning for new seasons:
- Kids Baking Championship (Food Network, Mondays at 9 starting Dec. 28)
- Supermarket Stakeout (Food Network, Tuesdays at 10, starting Dec. 29)
- Dr. Pimple Popper, which moves to a new night (TLC, Mondays at 9 starting Dec. 28)
- 7 Little Johnstons (TLC, Tuesdays at 8, starting Dec. 29)
- My 600-lb Life (TLC, Wednesdays at 8, starting Dec. 30)
- Master Distiller (Discovery, Tuesdays at 9, starting Dec. 29)
- Lone Star Law: Patrol and Protect, which moves from Animal Planet for its new season (Discovery, Tuesdays at 10, starting Dec. 29)
Documentaries and specials:
- Restaurant Hustle 2020: All On the Line is a documentary that premiered at the DOC NYC festival and is now coming to TV (Food Network, Sunday, Dec. 27, at 9). Produced by Guy Fieri, it follows chefs Maneet Chauhan, Antonia Lofaso, Marcus Samuelsson, and Christian Petroni as they “documented the challenges their restaurants faced during the outbreak,” according to Food Network.
- Buddy Valastro: Road to Recovery (TLC, Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 9) is a two-hour, real-time special about Buddy Valastro’s severe hand injury, his surgeries, and his recovery. TLC says there was “footage captured immediately after the incident,” which is only slightly less gruesome than getting your hand stuck in a bowling pin machine.
- Vernon Jordan: Make it Plain (PBS, Monday, Dec. 28, at 10) “explores the remarkable journey of Vernon Eulion Jordan Jr., from modest origins to national renown as a distinguished, pioneering attorney, businessman and civil rights leader,” according to PBS.
- American Masters: Laura Ingalls Wilder (PBS, Tuesday, Dec. 29, at 9) “delves into the legacy of the iconic pioneer as well as the way she transformed her early life into enduring legend,” PBS says.
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