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A Survivor winner’s cabana competition, Temptation Island’s return, and other premieres

A Survivor winner’s cabana competition, Temptation Island’s return, and other premieres
Survivor Ghost Island winner Wendell Holland in the second episode of Survivor: Winners at War (Photo by Timothy Kuratek/CBS Entertainment)

Good morning. Spring itself may not be here, but spring reality TV is already in full bloom, from the return of Tough As Nails last week and American Idol last night, and that continues this week.

We’re getting new seasons of Temptation Island (USA, Tuesdays at 10), which was filmed in Hawaii last fall, and The Real Housewives of New Jersey (Bravo, Wednesdays at 9), which was probably filmed in New Jersey.

Also, after more six years off the air, Modern Marvels returns (History, Sundays at 10), though with a more narrow focus than before.

The technology-focused documentary series will now be hosted by Man vs. Food’s Adam Richman, and focus on “some of America’s favorite foods,” History says.

Also returning for new seasons:

  • Secrets of the Viking Stone (Science, Sundays at 10)
  • Relative Race (BYUtv, Sundays at 9)
  • Wicked Tuna (NatGeo, Sundays at 9)
Wendell Holland on Survivor: Winners at War episode 6
Wendell Holland on Survivor: Winners at War, which was filmed on beaches in Fiji, while his next competition series was filmed on a beach in New York. (Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment)

Survivor: Ghost Island winner Wendell Holland is returning to a beach for a new competition, though one that’s very different than Survivor. He’s one of three designers competing in a one episode special competition called Beach Cabana Royale (Discovery+, Tuesday).

It’s hosted by Snooki, and he’ll compete against Karla Graves and Delia Kenza as they “completely transform cabanas for three families who need their help,” according to Discovery+. Those cabanas are on Atlantic Beach, New York, and the designers had just one day.

They’ll be judged by designers Egypt Sherrod and Orlando Soria, and the winner gets a trophy and 100,000 meals donated in their name to Turn Up! Fight Hunger, Discovery’s partnership with No Kid Hunger.

Other Discovery+ shows premiering this week:

  • Love Games (Discover+, Thursday) is a game show with 90 Day couples competing.
  • 90 Day: The Single Life (Discovery+, Sunday) follows people from the franchise who are now single.
  • Aliens in Alaska (Discovery+, Monday), which promises “shocking new evidence,” i.e. Discovery is selling us some bullshit
  • Speaking of bullshit: Nostradamus: End of Days (Discovery+, Wednesday) says it “decodes new prophecies and causes of the world’s demise,” which, you know, is bullshit.
  • Mountain Monsters: By the Fire (Discovery+, Sunday), recycles old episodes by having the team watch them.

Elsewhere, I Survived a Crime (A&E, Wednesdays at 10) uses footage from surveillance cameras and cell phones as victims share their stories.

Hulu is importing the Channel 5 series Bad Habits, Holy Orders (Hulu, Tuesday), on which “five party girls” move into a Catholic convent for a month.

In documentary series:

  • Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine (Showtime, Sundays at 10) follows “hip-hop artist Tekashi 6ix9ine’s epic rise to notoriety and spectacular fall to convicted criminal,” according to Showtime
  • Say It Loud (PBS YouTube, Thursdays) explores “the many ways Black Americans have influenced American life,” according to PBS
  • Allen v. Farrow (HBO, Sundays at 9) promises to “reveal the private story” of Woody Allen and Mia Farrow and the end of their relationship
  • The Black Church: This is Our Story, This is Our Song is a two-part documentary (PBS, Tuesdays, Feb. 16 and 23, at 9) that explores Black churches’ “role as the site of African American organizing, resilience, autonomy, freedom and solidarity,” according to PBS. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., hosts, and interviews include Oprah Winfrey, John Legend, and Jennifer Hudson.
  • The Widower (NBC, Thursday at 10 and Friday and Sunday at 9) comes from Dateline‘s producers but is billed as a “true-crime miniseries.” It was filmed over 12 years in Las Vegas, where one man has been widowed four times.
  • Amend: The Fight for America (Netflix, Wednesday) is hosted by Will Smith and focuses on the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

In feature documentaries airing on TV this week, Voice of Freedom (PBS, Monday, Feb. 15, at 9) focuses on the Black singer Marian Anderson, who the Daughters of the American Revolution prevented from performing at their Constitution Hall—causing Eleanor Roosevelt to quit the DAR and FDR to arrange for Anderson to perform at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday.

The New Air Force One: Flying Fortress (National Geographic, Monday, Feb. 15, at 10) is about the new 747 that will replace the Air Force One jets after the current ones are retired. NatGeo says the documentary “follows the classified mission to create the new presidential aircraft and provides an inside look at the cutting-edge engineering and technology that transforms the plane into a top-secret, highly secured command center,” and includes interviews with past presidents and Donald Trump.

Donald Trump, Air Force One
President Donald Trump on his first Air Force One trip, Jan. 26, 2017. The plane will be retired soon. (Photo by Shealah Craighead/The White House)

North Korea: Inside the Mind of a Dictator (National Geographic, Monday, Feb. 15, at 8) “chronicles the life and reign of Kim Jong Un as the young and unpredictable leader attempts to turn around his nation’s fortunes,” according to the network.

Each and Every Day (MTV, Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 9) is a documentary about the effects of the last year on mental health, focusing in particular on “young people who have attempted suicide or had suicidal ideations as they share their experiences and the ways they have sought help,” according to MTV. (If you are similarly struggling, know that you’re not alone, and call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, or text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line to talk to someone.)

Built for Mars: The Perseverance Rover (National Geographic, Thursday, Feb. 18, at 9) “goes behind the scenes at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to follow the birth of the Perseverance rover,” and specifically focuses on “the flight technicians – the mechanics, machinists, and other hands-on workers,” according to the network.

The hornets invading the U.S. and killing honeybees and other species are the subject of the horror movie-titled Attack of the Murder Hornets (Discovery+, Saturday).

Patrice O’Neal: Killing Is Easy (Comedy Central, Friday, Feb. 19, at 10) profiles the comedian who died in 2011 having “never achieved the success that many believed he was due,” according to the network.

The March on Washington: Keepers of the Dream (National Geographic, Thursday, Feb. 18, at 10 and Hulu, Friday) focuses on both the 1963 and 2020 civil rights fights, profiling those “who marched for justice and equality in the 1960s, and the experiences of those on the front lines of the current fight for racial equality,” according to NatGeo.

Those are all the premieres I had on my list for the week. I hope you find something enjoyable, interesting, informative, or all three among these shows.

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  • 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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