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Design Star returns, Below Deck reunites, and Tim Allen judges: this week in reality TV

Design Star returns, Below Deck reunites, and Tim Allen judges: this week in reality TV

Good morning! Here’s your look at reality TV premieres for this week, both series and specials, reality shows and feature documentaries.

The competition formerly known as HGTV Design Star returns, but not on HGTV—at least not for most of its season. (Read my review of the new season.)

Like an increasing number of returning shows, including Restaurant Impossible and the return of Finding Bigfoot, it’s been shuffled to Discovery+, the new streaming service.

However, the premiere of Design Star: Next Gen will air on actual TV this week (HGTV and Discovery+, Wednesday, Feb. 24, at 9), and then you’ll have to pay to see the rest of the season on Discovery+.

Also returning to TV this week is Tim Allen, who will host and judge a new design competition alongside his Home Improvement co-star Richard Karn.

Assembly Required (History, Tuesdays at 10) was filmed remotely, with people working in their own garages to create and/or re-imagine household items like leaf blowers.

It feels like just yesterday we were starting Halloween baking shows, and now it’s time for Spring Baking Championship (Food Network, Mondays at 9), which is hosted by Ali Khan and judged by Kardea Brown, Nancy Fuller, and Duff Goldman.

Also returning for new seasons:

  • Floribama Shore (MTV, Thursdays at 9), which abandons its title completely by moving to Arizona
  • Ultimate Cowboy Showdown (INSP, Wednesdays at 9), season two of the cowboy competition
  • Seeking Sister Wife (TLC, Sundays at 9)
  • Outdaughtered (TLC, Tuesdays at 8)
  • Paranormal: Caught on Camera (Discovery+, Friday)

Below Deck will have a virtual reunion (Bravo, Monday, Feb. 22, at 9) with Andy Cohen reading questions off cards for Captain Lee and the crew of My Seanna.

RuPaul’s Drag Race won’t air a new episode; instead, they’re airing a “documentary” (emphasis on the scare quotes) titled RuPaul’s Drag Race: Corona Can’t Keep A Good Queen Down (VH1, Friday, Feb. 26, at 8) that goes behind the scenes on the production of this season.

Canine Intervention (Netflix, Wednesday) follows a K9 dog trainer in Oakland, Jas Leverette; She’s the Boss (USA, Thursdays at 10:30) follows marketing company CEO Nicole Walter and her family; and Top Class: The Life and Times of the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (IMDb TV, Friday) follows a high school basketball team.

A Closer Look with Eric Benet (ALLBLK, Thursday) “profiles R&B, Soul, and Hip-Hop artists whose song(s) reached the top the billboard charts and re-shape the music industry,” according to the network.

In documentaries: Pelé (Netflix, Tuesday) is about the football player and his “mythical status,” according to Netflix, while Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art (Netflix, Tuesday) focuses on “the largest art fraud in American history.”

The variety TV show Soul!, which premiered in 1968, was a nationally televised variety show focusing on Black culture, and the Independent Lens documentary Mr. Soul! (PBS, Monday, Feb. 22, at 10) “delves into this critical moment in television history, as well as the man who guided it, through participants’ recollections and archival footage,” according to PBS.

The international boy band sensation BTS are the focus of the next iteration of Unplugged, which aired MTV Unplugged Presents Miley Cyrus Backyard Sessions and MTV Unplugged at Home last year.

MTV Unplugged Presents: BTS (MTV, Tuesday, Feb. 23, at 9) was filmed in Seoul, South Korea, and MTV promises “fans a front-row seat to never-before-seen versions of the group’s most career-defining hits and songs from their latest album,” according to MTV.

Black Renaissance (YouTube, Friday) is a special that YouTube says “will showcase the Black creators, artists, writers, storytellers, and history makers who have shaped our nation’s history; and the next generation of Black voices who are reimagining our future.”

Pristine Seas: The Power of Protection (NatGeo Wild, Monday, Feb. 22, at 8) follows “a team of determined scientists, policy experts and filmmakers work with local communities and governments to create marine protected areas,” according to National Geographic.

Those are all the premieres on my list this week. Enjoy your reality TV viewing!

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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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