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Chopped with cannabis, Cher and an elephant, and 20+ reality TV premieres

Good morning. This week, there are well over two dozen unscripted, documentary, and reality TV premieres, so let’s get right to them—but first, a finale.

RuPaul’s Drag Race concludes its uneven 13th season (VH1, Friday at 8), which has had 16 episodes, thanks in part to three full episodes with no eliminations. There was also last week’s faux “reunion,” on which RuPaul pretended to interview the queens via video chat, preventing them from actually reuniting or hashing out any issues. Friday, Ru will choose between Gottmik, Kandy Muse, Rosé, and Symone to see who gets the crown.

Andy Cohen and his stack of cards are back with the The Real Housewives of Atlanta reunion, which will air over three weeks (Bravo, Sundays at 8 starting April 25), with Porsha Williams, Kenya Moore, Kandi Burruss, Cynthia Bailey, Drew Sidora, Marlo Hampton, Shamea Morton, and LaToya Ali discussing the latest season.

Couples Retreat (VH1, Mondays at 8) brings together six celebrity couples for what VH1 calls a show “celebrating Black love” with discussions of “the challenges and triumphs of their relationships, navigating the complex waters of love, heartache and communication.” (It was supposed to premiere in March but was pushed back to April.)

Married at First Sight: Unmatchables (Lifetime, Wednesdays at 10) is a dating series starring 16 people who applied for MAFS but didn’t get matched with someone they’d quickly divorce.

There have been several cooking shows on which chefs use cannabis or CBD-infused ingredients, including Stage 13’s Cooking on High (which is now on Netflix), the Vice series Bong Appétit, and last year’s Netflix original Cooked with Cannabis.

Chopped is now getting into the cannabis cooking competition business with Chopped 420. It premieres on 4/20 (Discovery+, Tuesday), but it’ll only be streaming, not on Food Network. It’s hosted by comedian Ron Funches.

Philly D.A. (PBS, Tuesdays at 9) takes cameras inside the Philadelphia district attorney’s office as they try to work inside the system to stop “police brutality, the opioid crisis, gun violence, and mass incarceration,” according to Independent Lens.

Sasquatch (Hulu, Tuesday) follows a journalist who investigates a story he was told about three men being killed by Bigfoot, while Generation Hustle (HBO Max, Thursday) focuses on a different young entrepreneur in each episode; they’re all connected by their “cunning and creativity,” HBO Max says.

Returning for new seasons:

  • Black Ink Crew: New York (VH1, Mondays at 8)
  • Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel, April 20, Tuesdays at 8); season 17 will follow these boats and captains
  • Deadliest Catch: Bloodline (Discovery+, Tuesdays)
  • Storage Wars (A&E, Tuesdays at 9)
  • Undercover Billionaire (Discovery Channel, Tuesdays at 10), the new season that already aired on Discovery+ earlier this year
  • Izzy’s Koala World (Netflix, Tuesday)
  • Top Gear (BBC America, Sundays at 8)
  • 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After? (TLC, Sundays at 8)
  • Naked and Afraid XL (Discovery, Sundays at 8)
  • Create Together #WithMe (YouTube, Friday)

Also returning, sort of, is Ellen’s Next Great Designer (HBO Max, Thursdays), which is very similar to Ellen’s earlier show, but also begs the question: Who wants anything to watch Ellen do anything right now?

Extreme Sisters (TLC, Sundays at 10) focuses on “inseparable sibling relationships,” TLC says, while Hustle & Tow (A&E, Tuesdays at 10) follows tow truck drivers. And four magician friends will do magic in public on the new series Big Trick Energy (truTV, Thursdays at 10:30).

Cher rescues an elephant, and other Earth Day premieres

Cher and the elephant Kaavan in Cher and the Loneliest Elephant
Cher and the elephant Kaavan in Cher and the Loneliest Elephant (Photo by Smithsonian Channel)

Earth Day is Thursday, and these nonfiction specials and series will be airing or starting to stream on April 22:

  1. Cher and the Loneliest Elephant (Paramount+) follows Cher who helps “expert wildlife veterinarians, animal aid groups and sanctuary owners” in their efforts “to move a four-ton elephant more than 2,300 miles in the midst of a global pandemic,” according to Smithsonian Channel, which will air the documentary on May 19.
  2. Secrets of the Whales (Disney+), which says it “unveils new science and technology to spotlight whales”
  3. Life in Color (Netflix) is hosted by David Attenborough and focuses on animals and their purposeful use of color
  4. Greta Thunberg: A Year to Change the World (PBS, 8 to 10 p.m.), which follows the teenage activist over the course of a year
  5. Action Planet (Discovery+) says it “will highlight the work of high-profile changemakers”
  6. Kingdom of the Polar Bears (NatGeo WILD, 8 p.m.) follows a “team [that] documents the secret world of polar bears and the mysterious and disappearing kingdom of ice that sustains them,” NatGeo says
  7. Endangered (Discovery+), which follows conservations creating the latest version of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species
  8. A marathon of all the Serengeti episodes (Discovery Channel, 2 to 8 p.m.)
  9. A marathon of North America (Animal Planet, 6 to 11 p.m.)
  10. Two hours of A Perfect Planet (Discovery Channel, 8 to 10 p.m.), which is from the Planet Earth team and looks at “forces of nature” that “drive, shape and support Earth’s great diversity of life”
  11. 2040 (The CW, 8 p.m.) is a documentary that “explores a positive vision of the future where humanity has solved climate change, with solutions well within reach today.”

Also this week, Reef Rescue (PBS, Wednesday, April 21, at 9) will be following “scientists as they attempt to crossbreed heat-resistant corals, and even transplant corals’ algae, in a race to save the coral reefs from extinction,” according to NOVA. It’s preceded by Sharks of Hawaii (PBS, Wednesday, April 21, at 8), which promises “surprising facts about the sharks that call the warm waters near Hawaii’s islands their home.”

American Oz (PBS, Monday, April 19, at 9 p.m.) is American Experience’s look at L. Frank Baum, the writer of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Crikey! It’s a Baby (Discovery+, Sunday, April 25) promises “poignant and intimate moments leading up to the birth of Bindi and Chandler’s daughter, Grace Warrior Irwin Powell.”

Those are all the premieres on my list for this week—and it’s quite a list! Enjoy whatever reality TV you watch.

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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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