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Sesame Street’s legacy and future, a puppet cooking show, and other reality TV premieres

Sesame Street’s legacy and future, a puppet cooking show, and other reality TV premieres
Sesame Street puppeteers operate Elmo and new muppets Elijah and Wes Walker during the documentary Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days (Photo by ABC)

Good morning! It’s the start of the last week of April, and the showers—in the form of reality TV premieres—are continuing. In March, there were more than 80 shows that premiered, and in April, almost as many: 73 by my count.

Let’s start our look at this week’s premieres with two new reality TV competitions.

First up is Exposure (Hulu, Monday), a competition between eight photographers who use mobile phones. The show was created by Samsung, but is produced by Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith’s production company, so the question is whether this will be a legit show with sponsorship, like Top Chef, or just a crummy commercial.

Later in the week comes the return of The Apprentice, though it now stars Bethenny Frankel and is called The Big Shot with Bethenny (HBO Max, Thursdays). Still the same idea, though, and still produced by Mark Burnett. Look for my review later this week.

Sesame Street is well into its 51st year, since it premiered in November 1969, and a new documentary will look at “the more than 50-year impact of this iconic show and the nonprofit behind it, Sesame Workshop,” according to ABC.

Sesame Street: 50 Years of Sunny Days (ABC, Monday, April 26, at 8, and Hulu, Tuesday) includes never-broadcast footage and celebrities, including by Stevie Wonder, who performs a new version of the show’s theme song, “Sunny Days.”

Speaking of puppets, Duff’s Happy Fun Bake Time (Discovery+, Thursday) stars Duff Goldman and puppets from the Jim Henson Company, and promises to “teach fundamental cooking techniques and tasty, easy-to-make recipes.” I’m intrigued!

Three new HTGV shows premiere this week:

  1. $50K Three Ways (HGTV, Mondays at 8), on which Tiffany Brooks gives homeowners three options for redesigns
  2. Inside Out (HGTV, Mondays at 9), which follows an interior designer and landscape designer who compete for a larger share of a homeowner’s renovation budget
  3. Home Town Takeover (HGTV, Sundays at 8), on which Ben and Erin Napier renovate 12 locations in Wetumpka, Alabama

There’s a company that manages “animal influencers,” and cameras follow its employees on Pet Stars (Netflix, Friday).

The cast of Summer House will reunite over two episodes (Bravo, Thursday, April 29 at 9:15, and May 6 at 10:15).

Returning for new seasons:

  • United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell (CNN, Sundays at 10)
  • Flip or Flop (HGTV, Thursdays at 9)
  • Wizard of Paws (BYUtv, Wednesdays at 9 ET/6PT)
  • Bering Sea Gold (Discovery, Fridays at 9)
  • Bar Rescue (Paramount, Sundays at 10)

PBS is rebroadcasting Asian Americans next month (PBS, Saturdays at 10), a five-part series about “the impact of Asian Americans on the country’s past, present and future,” according to PBS.

The Story of Late Night (CNN, Sundays at 9) focuses on late-night talk shows such as The Tonight Show, and the behind-the-scenes drama.

Human (PBS, Wednesdays at 10) is about human biology, while The Virus That Shook The World (PBS, Monday at 9 and Tuesday at 10) is, of course, about the threat to our biology that we’ve faced this past year.

When Philip Met Missy (Discovery+, Tuesday) follows the 2018 case of Philip Snider, whose said his wife died while they were on a trip to Graceland, but later changed his story several times.

IMPACT with Gal Gadot pushed back its premiere so it’s now premiering today (National Geographic’s YouTube, Mondays), and will profile six women “who overcome obstacles and do extraordinary things” via short documentaries.

Lucy the Human Chimp (HBO Max, Thursday) is about Lucy Temerlin, a chimpanzee who was raised as if she was a human being, and Janis Carter, the graduate student who tried to help Lucy transition back to living like an ape in the wild.

The World’s Funniest Animals airs a “Spring Fling” special (The CW, Friday, April 30, at 8).

Chasing Ocean Giants (Discovery+, Thursday) follows cinematographer Patrick Dykstra as he travels the world to film ocean life and behavior that hasn’t been caught on camera.

Revealed: The Hunt for Bin Laden (History, Sunday, May 2, at 8) arrives 10 years after the terrorist mastermind was killed, and tells the story of trying to find him.

That’s everything on my list—another long list! Enjoy whatever reality TV you watch this week.

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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.


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