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Bachelorette returns without Chris Harrison, and other reality TV premieres this week

Good morning! Last week had more than 30 summer reality TV show premieres, and there aren’t quite that many this week. But some big shows are returning, and there are some new shows that seem intriguing, like an attempt to create a new nine-member R&B supergroup in just 30 days and a road trip show with The Circle host Michelle Buteau.

Let’s start with competition reality TV. The Cube, a British game show that was revived this year, comes to the U.S. (TBS, Thursdays at 9), and features contestants playing mental and physical games inside a small space—a cube that has a personality and talks. Dwyane Wade hosts, and sometimes attempts a game if contestants cannot complete it. I’ll have a full review Thursday.

Full Bloom returns for a second season (HBO Max, Thursday), and has “botanical artists” competing in individual and team challenges. While I haven’t yet reviewed it, I rather enjoyed season one, which we watched over the holidays, though I found the judging to be quite infuriating at times.

Bachelorette 17 star Katie Thurston photographed for The Bachelor season 25
Bachelorette 17 star Katie Thurston photographed for The Bachelor season 25 (Photo by Craig Sjodin/ABC)

The competition for Katie Thurston’s heart starts tonight with The Bachelorette season 17 (ABC, June 7, Mondays at 8).

Katie, who was on The Bachelor 25, will be the first of two Bachelorettes this year, and her season will be hosted by two former Bachelorettes: Tayshia Adams and Kaitlyn Bristowe.

That’s because this will be the first Bachelor show without host Chris Harrison, who is currently in the process of “stepping aside for a period of time,” which is hopefully equal to “forever.”

Also returning for new seasons:

  • Cartel Crew (VH1, Mondays at 9)
  • American Greed (CNBC, Mondays at 10)
  • 90 Day Diaries (Discovery+, Sunday)

A new R&B supergroup will be formed by nine artists—Shamari DeVoe, Irish Grinstead, LeMisha Grinstead, Nivea Nash, Felisha King, Fallon King, Pamela Long, Aubrey O’ Day, and Kiely Williams—on the new show BET Presents The Encore (BET, Wednesdays at 10). They’ll live together for a month, during which they’ll write and record an album, and then perform live.

Lisa Vanderpump’s pet adoption service is getting its own reality TV show: Vanderpump Dogs (Peacock, Wednesday).

The Circle host Michelle Buteau is going on weekend trips with comedian friends on Weekend Getaway with Michelle Buteau (Discovery+, Tuesday), while cast members from old shows—Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, A Different World, and two others—will go on a Reunion Road Trip (E!, Thursdays at 9). Each cast gets one episode.

In murder TV, there’s the premiere of Infamy: When Fame Turns Deadly (VH1, Mondays at 10), hosted by Monica; Murder Nation (HLN, Sundays at 9), which says it “focuses on the crimes that are distinct to one U.S. region”; and The Devil Made Me Do It (Discovery+, Friday), which is a reality TV version of the events that inspired The Conjuring 3.

YouTube food reviewer Daym Drops, aka Daymon Scott “Daym” Patterson, stars in his own Netflix show, Fresh, Fried, and Crispy (Netflix, Wednesday), on which he will search for “the best unknown fried dishes coming from the streets, fancy restaurants, and home kitchens,” according to Netflix.

Secret Islands of the Pacific (Discovery+, Tuesday) follows photographer Ian Shive to “remote and protected Pacific coral atolls islands,” while a man uses drones to find stranded animals after natural disasters on Doug to the Rescue (CuriosityStream, Thursday).

Now streaming free

Four months ago I asked CuriosityStream executives why their subscription streaming service had no documentaries or series about LGBTQIA+ people or issues. (There were literally zero!) I was told they are “actively working on it.” So I checked again this weekend. Still zero. Great work!

However, there are plenty of documentaries about LGBTQIA+ people and issues, and the entirely free streaming service Documentary+ has a “Celebrate Pride” collection with a dozen films, and they’re adding more this month.

The service, which was created by the late Zappos founder Tony Hsieh and the documentary studio XTR, launched earlier this year, and also has quite a few other documentaries, which are collected under headers such as “True Crime,” “Comedy,” “Music,” and “Competition.”

Also free, but only during June, which is Pride month:

  • Showtime has made 11 of its shows free, including the awesome Couples Therapy season one (highly recommended!), plus the documentaries Beyond the Opposite Sex and Sam Sex America, and also a scripted show that I really loved: Work in Progress. (Showtime tells me that, to see them, if you have cable, they’ll be on demand; if you have Amazon or Hulu or any of these services, you can see the shows there.)
  • The “pilot season” of a Broadway OnDemand reality show, Theality TV, which follows an off-Broadway musical attempting a one-night-only show on a $10,000 budget, is now free to watch on YouTube.

By the way, I mentioned some of these free streaming options in my newsletter last Friday, so if you want reality TV news, recommendations, and reviews in your inbox every Friday, just sign up here right now.

That’s everything on my list for this week. Enjoy whatever reality TV or documentaries 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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