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HGTV secrets, LeVar Burton Q&A, a Survivor’s underwear: must-reads & news for June 2022

HGTV secrets, LeVar Burton Q&A, a Survivor’s underwear: must-reads & news for June 2022
RuPaul Charles and Jennifer Hudson present at the 75th annual Tony Awards on June 12, 2022 (Photo by Mary Kouw/CBS)

It’s June, and time for my new curated, frequently-updated list of reality TV news highlights.

The links below cover what’s happening in the world of reality TV this month, and highlight must-read pieces that I loved, along with plenty of sarcasm, skepticism, and/or snark when appropriate.

This isn’t every piece of news, and certainly not all the celebrity gossip, but the stories I find to be the most notable, important, and interesting.

Read more about this feature, and subscribe to my free newsletter to get links like these in your inbox updates every Friday.

And, as always, I welcome links or suggestions; just send me an e-mail message!

June must-reads

LeVar Burton guest-hosting Jeopardy!
LeVar Burton guest-hosting Jeopardy! (Photo by Carol Kaelson/Jeopardy)

This piece breaking down how much Bravo stars smoke:

This report on home renovation shows, where homeowners pay for renovations, fake their reactions, and get sometimes get countersued when they take people to court. HGTV calls those “a business dispute.”

This Q&A with LeVar Burton, who talks about Jeopardy! (“The fix was always in”) and his new game show based on Trivial Pursuit (” I’m proud of the game we’ve created”), which is currently being pitched:

This video, in which Joris Lechêne discusses an inquiry from an Are You The One: Global Edition casting producer:

June 2022 reality TV news

Michael Yerger looking at posters of himself modeling 2(X)ist underwear
Michael Yerger looking at posters of himself modeling 2(X)ist underwear

Mel B will join Queen of the Universe as a judge for season 2, alongside season one judges Michelle Visage, Vanessa Williams, and Trixie Mattell, and host Graham Norton. [Paramount+, 6.20.22]

Here are all the reality TV hosts eligible to be nominated for an Emmy, and all of the reality (and scripted) shows eligible to be nominated. [Television Academy, 6.16.22]

JoJo Fletcher and Jordan Rodgers’ divorcee dating reality show The Big D has been cancelled by TBS—even though it’s already been filmed and was going to premiere July 7. A TBS rep said this was because “We’re assessing our schedule to ensure we have the right content mix to support our network strategies,” and that sounds like a weird excuse. [TV Line, 6.14.22]

Reality TV executive Corie Henson, who was in charge of reality TV at Turner’s networks and has a great reputation among the unscripted community, is leaving its new company parent Warner Bros. Discovery. [Deadline, 6.16.22]

Peacock’s Love Island won’t use the CBS version’s narrator, Matthew Hoffman; instead, it’s bringing in the UK Love Island narrator, Iain Stirling. [The Wrap, 6.15.22]

Jennifer Hudson won a Tony as a producer on A Strange Loop, which means she now has an EGOT—and is the youngest woman to achieve that status. [Uproxx, 6.13.22]

Grant Knoche, who came in third place representing Texas on NBC’s great American Song Contest, just came out on Instagram, writing that “these last few years, i’ve finally excepted myself & have never been happier. i feel so inspired by the LGBTQ+ community & am so excited to be apart of it.” [Instagram, 6.12.22]

James Beard Awards went to Top Chef finalist Gregory Gourdet for his book Everyone’s Table: Global Recipes for Modern Health; Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi for her Hulu show Taste the Nation; and to an episode of Peacock’s great Top Chef Family Style. [James Beard Foundation, 6.11.22]

Big Brother needs more LGBTQ+ representation, Weston Ashley argues. [ScreenRant, 6.10.22]

Big Brother Canada season 11 is coming in spring 2023, host Arisa Cox revealed. [Twitter, 6.8.22]

Doc Antle, who was featured in Tiger King, was arrested and charged with money laundering, and faces 20 years in prison. [BBC News, 6.7.22]

There will not be a Real World Homecoming for Boston or Hawaii, according to cast members from each season. [Reddit, 6.5.22]

The CW cancelled its reboot of Legends of the Hidden Temple after just one season. [TV Line, 6.3.22]

The premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars was Paramount+’s “most-watched original reality series in its first week on the service with viewership up nearly 60% over last season’s premiere.” [Paramount+, 6.3.22]

Former Survivor cast member Michael Yerger newest underwear campaign is for 2XIST underwear, not that I am complaining. [YouTube, 6.2.22] Watch:

Is it Cake? was renewed for a second season, though I cant’ tell if this is one of Netflix’s fake season-two renewals (where they’ve already filmed a back half of a season, and pretend they’ve renewed the show for “season two”) or will actually be a brand-new season. [Netflix, 6.2.22]

HBO’s We’re Here started filming an episode in Utah, with its drag show held last Friday night, but not before “city officials raised concerns,” as did homophobic residents. Apparently, they have no idea the show is about how bigots like them make it hard for LGBTQIA+ people to even exist in their godforsaken towns. [St. George Spectrum & Daily News, 6.2.22]

Mainstream visibility means drag queens having to contend with things like trademark law (Nine West is challenging Nina West’s use of her name), copyright, and music rights. [Bloomberg, 6.2.22]

MTV greenlit a documentary about The Challenge called The Challenge: Untold History, which it says will be “an in-depth look into the franchise” that “explores its conception, evolution and legacy, enlisting competitors, producers, media analysts, and famous fans.” There will be a “sneak peak” during the MTV Movie & TV Awards June 5. [MTV, 6.2.22]

“If you told me that I literally had to eat poop every single day and I would look younger, I might. I just might,” Kim Kardashian said. Isn’t that the Kardashian family strategy? Sell us shit and convince us it’s helpful? [New York Times, 6.1.22]

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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.

Discussion

I value our community at reality blurred, which connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

Comment rules: My goal is for us to be able to share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space. That’s why I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to them.

Happy discussing!

Joel

Tuesday 7th of June 2022

LeVar Burton just didn't do a good job hosting Jeopardy. He was stiff, his cadence was off, his reactions to the answers was jarring with his high pitched "Yes". I really wanted him to succeed but it just didn't work. Even if the Mike Richards BS didn't happen, he still shouldn't have gotten that job. Hopefully he's able to truly put it past him.

Melissa

Tuesday 7th of June 2022

@Joel, I agree that he was not good in the one week he was given. I would have liked to have seen him get another week or two. Better him than Joe Buck and Dr. Oz.

Andy Dehnart

Tuesday 7th of June 2022

I'm curious if you read his Q&A. He acknowledges that it wasn't his best, but also, it was just one day of filming, and Richards gave him no notes on set (i.e. didn't help improve between tapings). More importantly, there never was a real competition for host.