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Homicide Hunter is back, Million Dollar(s) cancelled & more: July 2022 must-reads & news

Homicide Hunter is back, Million Dollar(s) cancelled & more: July 2022 must-reads & news
Joe Kenda in the series finale of Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda, which is titled "The End." (Photo by ID)

It’s July already, and time for my new curated, frequently-updated list of reality TV news highlights. I will update this story throughout the rest of the month, so check back frequently!

The links below highlight what’s happening in the world of reality TV, and give special attention to 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!

July must-reads

A music fan picks out a CD at a record store, a place that used to exist.
A music fan picks out a CD at a record store, a place that used to exist. (Stock photo via Pexels)

This profile of Drag Race’s Jinkx Monsoon:

This report about HBO Max’s reality TV division—which produces shows from Legendary to FBoy Island—now that it’s merged with Discovery:

This personal story by Demetrius Buckley:

This piece about reality TV shows’ reliance on music libraries and smaller artists for cheap music:

This interview with Survivor R. Kelly producer dream hampton about how the show affected his eventual conviction:

July 2022 reality TV news

Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson on Whale Wars season 4, episode 3 (Image from Whale Wars)
Sea Shepherd founder Paul Watson on Whale Wars season 4, episode 3 (Image from Whale Wars)

Why did FBoy Island cast Michael “Mikey D” Dakessian after his “ex says she warned casting agents of the popular HBO Max reality show about the verbal threats he made against her on TikTok”? [The Daily Beast, 7.29.22]

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, and Ryan Seacrest will all be back on American Idol next spring. Auditions start in August. [ABC, 7.28.22]

Of private jet flights under 20 minutes long tracked by @CelebJets since May 30, about one-third were Kim Kardashian and Kylie Jenner’s jets, according to this analysis by Emily Atkin. And of course, it’s not just individual stars contributing to climate change; remember this? [Heated, 7.28.22]

There’s a new free, ad-support streaming service “dedicated to robotics, science and engineering content,” Mech+, which is now streaming the UK show Robot Wars, the BBC’s Techno Games, and Speed’s Car Warriors.

Here are the News & Documentary Emmy Award nominees. [Television Academy, 7.28.22]

Paul Watson, founder of Sea Shepherd and star of Animal Planet’s great Whale Wars, resigned from the organization, saying he’s “been slowly marginalized from the organization” and that he disagrees with its “new direction.” [Twitter, 7.28.22]

After this fiasco, Jeopardy! has its new hosts: Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings. EP Michael Davies said “Ken will kick off the season in September, host the inaugural Second Chance competition and the heavily anticipated Tournament of Champions,” and host through December, while “Mayim will host Celebrity Jeopardy! on ABC in primetime” and “takes over from Ken in January.” [Jeopardy!, 7.27.22]

Guy Fieri is hosting a fundraiser to help Justin Sutherland recover and pay his medical bills. [Instagram, 7.27.22]

Reelz said that its first two episodes of Live PD—I mean On Patrol: Live—reached “3.5 million unique viewers” in its first weekend. The Friday premiere was watched by 397,000 people ages 25 to 54, and the Saturday premiere was watched by 403,000 people in that demo. [Reelz, 7.27.22]

Top Chef Miami contestant Howie Kleinberg died at age 46. [Miami Herald, 7.25.22]

Survivor 44 will have immunity idols in a bird cage at camp—not very hidden!—with a clue about where to find the key. I’m okay with this; I’d rather an idol rather than a dumb twist, and Survivor’s producers have certainly hidden idols in conspicuous places before. [Inside Survivor, 7.19.22]

A Blown Away contestant was guest-judged by his boss, and the show didn’t acknowledge it. Hmm. [Trib Total Media, 7.18.22]

Tyra Banks is getting a co-host when Dancing with the Stars moves to Disney+ this fall: season 19 winner Alfonso Ribeiro. The same judging panel is returning: Len Goodman, Carrie Ann Inaba, Bruno Tonioli, and Derek Hough. [Disney+, 7.14.22]

SYTYCD’s producers talk about changes and their new “aggressive,” “tight schedule,” and how “all of us have been collectively tasked with how to produce the essence of these beloved formats on a tighter budget.” [RealScreen, 7.13.22]

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah is still filming the Bravo show after deciding to plead “guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing.” A source told People that producers will “keep filming with her as long as they can.” [People, 7.11.22]

Bethenny Frankel is joining Kevin O’Leary on Money Court for season two, which will premiere in 2023. [CNBC, 7.11.22]

Jeopardy! and Wheel of Fortune will get their own PlutoTV channels, streaming free 24/7. [Vulture, 7.11.22]

NBC has dropped Million Dollar Island before it was produced, Joe Adalian reported. He said “industry buzz” points to the fact that Studio Lambert sold that show to NBC and a few months later sold Squid Game: The Challenge to Netflix—and as I wrote, they are both very, very similar! [Twitter, 7.8.22]

Fast Foodies star and Top Chef alum Justin Sutherland was injured in a boating accident on July 3. His Instagram says “He is recovering and in good spirits,” but a GoFundMe page says he’s still in the hospital and detailed the accident:

While piloting his boat, Justin’s hat blew off. He tried to grab it, hit a wave, and was knocked off the boat. He fell into the water near the motor, and the propeller did a number on his head and left arm. His arm is broken, but his grip remains strong and there appears to be no nerve damage. His jaw is severely broken, but doctors are optimistic that with several more surgeries he will be grinning in no time. In addition to his broken bones, he sustained many lacerations, but with plastic surgery, they will become a reminder of his survival story.

Homicide Hunter with Joe Kenda is returning to ID—but with three movies, not an entire series. The first airs Aug. 17, and has Joe Kenda revealing “chilling new details of career-defining cases.” [YouTube, 7.7.22]

Jerry Harris, Cheer’s breakout star, was sentenced to 12 years in prison; USA TODAY notes that he “pleaded guilty in February to two charges for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old in the bathroom during a cheer competition and paying a 17-year-old to send him sexually explicit photos and videos via Snapchat.” The paper also said it “found officials at that governing body, the U.S. All Star Federation, waited four months to suspend Harris, doing so only after the news organization published an article about the allegations.” [USA TODAY, 7.6.22]

The Facts of Life and Survivor star Lisa Whelchel’s MeTV show Collector’s Call was renewed for a 26-episode fourth season, which will air in 2023. The third season is currently airing Sundays at 6:30 p.m. ET. [Weigel Broadcasting Co., 7.6.22]

Million Dollar Listing: New York has been cancelled—excuse me, “paused”—by Bravo after nine seasons. Fredrik Eklund left the show earlier this year, and it hasn’t aired a new season in almost a year. [Variety, 7.5.22]

Top Chef tried to do an all-winners season but producers “don’t have interest from a majority of the chefs”, Tom Colicchio tweeted. [Twitter, 6.30.22]

Buddy Valastro moved to A&E, where he’ll produce “more than 60 hours of original programming, including the development of multiple new series and holiday specials.” I guess this means no more Buddy vs. Duff?!? [A&E Networks, 6.30.22]

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    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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