2007 Reality TV Fall Preview: Coming soon to a TV near you
By Christopher Rocchio, 08/24/2007
As the days grow shorter and temperatures chill, the slate of reality series for the fall heats up with the return of several powerhouse programs; twists on old favorites; and even some new shows thrown into the mix.
Not all of this fall's reality shows have been formal premiere dates yet but the following is Reality TV World's 2007 Reality TV Fall Preview, highlighting all of the currently known shows that will be premiering in coming weeks as well as where and when to tune in.
In addition, some shows that debuted during the late summer -- including The Hills, The Real World: Sydney, Life of Ryan, Celebrity Rap Superstar, and Pantry Raid -- will continue airing new episodes well into the fall.
The Contender (premieres Tuesday, September 4 at 10PM ET/PT on ESPN) In this corner, 16 super middleweights will duke it out on the third edition of this boxing competition series, which will also aim to appease critics by broadcasting every bout in its entirety on ESPN2.
Have Fork, Will Travel (premieres Tuesday, September 4 at 9PM ET/PT on Food Network) Comedian Zane Lamprey will take viewers around the world in this new reality series, sampling exotic dishes in order to learn more about the cultures and traditions of the people who prepare them. Hopefully he packed some antacid with his fork.
Tim Gunn's Guide to Style (premieres Thursday, September 6 at 10PM ET/PT on Bravo) Project Runway's fashion guru has landed his own show, where he'll use his decades of experience in the design industry to help hapless fashion dilemmas transform into stylish individuals. The series is based on tidbits of info from his book "Tim Gunn: A Guide to Quality, Taste & Style," which makes no mention of Project Runway but does advocate a nice sweater-and-boots combo for the fall.
Deserving Design (premieres Sunday, September 9 at 10PM ET/PT on HGTV) A mixture of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and any show involving Bob Vila, this new reality series will follow former Trading Spaces designer and current HGTV Design Star judge Vern Yip as he gives room makeovers to "deserving" individuals or families while also offering viewers tips of how they can make the same transformations in their own home.
The Biggest Loser (premieres Tuesday, September 11 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC) A new host, the return of trainer Jillian Michaels and the absence of a ranch are all changes that will be featured in the fourth edition of this weight-loss reality competition series. However the contestants will still compete in challenges in an attempt to shed pounds, survive enough eliminations and claim the show's $250,000 grand prize, allowing them to purchase as many of those relentlessly-promoted The Biggest Loser Club memberships as they want.
Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team (premieres Friday, September 14 at 8PM ET/PT on CMT) If you thought cheerleading was only for popular high-schoolers or peppy college kids, think again, as the second season of this docu-reality series will give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at cheerleading tryouts for America's Team.
Nashville (premieres Friday, September 14 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox) Laguna Beach down on the farm, this docu-reality series will follow a group of young country crooners trying to make their mark in Music City, USA. The kids better hope their ascent to the top is entertaining, as the show is airing on Friday nights, which have traditionally proven to be a ratings graveyard for younger-skewing programming like reality shows.
Beauty and the Geek (premieres Tuesday, September 18 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW) The partnership of looks and smarts was never so entertaining, and the fourth season of this reality show will also feature a new twist -- the inclusion of one hunky guy and one nerdy girl. Ashton Kutcher, you've done it again!
Kid Nation (premieres Wednesday, September 19 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS) Forty pint-sized pioneers descend upon the ghost town of Bonanza City, NM in this new reality series, which will follow the youth as they work together to create and sustain a fully-functioning community sans parental supervision. Each episode will conclude with a Town Hall-style meeting where they'll discuss important issues before calling it a night, heading to the saloon, and downing some root beers while listening to old 19th century Spongebob Squarepants radio broadcasts.
America's Next Top Model (premieres Wednesday, September 19 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW) Tyra Banks is back and despite her previous promise that the ninth cycle of this reality competition series would be a "whole rebirth" of the show's format, it won't be. But a few things are for certain, such as a new cast of catty catwalkers; photo shoots with inane themes; and Banks showcasing her talents with the hope of someday replacing Oprah.
Kitchen Nightmares (premieres Wednesday, September 19 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox) What better way to give a struggling eating establishment a kick in the pants than be sending in foul-mouthed culinary king Gordon Ramsay? This American adaptation of the U.K.'s Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares reality series finds a home in the States and follows the Hell's Kitchen star as he travels across the country and helps restaurants in crisis. Restaurant owners will presumably be pleased by his visit, but employees, not so much.
Survivor: China(premieres Thursday, September 20 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS) It's fitting that the fifteenth installment of this long-running reality competition series will be set amidst one of the world's oldest civilizations, where a new group of castaways will live in the shadows of a mountain on the shores of a lake in the land known for tigers, giant pandas, and snow leopards (Oh my!).
Dancing with the Stars (premieres Monday, September 24 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC) Think ABC is excited about the fifth season of this reality competition series, which will premiere over the course of three consecutive nights? After its Spring 2007 fourth season waltzed-off the air to big ratings and the show received an Idol-like eight Primetime Emmy Award nominations, fans apparently can't get enough of watching their favorite celebrities master some marvelous moves, or at least make an attempt at it. (Ya, we're looking at you Master P. And you Tucker Carlson. And don't make us even mention aptly-named former The Sopranos actor Vincent "Big Pussy" Pastore.)
The Bachelor (premieres Monday, September 24 at 9:30PM ET/PT on ABC) Can The Bachelor get you a drink? Texas bar owner Brad Womack will serve as the object of affection for the love-starved ladies in this reality dating series' eleventh installment. ABC is already gushing over Womack, saying he "may be the series' hottest guy yet." But hotness and alcohol alone can't create a sustainable relationship, and Womack will also have the added pressure of bucking The Bachelor trend of its inability to make a match.
The Hitmen of Music Row (premieres Wednesday, September 26 at 8PM ET/PT on Great American Country) Bob DiPiero, Tony Mullins, Jeffrey Steele and Craig Wiseman have written 38 No. 1 hits for a bevy of country-music stars -- earning them the nickname of "The Hitmen of Music Row" -- and this new docu-reality series will follow the foursome as they embark on the never-ending quest to pen the perfect country tune. After all, it's hard to conjure up country-music lyrics that don't involve trucks, drinking or cheating.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (premieres Sunday, September 30 with a special two-hour episode beginning at 7PM ET/PT on ABC) The Extreme Makeover: Home Edition design team continues its trek across the 50 states. However the normally feel-good show has had a rough summer, with lead designer Ty Pennington busted for DUI and the show's premiere episode receiving media attention as the Home Makeover team travels to Hawaii to fix-up a home and community center. The problem is the Makeover recipient and her husband apparently make enough in annual salaries that they probably could have funded the project themselves.
Dr. Steve-O (premieres Monday, October 1 at 11PM ET/PT on USA Network) Just the thought of former Jackass and Wildboyz star Steven "Steve-O" Glover having the moniker of "Dr." should send chills down your spine, as this new reality series will chronicle his attempts to toughen up men across the country with a medicine bag full of stunts and dares. At least former The Real World: Las Vegas and The Surreal Life star Trishelle Cannatella is serving as his "Nurse on Duty." Yikes...
Sunday Best (premieres Tuesday, October 2 at 8PM ET/PT on BET) American Idolgoes to church in this new reality competition series, which will scour the country for talented, undiscovered gospel singers who regularly perform at places of worship both big and small. Considering some of Idol's biggest stars -- from Ruben Studdard to Melinda Doolittle -- all came from gospel-singing backgrounds, the talent featured on Sunday Best could be considered praiseworthy.
Queer Eye (premieres Tuesday, October 2 at 9PM ET/PT on Bravo) It's about time. The "Fab Five" finally return in the final 10 episodes of this one-time pop-culture phenomenon that rewrote Bravo's ratings record books and played a role in reinventing the previously struggling film and performing arts network. Queer Eye: The Final Season will kick-off with a "Straight Guy Pageant" featuring makeover subjects from the show's previous seasons competing against one another and trying to prove they're better-off than when the "Fab Five" first got their hands on them.
Better Half (premieres Wednesday, October 3 at 11PM ET/PT on Bravo) The significant others of two trained professionals who hail from a variety of creative industries will square-off in this new reality series, trying to show their aptitude for what their partners do for a living. Next time they ask, "How was your day today, Honey?", they'll probably listen more intently.
Last One Standing (premieres Thursday, October 4 at 9PM ET/PT on The Discovery Channel) Stick fighting in South Africa, endurance running in Mexico, tribal cricket in the Trobriand Islands, and Akikiti kickboxing in Nagaland are just some of the cultural competitions the six athletes participating in this new reality series will face as they travel the globe and visit indigenous tribesmen.
America's Most Smartest Model (premieres Sunday, October 7 at 9PM ET/PT on VH1) An America's Next Top Model and Beauty and the Geek hybrid, this new reality dating series will attempt to find a runway walker who has both intelligence and looks . Women won't be the only ones in on the act, as seven "himbos" will also compete for the show's $100,000 grand prize as well as the grammatically incorrect title of "America's Most Smartest Model."
I Love New York (premieres Monday, October 8 at 9PM ET/PT on VH1) Tiffany "New York" Pollard has achieved the reality dating series hat trick, having the dubious honor of being spurned by Flava Flav on the first (and only) two season of VH1's Flavor of Love and then getting rejected by Patrick "Tango" Hunter during the first season of her own show. However she's determined, and with some Casanova casting help from viewers and her mother, New York is hoping the fourth time's a charm on the second season of this series.
A Shot at Love With Tila Tequila (premieres Tuesday, October 9 at 10PM ET/PT on MTV) MTV has finally entered the serialized reality dating show genre -- and it's trying to make a memorable first impression -- as this 10-episode series will follow bisexual social-networking queen Tila Tequila as she whittles through a group of 32 suitors that consists of 16 gay women and 16 straight men. Viewers themselves may need a shot of tequila when they watch this one.
Street Customs (premieres Thursday, October 11 on TLC) Ryan Friedlinghaus and his West Coast Customs automotive shop will continue to pimp rides in this new reality series, which will air as part of TLC's "Turbo on TLC" motorized-themed Thursday night line-up, which also includes new episodes of returning shows American Chopper, American Hot Rod and Wrecks to Riches. Guess we know what motor vehicle-maniacs will be watching on Thursday nights.
The Search for the Next Elvira (premieres Saturday, October 13 at 12AM ET/PT on Fox Reality) Serving as "Mistress of the Dark" can apparently be a time consuming endeavor, so this new three-episode reality series will look to hunt out a handmaiden to assist Halloween queen Elvira. A live finale on Halloween night will reveal the winner, who better start working on her Bride of Frankenstein-style coif now.
The Next Great American Band (premieres Friday, October 19 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox) The folks that brought you American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance are at it again with this reality competition series that will search for the country's best up-and-coming musical group. Home viewers are allowed to vote for their favorites during this battle of the bands and the winner will receive a recording contract, thrusting them from the garage, church basement or VFW hall and into the national consciousness.
College Hill: Interns (premieres Tuesday, October 23 at 10PM ET/PT on BET) A spin-off of its successful College Hill docu-reality series, College Hill: Interns will follow 10 college students from around the country as they move to Chicago, IL to work at summer internships. However honing their skills at different professions while away from home isn't so easy when faced with the Windy City's numerous temptations, which threaten to blow their academic plans of course.
Keyshia Cole: The Way It Is (premieres Tuesday, October 30 at 10:30PM ET/PT on BET) The second season of this docu-reality series continues to chronicle 25-year-old R&B singer Keyshia Cole as she prepares for the release of her sophomore effort "Just Like You." Her personal life is a little more entertaining, as Cole hopes to rebuild her relationship with her estranged mother and is also apparently on the search to find her "supposedly dead" father. Sounds like she could use a hand from John Edwards.
There's Something About Miriam (premieres Wednesday, October 31 on Fox Reality) This British import may be a few years old, but it's still sure to attract some attention in America as it follows six unsuspecting men as they go on dates in an attempt to woo a South American beauty named Miriam. It may sound like the typical reality dating show -- but Miriam's a transsexual -- something that sure didn't sit too well with her suitors but made for some interesting television.