2008 Reality TV Spring Preview: Coming soon to a TV near you
By Christopher Rocchio, 03/00/2008
Flowers aren't the only thing to blossom in the spring, as the new season also means the birth of several new reality series, as well as the return of some old favorites that were in hibernation.
Not all of this spring's reality shows have formal premiere dates yet, but the following is Reality TV World's 2008 Reality TV Spring Preview, highlighting all of the currently known shows that will be premiering in coming months as well as where and when to tune in.
In addition, some shows that debuted recently -- including American Idol's seventh season, Big Brother: 'Til Death Do You Part, Survivor: Micronesia -- Fans vs. Favorites, America's Next Top Model's tenth cycle, Randy Jackson Presents: America's Best Dance Crew, The Moment of Truth, My Dad is Better Than Your Dad, and Pussycat Dolls Present: Girlicious -- and ongoing shows like Extreme Makeover: Home Edition will air new episodes during Spring 2008.
Oprah's Big Give (premieres Sunday, March 2 at 9PM ET/PT on ABC) The first primetime series from the daytime talk-show queen's Harpo Productions, this new reality competition series will give contestants a large sum of money and the means to spend it in order to make a difference in people's lives across the country. Take that Tyra Banks!
Here Come the Newlyweds (premieres Sunday, March 2 at 10PM ET/PT on ABC) As if being a newlywed wasn't challenging enough, this new reality competition series will pit seven recently married pairs against one another. With wedded bliss and a nest egg in the form of a cash prize on the line for the winning couple, divorce lawyers will undoubtedly be circling the losers like vultures.
That's Amore (premieres Sunday, March 2 at 10PM ET/PT on MTV) During his stint as A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila suitor, Domenico Nesci was a goofy Italian who seemed to need as much help as he could get when it came to dating. So MTV decided to give him his own reality dating series, where he'll whittle down a group of 15 American women who will compete against one another in various challenges in an attempt to win his boot-shaped heart.
Little People, Big World, Season 3 (premieres Monday, March 3 at 8PM ET/PT on TLC) Things weren't so peachy keen for the Roloff clan last summer when family patriarch Matt was arrested and charged with a DUI. His trial will be documented in the first three episodes of this reality show's third season -- which will also include some of the lighter moments fans are accustom to, such as Zach's attempts to woo his new girlfriend and Matt and Amy's cruise during the start of their farm's critical pumpkin season.
The Secret Life of Soccer Moms (premieres Monday, March 3 at 10PM ET/PT on TLC) While soccer moms are no doubt good at driving minivans and dispensing orange slices, that's not exactly the extent of their aspirations in life. This new reality series delves into the more career-oriented goals that family matriarchs might want to undertake while also seeing if they're secure in the fact that motherhood is currently their No. 1 occupation.
Women Behind Bars (premieres Tuesday, March 4 at 9PM ET/PT on WE tv) Paris Hilton isn't the typical female inmate, a fact that will be made abundantly clear to viewers in this new reality series, which will document the lives of women convicted of murder who are currently serving their prison sentence.
The Real Housewives of New York City (premieres Tuesday, March 4 at 11PM ET/PT on Bravo) Housewives whose lives are fascinating enough to appear in a reality series apparently just don't exist in The O.C., a valuable lesson taught by this The Real Housewives of Orange Countyspin-off. This show definitely has the potential to set-up another spin-off, pitting housewives from both sides of the country against one another to see who does the best job of balancing their busy schedules with superficial shenanigans.
High School Reunion 4 (premieres Wednesday, March 5 at 10PM ET/PT on TV Land) A 20-year reunion for 14 JJ Pearce High School Class of 1987 students in Maui -- a far cry from the local hotel ballroom -- sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Until the geek seeks an apology from the bully, who's been emotionally scarred for the last two decades. Then there's the spoiled girl who wants her millionaire boyfriend to propose to her again. And did we mention the love-triangle between the drama queen, the rebel and the backstabber?
The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search 3 (premieres Friday, March 7 at 9PM ET/PT on CMT) It takes a special sort of woman to dance and sing on bar tops while dispensing beverages, and the third season of this reality series will aim to find that type of lady, who will land the final spot in the Coyote Ugly traveling troupe and have men howling across America.
Ax Men (premieres Sunday, March 9 at 10PM ET/PT) Flannel-clad, ax-wielding men that aren't serial killers are apparently abundant in the Pacific Northwest, and this new Ice Road Truckers-like reality series will chronicle the timber-cutting season of four crews who make their living chopping trees in places where more modern technology is unable to get the job done.
Beauty and the Geek 5 (premieres Tuesday, March 11 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW) The fifth-season of this reality series will start off with the beauties competing against the geeks, so we're at a loss for where the show's "social experiment" maxim comes into play. Apparently the good-looking girls didn't pick on the nerds at producer Ashton Kutcher's high school.
Gene Simmons Family Jewels, Season 3 (premieres Tuesday, March 11 at 10PM ET/PT on A&E) With a stint as a The Celebrity Apprentice candidate under his belt, the demonic face-painted KISS frontman is back to showing his more sensitive side in the third season of this reality series. Along the way, a couple of questions that have probably been on nobody but Shannon Tweed's mind will also be answered -- has Simmons really slept with more than 4,000 women in his life? And could he really have bedded them all before becoming happily UNmarried to Shannon in 1983?
College Hill: Atlanta (premieres Tuesday, March 11 at 10PM ET/PT on BET) School is in session in Hot'lanta, as eight Atlanta-area students attending different institutions of higher learning are documented. Living under one roof, the group of students will have an opportunity to show-off their ingenuity by organizing charity events for hip hop artists while also flaunting their wild side during an international excursion.
Top Chef: Chicago (premieres Wednesday, March 12 at 10PM ET/PT on Bravo) The Windy City's infamous gusts are strong enough to blow-out the gas burners for 15 of the culinary up-and-comers competing on the fourth season of this reality series, as only one will be able to claim the show's grand prize package. At least they'll all probably learn how to make a mean deep-dish pizza as a consolation prize.
Celebrity Fit Club: Boot Camp (premieres Thursday, March 13 at 9PM ET/PT on VH1) Obscenely overweight celebrities need-not-apply for the sixth season of this reality series, which instead assembled a "leaner" group of contestants who only need to lose 10 to 20 pounds each. Half of the show's cast will consist of contestants who have previously participated in the series -- including former Saved by the Bell actor Dustin Diamond -- who certainly didn't make any friends during the fifth season.
Moving Up, Season 3 (premieres Saturday, March 15 at 10PM ET/PT on TLC) Barring an emotional attachment to walls and floors, many people happily forget their old digs once they purchase a new place. However the homeowners in the third season of this reality series will have the opportunity to see what happened to their house once it's reoccupied -- learning firsthand it's the people that make a family, not the bricks and mortar surrounding them.
Flip This House, Season 4 (premieres Saturday, March 15 at 11PM ET/PT on A&E) Who says the real estate market is in a recession? The fourth season of this reality series will continue to follow real-estate moguls as they buy homes and quickly renovate them before selling them for a profit. The show has added a fourth market -- Los Angeles -- to its repertoire, meaning yet another reality series has turned to California for casting.
I Can Make You Thin (premieres Sunday, March 16 at 9PM ET/PT on TLC) British hypnotist Paul McKenna wants to make you thin in this new reality series -- and better yet, it's sans diet and exercise, as he has a plan that will help you shed pounds without even leaving the couch! McKenna better not stay stateside too long or Jillian Michaels might hunt him down.
Dancing with the Stars 6 (premieres Monday, March 17 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC) The mirror ball trophy is once again up for grabs in the sixth season of this reality series, with the six female celebrity participants hoping the fairer sex can claim the crown for the first time since Season 1. Back-to-back professional champ Julianne Hough will go for her third straight title with funnyman Adam Carolla, who would probably settle for a rumor that he's romantically involved with the blonde ballroom bombshell surfacing.
The Bachelor 12 (premieres Monday, March 17 at 9:30PM ET/PT) American bachelors have had a hard time making a love connection in recent seasons of this reality dating series -- so producers went across the pond to find Londoner Matt Grant, who will serve as the twelfth installment's star. More James Bond than Mr. Bean, Grant is also hoping to break cliches about British men in an attempt to coax American women into the arms of his fellow countrymen.
I Know My Kid's a Star (premieres Thursday, March 20 at 10PM ET/PT on VH1) Who better to find the next big child star than Danny Bonaduce? In this new reality competition series, the freckle-faced ginger who previously road the Partridge Family bus for several years will test the star power of child actors and the management skills of their parents. The former Breaking Bonaduce star may also show them how to ward of annoying fans using his patented suplex that shattered several of Jonny Fairplay's teeth.
The Hills, Season 3 (Monday, March 24 at 10PM ET/PT on MTV) It's been a few months since we last saw Lauren Conrad, Heidi Montag and the rest of The Hills crew. Viewers will learn what happened on Lauren's trip to Paris, if she's booted Audrina Patridge out of her apartment, and if Heidi and former fiance Spencer Pratt reconciled. Of course, all of this stuff has already happened in real life, but to see the sort-of-unscripted way it all went down should still be entertaining.
Hell's Kitchen 4 (premieres Tuesday, April 1 at 9PM ET/PT on Fox) The recently-ended Writers Guild of America strike led Fox to fire up the oven for this reality series a little earlier than usual. Gordon Ramsey will be back at the helm, and it's up to the contestants to pick out tasty morsels of helpful information from his profanity-laced tirades without getting burned.
DEA (premieres Wednesday, April 2 at 11PM ET/PT on Spike TV) Don't let Al Roker's day job as a weatherman on NBC's Today Show you fool you. As executive producer of this new reality series, Roker will take viewers behind the scenes of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Detroit division as they crack down on crack and other dangerous drugs and the peddlers who push them for a profit.
Step It Up & Dance (premieres Thursday, April 3 at 10PM ET/PT on Bravo) Blending elements of So You Think You Can Dance and Project Runway, this new reality series will see 12 contestants put through a series of challenges that will have them auditioning for various roles, such as a music video or Las Vegas stage show. While they won't have Mary Murphy screaming in their ears as a distraction -- that should be a positive -- they may have to deal with actress and show host Elizabeth Berkley deciding to show off her Showgirls training instead.
Rock the Cradle (premieres Thursday, April 3 at 10PM ET/PT on MTV) The eight celebrity spawn participating in this new reality competition series will try to prove they inherited some of their parents' talented genes, as they are pitted against one another in several challenges designed to test their own star power. Viewers can presumably expect tumultuous tantrums from the privileged offspring if things don't go well.
Date My House (premieres Saturday, April 5 at 8:30PM ET/PT on TLC) The housing market is tough these days -- so in this new reality series, former The Bachelor fourth-season star Bob Guinea will help homeowners spruce up their dwelling in an attempt to woo potential buyers. Homeowners are hoping it's love at first sight without a nasty breakup in the public eye, something Guiney has experienced firsthand.
Secret Talents of the Stars (premieres Tuesday, April 8 at 10PM ET/PT on CBS) America's Got Talent for B-List celebrities -- which is a kind classification -- this new reality series will feature movie, TV, sports and music stars as they compete in a tournament-style format to determine who has the best hidden talent among them. Highlights will include Danny Bonaduce riding a unicycle and former Star Trek actor George Takei crooning as a country singer -- and that's just scratching the surface.
Can You Duet (premieres Monday, April 14 at 10:30PM ET/PT on CMT) What Nashville Star has does for solo country artists (and despite airing five seasons, the jury still largely seems to be out on that), this new reality series will aim to do for duos -- with the show's contestants performing duets with different partners on a weekly basis. Needless to say, contestants are hoping they compliment each other's vocals instead of stepping on their spurs.
Deadliest Catch, Season 4 (premieres Tuesday, April 15 at 9PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel) Next time you have a rough day at the office, just be grateful you're not risking life and limb in subzero arctic weather, 60-mph winds and turbulent seas with waves the size of four-story buildings while mining the deep blue for king crabs. Those suckers can pinch too, but it's all in a days work for the crab-fishing captains and crews in this reality series' fourth season.
Work Out, Season 3 (premieres Tuesday, April 15 at 11PM ET/PT on Bravo) Sky Sport & Spa is starting to seem a lot more like The Real World house and a lot less like a fitness center, as Jackie Warner deals with her split from Mimi and moves in with her new girlfriend Brianna while trainer Rachel Cardon is overcoming the emotional blow of her short-lived romantic relationship with Warner coming to an end.
The Big 4-0 (premieres Wednesday, April 16 at 10PM ET/PT on TV Land) Age is only a number, but reaching a significant milestone in adulthood is also apparently a hell of an excuse to throw a killer bash. While many Americans hit their 39th birthday and cease to age, this new reality series will follow people who are actually preparing for their 40th birthdays and the over-the-hill jokes that come with it.
Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane, Season 2 (premieres Sunday, April 20 at 8 PM ET/PT on The Style Network) It's Kimora Lee Simmons world, we're all just lucky enough to live in it, as the second season of this show will continue to follow the fashion mogul and family matriarch as she juggles both roles.
Farmer Wants a Wife (premieres Wednesday, April 30 at 9PM ET/PT on The CW) The country bumpkin starring in this new Outback Jack-like reality series will attempt to find true love amongst a crop of women accustomed to the city life who have abandoned all hope of finding romance in an urban setting.