2009 Reality TV Fall Preview: Coming soon to a TV near you
By Christopher Rocchio, 09/03/2009
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 and some new shows thrown into the mix.
Not all of this fall's reality shows have formal premiere dates yet but the following is Reality TV World's 2009 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 Top Chef: Las Vegas, Project Runway's sixth season, America's Best Dance Crew's fourth season and Ghost Hunters' fifth season -- will continue airing new episodes well into the fall.
America's Next Top Model, Cycle 13 (premieres Wednesday, September 9 at 8PM ET/PT on The CW) Shorties will be walking the runway in the thirteenth season of this reality competition series, as it will feature contestants who are all 5'7" or under -- a complete turnaround from the show's first 12 editions, which required contestants be 5'7" or taller. A series of guest judges ranging from former The Hills star Lauren Conrad to Keeping Up with the Kardashians star Kim Kardashian will also replace Paula Porizkova, who was ousted earlier this year due to budget cuts.
So You Think You Can Dance, Season 6 (premieres Wednesday, September 9 at 8PM ET/PT on Fox) After being a summer stalwart for Fox over the last five years, this dance-themed reality competition series takes to the stage this fall in attempt to strengthen the network's primetime programming lineup during a television season in which it will actually have some competition that doesn't include David Hasselhoff.
The Locator, Season 3 (premieres Saturday, September 12 at 9PM ET/PT on WEtv) Troy Dunn loves to reunite loved ones who have lost touch with one another, and he'll continue to do just that in third season of this reality series. There's no truth to the rumor that upcoming reunions will include Ryan Seacrest and Brian Dunkelman, Flavor Flav and Bridget Nielson, and Susan Hawk and Richard Hatch.
Eddie Griffin: Going for Broke (premieres Monday, September 14 at 10PM ET/PT on VH1) Eddie Griffin is one of the hardest working men in comedy -- and this new reality series will show you why, as it will follow the Undercover Brother star and a slew of family members and friends that include eight children, five ex-wives, his mother and 70-year-old uncle (who just so happens to be an amateur porn star).
The Biggest Loser, Season 8 (premieres Tuesday, September 15 at 8PM ET/PT on NBC) This weight-loss reality series is back for its eighth installment, which will feature a "second chances" them. Cast members will include the show's biggest contestant ever -- 476 lb. Shauntina "Shay" Sorrells -- and the return of seventh-season contestant Daniel Wright, who is looking to finish what he started. Plus it will be the first edition to feature a single-contestant format since the show's Fall 2007 fourth season, which made Jillian Michaels happy (and you don't want to see her angry).
Launch My Line (premieres Wednesday, September 16 at 10PM ET/PT on Bravo) Nowadays everyone wants to be a fashion designer -- including the 10 professionals featured in this new reality competition series, as they'll be paired with 10 expert designers with the hopes of launching their own clothing line. Another Project Runway replacement attempt, anyone?
Survivor: Samoa, Season 19 (premieres Thursday, September 17 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS) Grab your buffs and fire up your torches, as this long-running reality competition series is back for its nineteenth installment -- which CBS is billing as having one of the most villainous castaways ever. Plus there's a twist that will force the tribes to elect leaders before having the opportunity to converse with one another, meaning egos will undoubtedly be inflated.
Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin (premieres Thursday, September 17 at 9PM ET/PT on Food Network) Jeff Corwin will apparently do anything to avoid slipping from America's consciousness -- and that includes eating just about anything, as this new reality series will follow the wildlife and conservation expert as he samples exotic foods that will make your tummy turn.
Dancing with the Stars, Season 9 (premieres Monday, September 21 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC) Similar to The Biggest Loser's upcoming eighth season, this reality competition series' ninth installment will also have a "second chances" theme -- as Donny Osmond looks to restore his family's name after his sister Marie's embarrassing antics during the show's fifth season and Ashley Hamilton hopes to avenge his father's second-season ouster. Plus pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy is getting his seventh chance to win the mirror ball trophy. Good luck bro!
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Rescue Ink Unleashed (premieres Friday, September 25 at 10PM ET/PT on National Geographic Channel) This new reality series will attempt to prove that tough guys have hearts too, as it will follow a group consisting of club bouncers, security guards, police officers and firefighter as they cruise around New York City saving abandoned animals and fighting animal abusers.
The Amazing Race, Season 15 (premieres Sunday, September 27 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS) This reality competition series continues to roll along with its fifteenth edition, which will once again follow duos as they travel the globe in an attempt to claim the $1 million prize. Plus host Phil Keoghan was recognized with a nod in the Emmy's reality host category, meaning he could add to the show's already impressive award total.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Season 7 (premieres Sunday, September 27 at 8PM ET/PT on ABC) "Bus driver, move that bus!" for the seventh edition of this inspirational reality series, which will once again follow Ty Pennington and the rest of the design team as they help communities rally around a local family with the goal of making their dream home become a reality. Home renovation projects were never so warm and cuddly.
My Fair Wedding, Season 2 (premieres Sunday, September 27 at 10PM ET/PT on WE tv) There's a lot of pressure on the bride to ensure her big day isn't a bust. Enter David Tutera -- who knows a thing or two about turning less-than-perfect wedding ceremonies into elaborate events, and the second season of this reality series will continue to follow the bridal expert as he does just that.
The Hills, Season 5 (new episodes begin Tuesday, September 29 at 10PM ET/PT on MTV) It's goodbye Lauren Conrad and hello Kristin Cavallari as the fifth season of this reality series continues with all the other regulars returning -- from the delusional "King" Spencer Pratt and his wife Heidi to soon-to-be-former The Hills star Audrina Patridge and the recently tasered Brody Jener. Some claim The Hills is scripted, but seriously, writers couldn't make this stuff up.
King of the Crown (premieres Wednesday, September 30 at 9PM ET/PT on TLC) Behind every beauty pageant queen there's apparently a middle-aged man meddling with everything from their walk and talk to their hair and dress, and this new reality series will document one of them -- Cy Frakes -- as the veteran pageant expert takes his 20 years of experience and applies it to some new clientele.
Wedded to Perfection (premieres Friday, October 2 at 10PM ET/PT on TLC) Since TLC is already in the wedding business with such shows as Eat, Drink and be Married and Wild Weddings, this new reality series will fit in perfectly as it follows spouses Jung Lee and Josh Brooks as they operate their Fete Events business, which plans and executes some of the Big Apple's high-end weddings.
Bartender Wars (premieres Friday, October 2 at 10:30PM ET/PT on Fine Living) Being a bartender is apparently all guts and no glory, something this new reality series intends to fix by having three New York City bartenders compete against each other in each episode -- testing various skills required in their job, from speed at pouring shots to how quick they can concoct a drink with randomly picked ingredients. Bottoms up!
Superfetch (premieres Saturday, October 3 at 8PM ET/PT on Animal Planet) If you're pet is having problems retrieving your slippers or helping you find a date during a walk in the park, look no further than trainer Zak George -- who in this new reality series will put his theory to the test that he can teach anyone how to teach any pet to perform any trick. Sounds simple, as long as you're stocked up on dog biscuits and catnip.
The Next Iron Chef, Season 2 (premieres Sunday, October 4 at 9PM ET/PT on Food Network) It's apparently time to crown another Iron Chef, as this new reality competition series will pit 10 culinary contestants against one another to see who can create dishes that represent a variety of world cultures and cuisines. With a shot at competing in Kitchen Stadium on the line, the contestants will undoubtedly want to bring their entire pantry of skills to the table.
Parking Wars, Season 3 (premieres Tuesday, October 6 at 10PM ET/PT on A&E) Writing citations and booting vehicles never seemed so interesting -- as this reality series that makes you look at parking enforcement officers in a new way is back for a third season, which will continue to follow Philadelphia Parking Authority employees and will also document those working for the Detroit's Municipal Parking Department.
Ghost Lab (premieres Tuesday, October 6 at 10PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel) Brad and Barry Klinge are brothers with a passion for the paranormal, and this new Ghost Hunters-like reality series will follow the Texas natives as they investigate supernatural activity with their tricked-out 24-foot car hauler that is capable of explaining those hard-to-reach hauntings.
The Girls Next Door, Season 6 (premieres Sunday, October 11 at 10PM ET/PT on E!) Hugh Hefner has some new bunnies living in his mansion, as the sixth installment of this reality series will follow the Playboy founder as he bids farewell to former girlfriends Holly Madison, Bridget Marquardt and Kendra Wilson and says hello to 19-year-old identical twins Karissa and Kristina Shannon and 23-year-old Crystal Harris.
Leave it to Lamas (premieres Sunday, October 11 at 10:30PM ET/PT on E!) The Lamas family is using this new reality series to heal old wounds and become closer-knit kin, as it will follow The Bachelor: London Calling winner Shayne Lamas and the rest of her family -- including her laser-pointer wielding father Lorenzo -- as they live their Hollywood lifestyles. Plus it's produced by The Bachelor creator Mike Fleiss, so you know it's going to be good... right? Right?!?
Million Dollar Listing, Season 3 (premieres Monday, October 12 at 11PM ET/PT on Bravo) The economic climate may be stormy, but things are apparently still sunny for Los Angeles realtors Josh Flagg, Madison Hildebrand and Chad Rogers -- as this reality series will continue to follow them over the course of nine months as they attempt to sell multi-million dollar properties in the exclusive neighborhoods of Hollywood, Malibu and Beverly Hills.
Gone Too Far (premieres Monday, October 12 at 10PM ET/PT on MTV) The status of this Intervention-like reality series seemed in jeopardy when its star Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein died in August due to an accidental drug overdose, however MTV and his family members are apparently hoping that the celebrity DJ's demise will help inspire others to kick their substance abuse problems before it's too late.
Little People, Big World, Season 5 (premieres Monday, October 16 at 8PM ET/PT on TLC) Jon and Kate Gosselin could learn a few things from TLC's other popular reality family, as the fifth season of this series will continue to document the Roloffs as they deal with changes to their family dynamics -- with the kids growing older and Matt and Amy finding themselves with more time on their hands.
Storm Chasers, Season 3 (premieres Sunday, October 18 at 10PM ET/PT on Discovery Channel) If trying to film inside a tornado sounds like dangerous business, that's because it is -- and the third season of this reality series will continue to follow teams of researchers and meteorologists as they go after some of the most terrifying twisters for the opportunity to gather never-recorded scientific data and video footage.
Living with Ed, Season 3 (premieres Wednesday, October 21 on Planet Green) The second season of this reality series will continue to follow eco-friendly actor Ed Begley, Jr. and his wife Rachelle as they attempt to navigate one of the most polluted places on the planet -- Los Angeles. Begley and the Mrs. will also take a trip to Las Vegas -- which also isn't the cleanest city.
The Academy: Orange County Fires (premieres Saturday, October 24 on Fox Reality Channel) While the first and second seasons of this reality series followed police officers in training, the upcoming third installment will instead focus on 29 recruits as they endure 18 weeks of training to become Orange County Fire Authority members. Since it's wild and structural fires these cadets will be battling, it's safe to assume the training gets pretty hot.
Monica (premieres Tuesday, October 27 at 10PM ET/PT on BET) Monica Denise Arnold is apparently more than just a Grammy-award winning R&B artist and actress, as this new reality series will follow her as she raises her two young sons while still dealing with the suicide of her boyfriend Jarvis "Knot" Weems. However she'll also continue to work on her career, which includes recording her fifth studio album.
Sex Rehab with Dr. Drew (premieres Sunday, November 1 at 10PM ET/PT on VH1) David Drew "Dr. Drew" Pinsky has done such a good job helping celebrities overcome alcohol and drug addictions that he apparently feels it's time to turn his attention to sex-craved stars in need of some guidance. Enter this Celebrity Rehab spinoff, the cast of which consists of three former Playboy playmates and three people from the porn industry. Maybe all they need is a career change?
Tabatha's Salon Takeover, Season 2 (premieres Tuesday, November 3 at 10PM ET/PT on Bravo) Tabatha Coffey will continue to do her best Gordon Ramsay impression in the second season of this reality series, which will once again follow the former Shear Genius first-season finalist as she attempts to improve hair salons across America.
Flowers Uncut with Jeff Leatham (premieres Wednesday, November 4 at 10PM ET/PT on TLC) This new reality series will follow the artistic director and floral designer as he works in New York's event scene -- arranging floral bouquets and pinning boutonnieres on groomsman. Sounds exciting.
The Real Housewives of Orange County, Season 5 (premieres Thursday, November 5 at 10PM ET/PT on Bravo) The fifth season of this reality series will be Jeana Keough's swan song, however that won't stop the rest of the ladies -- as they welcome newcomer Alexis Bellino and continue to deal with real-life problems including financial concerns, the death of a loved one, and spontaneous trips to Italy (Okay, maybe that last one isn't relatable to viewers, but you get the idea).
Chef Academy (premieres Monday, November 16 at 11PM ET/PT on Bravo) This new docu-reality series will chronicle French chef Jean-Christophe Novelli's attempt to launch a culinary institute in Los Angeles -- highlighting the tutelage of nine students hoping to learn from the Michelin and 5AA Rosette award-winning chef.
Launch My Line (premieres Wednesday, December 2 at 11PM ET/PT on Bravo) Everybody wants to be a fashion designer these days -- even established professionals in different fields. This new reality series will give them an opportunity to see if they have what it takes, as it will pair them with expert fashion designers for the chance to have their own clothing line.