Reality television gets a bad rap. Many wonder how so many nobodies with questionable talent can become some of the most famous people in the world (hey, Honey Boo Boo!). And then they wonder, “How can I do the same?” Well, we don’t have the answer to that question, but what we do have is a roundup of the best reality-TV shows hitting the tube this fall. Whether you’re a dancing fanatic, a Demi Lovatic or obsessed with JWOWW’s ample assets, there’s a little something for everyone. The Epcot Center of the tube, if you will. Check out our picks below and then tell us what you’ll be watching this fall.
Can you believe Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera, Cee-Lo Green and Blake Shelton have been blindly auditioning contestants in our living rooms for three seasons now? We can barely remember a time before we had to choose between Team Adam and Team Christina. Thankfully, the bickering foursome is back to in their swiveling chairs on a quest to find The Voice (duh!). And it’s not secret that NBC is hoping to deliver a ratings smackdown to Fox’s The X Factor in the process. Our opinion: We love Xtina, but our money’s on Britney. Premiering September 10, 11, 12 at 8 on NBC, airing Mondays and Tuesdays at 8.
What the Critics Say: “The Voice promises big changes this year – hopefully they live up to it in a major way because it would be a shame to see the series over-saturate the brand and not make adjustments to ensure its longevity like [American] Idol has somehow managed to do.” –– Assignment X
The X Factor
Britney. Spears. Need we say more? Clearly, we don’t, but we will anyway. It’s been years since we’ve heard Brit Brit speak more than a few sentences, let alone offer up her opinion. Simon Cowell tells People.com, “[She] is a fascinating person because you just don’t know anything about her … she’s very unpredictable … she has taken this very seriously and she’s surprisingly quite mean.” Any show where a “mean” Britney Spears joins forces with hair-chameleon Demi Lovato has us hooked. Premiering September 12, airing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.
What the Critics Say: “Curiosity is enough to drive The X Factor to a ratings win tonight. If Britney can help the troubled show find its footing, don’t be surprised if she breaks out a rendition of ‘Oops! … I Did It Again’ and maybe even cracks a smile. –– Boston Herald
Remember the time you had an idea for a super cool product, but didn’t have enough money to make it happen? Shark Tank takes everyday people with great –– and sometimes not so great –– ideas and gives them a forum to pitch their products to a group of “sharks,” successful businessmen and women with fat wallets, who will invest in their companies. Sounds extremely nerdy and boring, but Shark Tank is anything but. It was nominated in the non-competition reality show category at this year’s Primetime Emmys and features Dallas Mavericks owner –– and noted hothead –– Mark Cuban. Cancel your Friday night plans and dive in. Premiering September 14, airing Fridays at 8 p.m. on ABC; moving to 9 p.m. on November 2.
What the Critics Say: “The tension between the Sharks is palpable. The entrepreneurs more confident. The deals less formulaic. In many ways Shark Tank has become the American Idol of the small business startup.” — Forbes