CBS's plans for Big Brother, Survivor, Amazing Race, plus summer reality TV recommendations

A former Survivor is on Labor of Love, and I interviewed him

Dear newsletter friends,

Summer reality TV is here, or at least, should have started this week. There is good news: even if some shows have uncertain immediate futures, there will be no shortage of things to watch, as I explain in a story for Primetimer.

As to those uncertain futures, CBS has the most optimistic vision for summer and fall. The network released its schedule this week, unveiling plans and answering questions.

So, here’s what’s happening with:

One of my hopes for this summer, Netflix’s The Big Flower Fight, turned out to be quite the disappointment.

But the return of Holey Moley last night was wonderful: In this case, the Sequel is better than the original.

Rob Riggle Holey Moley GIF by ABC Network

Not quite as great but with some thrilling moments is another show I reviewed: Ultimate Tag, Fox’s new competition.

If you’re missing The Bachelorette, maybe try this new dating competition, which has contestants in their late 30s and 40s!

One of those contestants is a former Survivor player, and I interviewed him about his experience, and how Survivor helped him navigate this new show. Read that here.

If you missed Celebrity Escape Room last night, check it out on or any of NBC’s apps. It ended up being a fun hour.

Some sad news: Trading Spaces’ Frank Bielec died last week. He was an early reality TV star, and always full of such joy and happiness, even when he was doing absurd things to people’s kitchens.

Speaking of early reality TV, this amazing animation of TV ratings covers almost 70 years, and you can watch as reality TV pops up in 2000. (That starts around 2:45, if you want to scrub ahead.)

I’ll end this week with the most hopeful thing I read:

A recent, extensive review of the research from an international consortium of scientists suggests that if at least sixty per cent of the population wore masks that were just sixty-per-cent effective in blocking viral transmission—which a well-fitting, two-layer cotton mask is—the epidemic could be stopped. The more effective the mask, the bigger the impact.

So, mask-up 😷😷😷 if you’re around other people, and enjoy mask-free life when you’re home watching some of the great reality TV above. 😄😄😄

Have a terrific long weekend, if that is even a thing this year.


🌄 This is Reality in Focus issue 195, first sent 22 May 2020, and it no longer knows the difference between weekdays and weekends.

💻 This newsletter is hand-crafted in Florida by me, Andy Dehnart, and is supported by reality blurred patrons and paid subscribers to this newsletter. Please consider becoming a patron or upgrading your newsletter subscription!

💌 If you like this newsletter, forward it to a friend! If you're that friend, you can subscribe here!

✅ Bookmark and visit daily for the latest of my reality TV news analysis, reviews, and commentary.

📷 Photo of chairs on a beach by Hannah Busing