Survivor dropped from CBS's schedule, DWTS replaced its host, a Mythbuster died, and more reality TV news

Dear newsletter friends,

It’s Friday once again. Time is moving in weird ways these days—has it really been more than four months since all this began? Is it Friday again?

It is, apparently, so it’s time to recap what happened this week in reality TV.

Let’s start with the week’s worst news: the sudden death of Mythbuster Grant Imahara. While I knew of his TV work, and his knowledge and experience, I didn’t know about so many of the things in his bio.

Discovery Channel is running a marathon of episodes featuring Grant this morning, ending at noon, and tomorrow Science Channel will be running one starting at 3 p.m. ET., airing these episodes:

  • 3 p.m. – Killer Robots: Robogames 2011

  • 4 p.m. – MythBusters: Shooting Fish in a Barrel

  • 5 p.m. – MythBusters: Dog Myths

  • 6 p.m. – MythBusters: Paper Armor

  • 7 p.m. – MythBusters: Motorcycle Water Ski

  • 8 p.m. – White Rabbit Project: May G Force Be with You

Dancing with the Stars shocker

Dancing with the Stars’ most shocking turn of events in years came this week:

  1. Tom Bergeron was fired.

  2. Tyra Banks replaced him.

ABC says this is because the show is moving in a new creative direction, which I will agree the show desperately needed.

But ABC and BBC Studios may have made a fatal error here. Tyra is perfectly capable of hosting big spectacle network reality TV—she hosted AGT for two years.

I think they failed to recognize that the one part of DWTS that was actually working was Tom Bergeron.

happy hour hit the bar GIF by ABC Network

In other host news, Nick Cannon was fired by ViacomCBS, which broadcast his Wild ‘N Out, for his anti-Semitic comments on a podcast, but will stay as host of The Masked Singer. RealScreen has the details.

Bad news for Survivor

Fall TV is still a big question mark, but there is now some definitively bad news for Survivor.

And accompanying that was news that, once again, The Amazing Race has been moved. At least it will finally air, almost two years after being produced!

Meanwhile, my summer rewatch of Survivor: Borneo has reached “The Merger,” as the show amusingly calls it.

Here’s my recap: Survivor’s first merge results in a stunning Tribal Council

Fun facts, both discussed in the recap: This episode was the first time in reality TV history that someone said a version of I’m not here to make friends.

Also, Dr. Sean’s alphabetical voting strategy? He now says there was a very clear, strategic reason for it. Read the recap for that and more.

Recommendations, starting with a killer reality show

Last night, another reality show that kills off its contestants premiered on The CW.

I reviewed Killer Camp—and also got answers from the show’s producers about two big questions I was left with after watching.

Meanwhile, once Drag Race All Stars ends, we’ll have another new season of Drag Race to entertain us: Canada’s Drag Race is coming to U.S. cable TV soon.

And if you need new TV now, here’s my list of reality show premieres for this week.

Three recommended reads:

  1. The Tylt’s Keydra Manns explored how Reality TV is failing Black people. Among the people she interviewed were Big Brother Canada contestants, and, in the interest of full disclosure, me.

  2. Reality shows from Hell’s Kitchen to American Ninja Warrior have come from the production company A. Smith & Co., which was founded 20 years ago. Realscreen’s Barry Walsh profiled Arthur Smith and his reality TV work.

  3. Laurie Ouellette looks at Cops, the now-cancelled reality TV show, in Minneapolis, and “the packaging of police work in poor and BIPOC neighborhoods into commercial television entertainment.”

That’s everything for this week! Have a terrific weekend, and keep yourself and each other safe, please! 😷


🌄 This is Reality in Focus issue 203, first sent 17 July 2020, and it will gladly buy Tom Bergeron a drink.

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