WASHINGTON, July 8, 2013 —Battling the elements has been a reality show theme ever since the original “Survivor” first aired way back in 2000. But recently networks have been tapping into this simple and cheap to produce concept in record numbers. We can now choose to watch people surviving naked and afraid, living in a world below zero, or in a variety of scenarios in the mountains of Alaska, Montana and North Carolina, just to name a few.
It’s as if everything airing this summer is preparing us for a ride on a cruise ship. Just in case another cruise goes bad, it’s good to know how to tap a coconut or catch a rabbit with a shoelace.
The most recent edition to the tired genre is “Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls,” premiering tonight at 9 p.m. on NBC. Bear Grylls had a successful seven season run with “Man vs. Wild” on Discovery Channel, so tapping into his world for summer filler is probably a sound financial decision.
“Get Out Alive’s” Grylls has a built in fan base that isn’t big enough to make the show a ratings giant. But the male demographic that makes up his audience will buy enough beer and razors to sustain it for the summer. It will be interesting to see how well Bear plays with others, and how generous he is with camera time other than his own.
Since “Get Out Alive” airs between “American Ninja Warrior” and “Siberia,” we can safely assume NBC has nothing left in their bag of tricks but contrived reality nonsense. “American Ninja Warrior” is an import from G4, a gaming channel geared primarily toward young male adult viewers and the world of video games.
Gaming nerds watching real life super athletes take on Herculean challenges. Of course it’ll work. Just distract the viewer with heart warming back stories about the contestants and hope the tears and strategically timed commercials will make the hour pass quickly.
“Siberia,” the 10 p.m. offering from NBC, can induce a headache just trying to figure out what it’s about. The basic concept that has reality show contestants being killed off one by one is Emmy worthy in itself. But “Siberia” is a drama about a reality show; all the contestants are actors. Or something like that. Who really cares since it airs opposite the summer’s biggest hit; “Under the Dome” on CBS?
Adding to the competition are several top notch dramas on basic cable. “The Glades,” “Longmire,” “Warehouse 13,” “Major Crimes,” “Push Girls,” “Eyewitness War,” and “King & Maxwell” are all airing original episodes tonight, more bad news for NBC.
But the most intriguing new show, at least in a train wreck sort of way, is “God, Guns & Automobiles” premiering tonight at 10 p.m. on History Channel. The show focuses on Max Motors, a car dealership run by Mark Muller in rural Butler, Missouri, with his business partner and popular radio host Erich Muller.
There’s a host of colorful support characters with equally colorful nicknames like “Mongo,” “Mancow” and “Hot Rod.” It sounds a lot like a “Duck Dynasty” copycat, but time, and ratings will tell. Either way, the name alone gives it a good head start.
All times are EDT:
ABC: The Bachelorette: (New) Desiree meets up with some friends in Madeira Island, Portugal; Brooks and Desiree have a serious conversation on their date; Chris is anxious about revealing his face; Desiree makes a confession that changes things.
CBS: How I Met Your Mother: (Repeat) Christmas approaches and Ted wrestles with whether to tell Robin about Barney’s intentions involving Patrice, while Marshall and Lily get an early Yule gift, a night away from Marvin, but a case of separation anxiety strikes and threatens to ruin the evening.
FOX: Raising Hope: (Repeat) Jimmy and Sabrina’s prenuptial marriage retreat turns into a family affair when Virginia and Burt, who wouldn’t want to forgo a free vacation, and Sabrina’s mom and her young lover decide to tag along. Meanwhile, Barney gives up his birthday plans to look after Maw Maw.
NBC: American Ninja Warrior: (New) A qualifying round in Baltimore features obstacles such as the Downhill Jump, Prism Tilt, Swing Jump and Circle Cross.
CW: Oh Sit!: (Repeat) 7Lions perform.
CBS: 2 Broke Girls: (Repeat) Part 1 of 2. The first season concludes with Max and Caroline attending a fashion gala at a museum where Martha Stewart is a guest in an attempt to get the culinary expert to taste their cupcakes.
FOX: Raising Hope: (Repeat) Jimmy complains that Sabrina never does any of the difficult parenting work with Hope, but she seizes an opportunity when Jimmy and Barney join Natesville’s auxiliary police force for the day. Meanwhile, Virginia and Burt try to catch a squirrel that’s been bullying the other squirrels on the block.
CBS: 2 Broke Girls: (Repeat) The first season ends with Max and Caroline attending a fashion gala at a museum where Martha Stewart is a guest in an attempt to get the culinary expert to taste their cupcakes.
FOX: New Girl: (Repeat) Nick suspects that one of Jess’ night-school students is hiding something; Winston and Cece have an embarrassing encounter.
NBC: Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls: (New) Bear Grylls puts 10 teams to the ultimate test in an adventure competition set in dramatic landscapes of New Zealand’s South Island.
CW: The Carrie Diaries: (Repeat) Carrie struggles to prepare Thanksgiving dinner, so she asks for Mouse’s assistance.
CBS: Mike & Molly: (Repeat) Mike puts his construction skills to use turning the basement into a living suite for him and Molly, but he may have gotten in over his head. Meanwhile, Carl asks Samuel if he would be interested in moving in with him.
FOX: The Mindy Project: (Repeat) Mindy’s brother visits from college and shocks his sister with his plans to drop out of school and become a rap star. Meanwhile, Danny and Jeremy try to schmooze their landlord into lowering their rent for the office.
ABC: Mistresses: (New) Harry resists Savi’s efforts to make things right; someone breaks into Karen’s office; April and Richard’s relationship heats up; Olivier makes life difficult for Joss.
CBS: Under the Dome: (New) Big Jim recruits Barbie to join the manhunt when a former deputy goes rogue. Meanwhile, Junior tries to escape the dome by going underground.
NBC: Siberia: (New) The contestants cope with a fatal tragedy - and some start jockeying for dominance.
PBS: POV: (New) Herman’s House: The story of Louisiana prisoner Herman Wallace, who has been kept in solitary confinement since being accused and convicted of killing a guard in 1972, and art student Jackie Surnell, who in 2001 wrote and asked him what his dream house would look like.
New episodes of:
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta at 8 p.m. on VH1
Switched at Birth at 8 p.m. on ABCFAM
Fast ‘N Loud: Revved Up at 8 p.m. on DSC
Top Gear at 8:30 p.m. on BBC
The Real Housewives of Orange County at 8 and 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Fast ‘N Loud at 9 p.m. on DSC
Defiance at 9 p.m. on Syfy
The Fosters at 9 p.m. on ABCFAM
Major Crimes at 9 p.m. on TNT
Bizarre Foods America at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel
The Glades at 9 p.m. on A&E
Cake Boss at 9 p.m. on TLC
Longmire at 10 p.m. on A&E
Push Girls at 10 p.m. on SUND
Street Outlaws at 10 p.m. on DSC
Below Deck at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Teen Wolf at 10 p.m. on MTV
Warehouse 13 at 10 p.m. on Syfy
King & Maxwell at 10 p.m. on TNT
Eyewitness War at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on NGC
God, Guns & Automobiles at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on History Channel
For movie lovers:
Courage Under Fire on CINEMAX
21 Jump Street on ENC
Salt on FX
V for Vendetta on IFC
Heathers on SUND
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen on TMC
Demolition Man on AMC
Dr. Dolittle 2 on FXM
Gasland Part II on HBO
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy on MOMAX
Think Like a Man on STARZ
Some Like it Hot on TCM
Tightrope at 9:30 p.m. on REELZ
Van Helsing at 9:50 p.m. on ENC
Let’s Go to Prison at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Love & Sex at 10 p.m. on FLIX
The Watch at 10:30 p.m. on HBO
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