New Shows for ’06

The new year brings a new crop of reality shows. What will My Ox Is Broken be commenting on in 2006?

Dancing with the Stars starts its second season on ABC on Thursday, January 5. Mercifully, inept interviewer Lisa Canning won’t return as Tom Bergeron’s cohost. This season’s celeb contestant list includes big names like Wayne’s World actress Tia Carrere and George Hamilton, who may use his perpetually glowing skin to reflect the lights into his competitors’ eyes, blinding them to assure himself victory. The performance shows will air on Thursdays, with the results shows on Fridays.

Beauty and the Geek also returns for its second season. More nerds will pair up with hot babes to compete in challenges, all in the name of fostering understanding between the disparate groups of guys and gals. It’s not nearly as mean-spirited as it could be, which for a reality TV show makes it almost admirable. The season begins on Thursday, January 12 on the WB.

One of the few brand new reality franchises for 2006 is the potentially disastrous Skating with Celebrities. Capitalizing on the success of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, Fox created its own, more dangerous pro-am competition. The program’s early promos have highlighted the injuries suffered during taping–rather than the celebrity participants themselves. At least Full House’s Dave Coulier and sports broadcasting personality (i.e., football weathergirl) Jillian Barberie have some ice skating experience. We’ll have to wait until Wednesday, January 18 to find out how Todd Bridges and the remaining participants fare on their skates. After its Wednesday premiere, the show moves to Mondays–always a good sign for a Fox show. Just ask Arrested Development.

NBC has announced that, based on its successful debut in December, prime time game show Deal or No Deal will get another run. No details were provided on when it returns. While there’s not much to the show–gameplay is slightly less complex than a typical Price Is Right task–it certainly is fun and addictive. Now they need to find more likeable contestants, so I can start rooting for them instead of against them.

New seasons of The Amazing Race and Survivor premiere in February, and of course we’ll be watching. Not so for The Bachelor: Paris, which begins on January 9.