Summer gives networks the opportunity to try out new shows in the hopes of striking ratings gold. When they’re lucky, networks wind up with a hit like Dancing with the Stars. When they’re not, they get stuck with shows like the painful-to-watch Game Show Marathon, currently airing on CBS.
Because of their low production costs, reality shows dominate many networks’ summer lineups. It’s much cheaper to pull a show like Celebrity Cooking Showdown off the air mid-run than it is to yank a higher-budget scripted series that fails to draw an audience (great examples from summers past include Roar and Danger Theatre). But that doesn’t keep networks from trotting out at least a few new dramas and comedies.
This summer, My Ox Is Broken is going to stick to its roots and cover only reality series. I’ve picked a few shows that seem promising, but which won’t be covered everywhere else. There are plenty of other sites where you can get your Big Brother or Project Runway fix. I’ll probably be watching those, too — just not writing about them — so feel free to send in your comments on those shows as well.
For a complete listing of new summer shows, check out Recap-Roundup’s season preview. Here’s what I may be covering here at MOIB:
Treasure Hunters: In the spirit of The Amazing Race, teams solve puzzles and decrypt clues to progress on a quest. However, unlike TAR, the contestants on Treasure Hunters won’t be looking for Phil Keoghan. They’ll be looking to unearth hidden treasure — with enough doubloons for them to buy their own Phil. Since the producers of The Da Vinci Code created Treasure Hunters, I’m willing to bet that every clue is written backwards and needs to be read in a mirror.
Premieres June 18 at 8e/7c on NBC
Master of Champions: Any show based on a Japanese game show is bound to be good (for evidence, watch an episode of MXC on Spike TV or peruse clips of other shows at TV in Japan). Contestants compete in bizarre stunts for the title Master of Champions. Who knows if it will be worth writing about, but it’ll sure be fun to watch.
Premieres June 22 at 8e/7c on ABC
Rock Star: Supernova: This show slowly built up a rabid fan base last summer, when INXS took to the airwaves to search for a new lead singer. Now, Tommy Lee and other heavy metal veterans are looking for a frontman or frontwoman to head up their supergroup (not to be confused with Supergroup on VH1). It’s just a shame that the most talented performer from last season, Suzie McNeil, won’t be back for a second go-round.
Premieres July 5 at 8e/7c on CBS
Who Wants to Be a Superhero?: I do! But I won’t be appearing on this show, where contestants with great ideas for superhero characters have to live as those characters. It sounds like such a dangerously silly idea that it has to be great.
Premieres July 27 at 9e/8c on Sci-Fi
In addition to recapping those shows, I’ll continue publishing weekly updates on Dancing with the Stars throughout the show’s offseason.