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Reality TV Series: Summer 2012

Updated on May 7, 2013

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In this Hub, I discuss the upcoming Reality TV shows that will premiere in the summer of 2012. When available, I have included a preview for the shows, plus my thoughts on them. As always, you'll find a list of Do's and Don'ts at the bottom.

If you're more interested in other genres:


‘The Great Escape’ is a new reality competition TV series on TNT scheduled to premiere on June 24th at 10/9c. Each week the show features three teams of two people who are dropped in their own action/adventure movie. Teams must escape their dire situation, which can vary from a maximum-security prison to a deserted island. The pairs need to use their wits, skills and whatever tools they can find to make their way to freedom. The first team to succeed wins a cash price. The show is hosted by Rich Eisen, who works for the NFL Network as a sportscaster. Even though Eisen is a seasoned anchor and reporter, he hasn’t done a show like this before. It will be interesting to see how he will fare in this environment.

Being in your own adventure movie is a dream of many people. They like to test themselves and see if they would survive in these kind of situations. It’s interesting to see how people react to their situation and what clever things they will (or won’t) come up with. Since there is no trailer yet, it is hard to say if the settings will be realistic. The show will probably be more fun to watch (and to perform) if they are. We’ll have to wait and see!


Final Witness (ABC)

Over on ABC, the seven episode documentary/drama ‘Final Witness’ premieres on July 10th at 10/9c. Based on true stories, each episode consists of dramatic reconstructions of a murder case, supported by interviews with witnesses, law enforcement officials and prosecutors. The series tries to give the final witness, the victim, a voice again. Actors reenact the horrible stories and give voice to the victims, while the real life witnesses tell us their story in short statements, alternating with the victim's story.

Each episode tells another story, and therefore the series brings in new actors each episode. The first episode revolves around the killing of the East Texas Caffey family that took place in March 2008. Terry, Penny and their two sons get shot and their house gets set on fire. However, Terry manages to crawl out of the house and survive. And that is not all. He knows who the shooter is.


Hotel Hell (Fox)

Fox brings us a new reality TV show called ‘Hotel Hell’. The series will premiere on June 4th at 8/7c. In ‘Hotel Hell’ Gordon Ramsay (‘Masterchef’) travels across the country to some of the worst hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts to help the owners to get their things together. The concept is similar to ‘Kitchen Nightmares’, only this time Gordon doesn’t take on the kitchen, but the hotel’s hospitality.

Updated (05/27): A trailer has been released which only shows a few small bits of the show, nothing much can be said of it. This show is very similar to already existing shows. It’s a popular genre that works well on most networks. However, some people might be getting tired of Gordon Ramsay. Also, wasn’t he a chef? Since when did he become an expert on hospitality?


A new reality game show is coming to ABC on June 18th at 10/9c, called ‘The Glass House’. The show will feature fourteen contestants who live and compete in a house to ultimately win 250,000 dollars. Viewers are in charge of the game, they can vote to decide about everything: What players wear, eat and do; even where they sleep. Not only do viewers have a hand in everyday live of the players, they also help to determine who’s going home. There is also an advantage for the players; during the game they will receive feedback from the viewers.

Update (05/27): Live Streaming and Live Voting will begin on June 11th. From this point out the public can vote 24/7 on the ABC website. Live Streaming won't be 24/7 but will be on Mondays from 11pm - 3am ET and Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3pm - 4pm ET.

Does this sound familiar yet? CBS thought so too. CBS isn’t just going to let this slide and has warned ABC’s President Anne Sweeney to stop the production of the show, otherwise they will take legal actions. They claim ‘The Glass House’ has to many similarities with their show ‘Big Brother’. CBS is right, as in the very first season of ‘Big Brother’ viewers were in charge of who was sent home. The only difference is that viewers didn’t decide what the players had to do. CBS also claims that several former producers of ‘Big Brother’ have been hired to work on ‘The Glass House’, this is in violation with the contracts they signed over at CBS.
Whether or not this show will make the air is unclear. ABC hasn’t given an official statement yet. Stay tuned for updates!

Update (05/16): CBS now sued ABC to stop further development of 'The Glass House'. It is up to a federal judge to compare the two shows and determine if CBS is entitled to maybe millions of dollars in damages.

Update (05/27): ABC requested the judge to dismiss all charges immediately. They say: "there is nothing secret about editing a program with multiple feeds together or developing a narrative structure for it. That is reality TV." ABC also claims there are several differences which will make the shows stand apart.

Regarding the former 'Big Brother' employees that joined the team of 'The Glass House' ABC notes that it's common knowledge that working on the set of 'Big Brother' doesn't pay much. This is the reason the employees transferred to 'The Glass House'.

ABC has now officially released a promo. It isn't much, but this shows ABC isn't going to back down.

Update (06/06): On June 4th the players who will enter the Glass House have been revealed. For more information about those players check out the website.

Whether these people will actually enter the house is still up in the air. ABC is planning on airing the show, but meanwhile their executive producer, Kenny Rosen, was interrogated for 7 hours! This will be a long battle for both parties.

Which of these show do you like best?

See results



  • Hotel Hell (Fox, June 4th, 8/7c)


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    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Oops!! You're right of course, I got confused, sorry. I will watch out for The Great Escape, I love that type of show.

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      Hi Jools99,

      My personal favorite is 'The Great Escape', I think this is a show that is both fun to watch and fun to participate in.

      I've seen the first episode of 'The Glass House' but I'm not a big fan, I wonder if it will get another season (probably not with that lawsuit).

      About 'Silent Witness': I believe this is a different show. 'Final Witness' is a documentary about real-life crimes, I believe 'Silent Witness' is a police drama series.

      Thanks for reading!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 5 years ago from North-East UK

      Robin, some interesting shows to look forward to once they hit UK screens - the reality TV will probably not cross over unless they put it on MTV? I quitelike the sound of the first one featured - a sort of take on Survival (which I loved). The second one sounds like Big Brother but should be called Big 'Viewer' if viewers are in charge of the whole experience and we might see some fun stuff but also some not so fun stuff, given that some people take pleasure in making life difficult for people.

      We already have 'Silent Witness', it's been on over her for years but is hugely popular.

      Voted up n shared.

    • Robin Oatley profile image

      Robin Oatley 5 years ago

      If you liked the other shows of Gordon Ramsay, especially Kitchen Nightmares, you'll probably like Hotel Hell as well.

    • MelChi profile image

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Oh my gosh, Hotel Hell with Gordon Ramsey.....I can't wait!!! :))