Fall 2013 Reality Shows: New series from E!, Bravo, Oxygen and more!

Reality fans, the fall TV season has plenty of brand-new unscripted offerings for your viewing pleasure — plus the welcome return of some popular favorites.  Here’s a sampling of Fall 2013 reality shows. (All times Eastern/Pacific)

Patrick Dempsey Racing Lemans

Patrick Dempsey: Racing Le Mans (pictured)
Velocity
Premieres: Aug. 28
Airs: Wednesdays at 10pm
What’s It All About? Grey’s Anatomy star Patrick Dempsey has set himself an enormous goal — to compete at the most prestigious race in motorsports, the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Dempsey’s passion and commitment to racing has earned him respect in the racing community, but the road to Le Mans isn’t without sacrifice, as Patrick must strike a balance between his day job on set and his desire to secure time in the driver’s seat. “Racing is my true passion and taking on Le Mans will be the biggest challenge of my life so far,” says Dempsey. “Le Mans pushes both driver and machine to the absolute brink, testing focus, skill and endurance unlike any other event in the world. Just getting to Le Mans is almost as challenging as the race itself. This project reflects a 360-degree view of the entire race process, including all the ups and downs along the way.”

Tamra’s OC Wedding
Bravo
Premieres: Sept. 2
Airs: Mondays at 8pm
What’s It All About? It’s wedding season for two Real Housewives, beginning with Orange County’s Tamra Barney and her studly fiancé Eddie Judge, who found love after her marriage to second husband Simon Barney collapsed with the cameras capturing all of it. This three-episode series follows the happy couple from their joint Las Vegas bachelor/ette party to Tamra’s fittings for not one but three custom-made dresses to the couple working out the details of their dream day with their wedding coordinator — and drama from Tamra’s costars.

My Big Fat Revenge
Oxygen
Premieres: Sept. 3
Airs: Tuesdays at 9pm
What’s It All About? From the producer of The Biggest Loser and Extreme Weight Loss comes this new series in which formerly overweight women get the chance to turn the tables on unsuspecting family members, former paramours, classmates and other tormentors, teaching them dramatic lessons in what it was like to be the subject of their taunts and putdowns. The premiere episode features Jennifer, who was shocked when the man she met on a plus-size dating website began criticizing her appearance and refused to introduce her to his inner circle. With the help of a friend, Jennifer shows her former beau how it feels to have your date be ashamed to seen with you. Then, Tamar takes her mother to a special theater performance in the hopes of helping her understand how painful it was to grow up with someone who constantly mocked her weight. According to executive producer JD Roth, the goal of the show is to allow the ladies to move past hurtful situations that have them stuck in their painful past. “For some people, it’s ‘I just wanna fit into this pair of jeans,’” he says. “But for others, it’s ‘I wanna drive up to my mother’s house and show her that none of those mean things she said about me were true.’ … I think everyone got something out of it, and the women got great vindication by hearing an apology.”

Cold Justice (pictured)
TNT
Premieres: Sept. 3
Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm
What’s It All About? Dick Wolf, executive producer of the Law & Order franchise, takes on some of America’s 200,000-plus real-life cold cases, spotlighting high-profile former Houston prosecutor Kelly Siegler (68 wins, 0 losses) and former Las Vegas crime scene investigator Yolanda McClary — on whom Marg Helgenberger’s CSI character was based — as they team up to tackle small-town murder cases that were previously thought unsolvable. With a team of two homicide detectives plus local authorities backing them up, the pair of crack crime-busters has just nine days to crack their cases. “We’ve been working for the government since we were babies, making no money, working on murder cases — so we know the world, we know the criminal justice system,” says Siegler. “This is real — this is not TV. We want to show people the real, nitty-gritty world of how you solve an old murder case. And we’re doing it!” And while Siegler and McClary are excited to show audiences the real workings of their jobs, they’re not about to let TV cameras get in the way of getting the job done. “We’re just so into what we’re doing that we forget they’re there,” says McClary. “My job is not to worry about them. My job is to worry about this case.”

Raising McCain
Pivot
Premieres: Sept. 14
Airs: Saturdays at 10pm 
What’s It All About?
Meghan McCain, the outspoken, GOP-disparging-but-still-Republican daughter of former presidential candidate Senator John McCain, scores her own show that’s part talk show, part MTV true-life docu-soap.

Jersey Strong
Pivot
Premieres: Sept. 14
Airs: Saturdays at 10:30pm 
What’s It All About? Fans of Sundance Channel’s Peabody Award-winning series Brick City rejoice — former rival gang members Jayda and Creep and no-nonsense Newark attorney Brooke Barnett are back in this compelling new series that follows the two very different mothers and their partners raising their kids and pursuing their careers and dreams in this tough Jersey town.

I Dream of NeNe: The Wedding (pictured above)
Bravo
Premieres: Sept. 17
Airs: Tuesdays at 9pm
What’s It All About? The second time’s the charm — well, hopefully — as Real Housewives of Atlanta and Glee star NeNe Leakes prepares to remarry her ex-husband Gregg in a reported $1.8 million “Old Hollywood” ceremony. Housewives fans who witnessed the devastating collapse and surprising resurrection of the couple’s union can follow along as NeNe and her team assemble the wedding of her dreams with the help of bridesmaids Cynthia Bailey and Marlo Hampton, who add a touch of class and sass to the proceedings.

The New Atlanta (pictured above)
Bravo
Premieres: Sept. 17
Airs: Tuesdays at 10pm
What’s It All About? Move over, Real Housewives — it’s the single ladies’ and gents’ turn to take on Atlanta-centric television. The New Atlanta follows a quintet of the city’s fiercest young businesspeople — electronica singer Alexandra Dilworth, boutique owner Emily Lipman, model/entertainer Africa Miranda, former football star turned event planner Tribble Reese and music executive (also a heartbreaker) Jevon “Vawn” Sims — as they navigate their friendships, love lives and professional ambitions in the sultry Southern city.

Eric & Jessie: Game On (pictured)
E!
Premieres: Sept. 29
Airs: Sundays at 10pm
What’s It All About? From Khloé and Lamar to Kendra and Hank, E! has monopolized the celebrity reality series market, following the romantic relationships of popular athletes and their gorgeous companions. Its newest installment has cameras following Denver Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker and country/pop singer Jessie James. The series will chronicle the sexy young couple’s road to the altar as they juggle careers, relationships, family and more.

Alaskan Women Looking for Love
TLC
Premieres: Oct. 6
Airs: Sundays at 10pm
What’s It All About? Five Alaskan women — some of whom have never before been across state lines — head to Miami to try their luck at love in warmer climes. Find out if the smoldering temps and glittery lifestyle lure these ladies away from Alaska forever — or if their hearts and homes are forever in The Last Frontier.

Dream School
Sundance Channel
Premieres: Oct . 7
Airs: Sundays at 10pm
What’s It All About?
This six-part unscripted series gives 15 troubled students a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn firsthand life and job skills from an impressive group of innovators and leaders such as actor David Arquette, Academy Award-winning filmmaker Oliver Stone, TV journalist Soledad O’Brien, musician Swizz Beatz, financial guru Suze Orman and more. The 17- and 18-year-old students, all of whom have either dropped out or been expelled from the conventional school system, will have a golden opportunity to make a fresh start — but overcoming past failures and future obstacles will be no easy task for the students and their instructors.

RETURNING
The X Factor
FOX
Returns: Sept. 11-12 at 8pm
What To Expect: Grammy award-winning artist Kelly Rowland and global pop sensation Paulina Rubio are new to the judges’ table, joining papa-to-be Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato and host Mario Lopez. “It’s taken more than a decade, but I’m delighted to finally be on a panel with these girls — I think,” Cowell cracks.

Dancing With the Stars
ABC
Returns: Sept. 16 at 8pm
What To Expect: The biggest news of DWTS’ 17th outing isn’t the cast but the revelation that the show is dropping its Tuesday night results show and combining both competition and results into one Monday outing. “We want to focus it in,” said ABC Entertainment president Paul Lee in announcing the change. “We’re planning to do two seasons, and we think by taking the results show and building it into the two-hour block on Monday night, we can really build a sense of occasion to that.”

Survivor: Blood vs. Water
CBS
Returns: Sept. 18 at 8pm
What To Expect: Filmed in the Philippines, the 27th — yes, 27th — season of CBS’ reality juggernaut features fan favorites from past seasons competing against their own loved ones. While we wouldn’t want to consider the ramifications of voting Dad or Grandma off the island and out of a million bucks in our own families, the plot twist should put an interesting spin on how alliances are formed and allegiances tested.

The Voice
NBC
Returns: Sept. 23 at 8pm
What To Expect: Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green return to their big red swivel chairs alongside fellow original judges Blake Shelton and Adam Levine for the latest cycle of NBC’s singing-competition smash. But if you were a fan of Shakira’s fiery affection for her team and Usher’s literal “leg up” on the competition, don’t despair. The duo will once again swap out with Aguilera and Green in the spring.

Patrick Dempsey image:  Brian Cleary/Getty Images, courtesy of Velocity

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4 Responses to Fall 2013 Reality Shows: New series from E!, Bravo, Oxygen and more!

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