10 New Summer 2018 Reality Shows That Have Us Fired Up

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Great White Sharks: The Graceful Giant Behind Hollywood's Bloodthirsty Predator
Brad Leue / Barcroft Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Shark Week

Returns Sunday, July 22, 7/6c, Discovery

LAWS OF JAWS (July 24, 9/8c)

Expert divers reenact five encounters. The goal: Find out if the rise in attacks is due to animals or humans — and give viewers guidance on surviving a scary run-in. “The team throws themselves into the attack victims’ roles,” says exec producer Brian V. O’Toole. “They face bull sharks, great whites and, on a night dive, tiger sharks.”

SHARKCAM STAKEOUT (July 25, 10/9c)
In the Bahamas, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution cameras catch the private lives of bulls and hammerheads. “SharkCam follows 8-foot bull sharks into their world,” says exec producer Sarah Cunliffe, “going where no diver can.”


A science team trails pregnant great whites to Baja, using genetics to link pups to their moms. “The parents mate repeatedly over time, giving these sharks lots of brothers and sisters,” says exec producer Sue Houghton. Can’t wait to see that family Christmas card. —Kate Hahn

Ronda Rousey
Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Ronda Rousey: Uncaged

July 22, 10/9c

Landlubber, Olympic athlete, MMA champion and WWE Superstar Ronda Rousey free-dives uncaged in New Zealand with the ocean’s “bitiest” shark, a mako, after training with shark conservationist and attack survivor Paul de Gelder. “Ronda applied the same skill set that made her a UFC Hall of Famer to her fear of sharks,” says executive producer Chad Greulach. —Kate Hahn

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Monster Tag

July 23, 8/7c

Superstar athletes bring their A-game (as in “apex predator”) to help wildlife researchers track sharks on the move. “We watched a 10-foot shark swim toward Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and had no idea what Aaron or the shark might do,” says exec producer Fred Pichel. Olympian Lindsey Vonn and NFL star Rob Gronkowski also help accrue vital conservation info. —Kate Hahn

Making It - Season 1

Making It

Premires Tuesday, July 31, 10/9c, NBC

Warm up the glue gun! Former Parks and Recreation costars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman reteam to host this utterly charming crafting competition. “It’s a show that makes you want to turn off the TV and really do something,” says Poehler. “Like, ‘I need paper, I need wood, I need a balloon!’”

Each week, different creative types — eight at the outset — complete challenges like quilting or assembling photo albums; after that, famed window dresser Simon Doonan and Etsy web store trend expert Dayna Isom Johnson choose one to be eliminated. The last crafter standing in six episodes wins a cool $100,000.

But unlike other cutthroat games, participants here encourage one another, with Poehler and Offerman serving as the ultimate cheerleaders. “Most of the show,” quips Poehler, “is Nick and I trying to argue that nobody should be sent home.” —Eric Andersson

Seatbelt Psychic

Seatbelt Psychic

Premires Wednesday, July 11, 10/9c, Lifetime

Don’t forget to give your driver a five-specter rating! In this intriguing new reality series, unsuspecting folks in a rideshare taxi experience something pretty trippy: The guy behind the wheel is Thomas John, medium and psychic to the stars (Jennifer Lopez, Courteney Cox, Channing Tatum), who launches into readings en route. “I give them guidance and also messages from the beyond,” John says. Naturally, he faces a wide range of reactions, from skeptical to nervous to emotional. But how does he navigate both the spirit world and L.A. traffic? “I’m not the greatest driver,” he says with a laugh. “If we do more seasons, I’m bound to get a ticket.” Hey, at least he’ll see it coming. —Ingela Ratledge

Mark Anderson and Ryan Fey, as seen on Comfort Food Tour, Season 2.

Comfort Food Tour

Premieres Saturday, July 21, 8/7c, Food Network

Pals Mark Anderson and Ryan Fey are on a mission to find the best food that, as Anderson puts it, “loves you back.” On Comfort Food Tour they crisscross the country for delicious meals that nourish body and soul. A fan of savory bites over sweet treats, Anderson is on the hunt for dishes covered in “golden-brown, bubbling, melty stretchy” cheese, and he can’t wait for viewers to sample the chickpea masala fried chicken he had at a Houston Indian fusion restaurant. “It was the ultimate international comfort food mashup.” —John Russell


Secrets of the Zoo

Premieres Sunday, July 29, 9/8c, Nat Geo Wild

See animal expert “Jungle” Jack Hanna in his natural habitat! For his latest wildlife show, the 71-year-old — famed for introducing Good Morning America viewers (and a skittish David Letterman) to all sorts of exotic birds and cubs — reveals how he and his colleagues nurture critters at Ohio’s conservation-minded Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. “Some great caretakers teach endangered polar bears how to swim, and a team of researchers get a urine sample from a manatee — not easy,” marvels Hanna, who has held various gigs at the zoo since 1978. Lots of drama happens in the Wilds, a sanctuary the size of Alexandria, Virginia, where 10,000 furry ones, from antelope to giraffe, roam free amid hills and streams. Some territory is off-limits, though. “We try to breed elephants,” says Hannah, “but we make that private.” —John Griffiths


Hard to Kill

Premieres Tuesday, July 31, 10/9c, Discovery

Special forces sniper and MMA pro Tim Kennedy tries some of the world’s riskiest jobs on Hard to Kill, experiencing what real-life heroes do daily. “It was like drinking from a firehose — if that hose was spraying diesel and there were millions of rats around your feet with matches,” Kennedy says of each week’s thrill ride. And whether he was triggering avalanches or working as an explosive ordnance disposal tech with the Marines, he admits with admiration, “Every day I attempted — and often failed — to keep the insides of my body on the inside.” —JR


Bachelorette Weekend

Premieres Thursday, August 2, 11/10c, CMT

Y’all are invited to trail the staff of Bach Weekend, a Nashville company arranging fling-before-the-ring parties for high-maintenance, often inebriated clients. SallyAnn Salsano (Jersey Shore) exec produced, so bet on bouts of slurring, sobbing and soul-baring. “The craziness that happens at these blowouts creates havoc for people who plan them!” says Salsano. “You get both the emotional drama and how it affects those in charge of keeping things moving at all costs.” We’re so saying yes to this mess. —KH


In Search of

Premieres Friday, July 20, 10/9c, History

Are you ready to explore the unknown? This reboot of the popular ’70s series will do just that, with Zachary Quinto guiding you over 10 episodes. As host and executive producer, the big-screen Spock is again following in the footsteps of late Star Trek star Leonard Nimoy, who hosted the original examination of historical phenomena and paranormal quandaries. “[Nimoy] was endlessly curious and always engaged in the pursuit of information,” Quinto says. “I respected that about him so deeply. I try to maintain that same level of interest in my life.”

However, Quinto won’t just be standing in a studio sporting a blazer-turtleneck combo. “What was interesting to me was encouraging the franchise to go in a new direction,” he says. “I was really into traveling around the world.”

During that global hunt for myths and mysteries, Quinto spoke to a wide variety of experts, experiencers and the like: scientists using radio telescopes to find signs of alien life, an Italian monk with superhuman strength, a companion-
doll company dabbling in artificial intelligence and the billionaire who happens to have an enormous sinkhole on his Missouri property.

Has the series made a true believer out of Quinto? “What I’ve learned about myself from doing this series is that I need proof,” he says. Well, don’t we all? —Emily Aslanian

Amanda Harvie/WWE/USA Network

Miz & Mrs.

Premieres Tuesday, July 24, 10/9c, USA

Power couple! In this six-part reality series, married WWE Superstars The Miz (aka Michael Mizanin) and Maryse Ouellet (below) relocate from L.A. to Austin — and the move proves more complicated than a diving back elbow drop. The duo juggle Wrestlemania showdowns, photo shoots and baby first-aid classes. “When you have two dogs, two cats, a 2-week-old, a mother-in-law and you have to travel cross-country,” he says, “shenanigans happen.” —Jim Halterman

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Caroline & Friends

Premieres Monday, July 16, 4/3c, Game Show Network

If you’re hooked on home videos — hiccuping puppies! — you’re in luck. Join comedian Caroline Rhea and a rotating roster of funny pals, including Sherri Shepherd and Louie Anderson, to LOL and cry over a variety of family-friendly submissions. (The studio-audience favorite gets a prize.) “It’s an easy, funny show,” Rhea says. And what gets to her? “I’m a sucker for anything with a baby animal. I also weep at all proposals!” —Ingela Ratledge

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TV is armed to the teeth this summer with unscripted stories of food, fun and the fish to end all fishes.

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Click through the gallery above to check out all the new reality TV shows — from sharks to bachelorettes — that have us excited to watch.