Reality Roundup: 34 Unscripted and Documentary-Style Series Premiering in Fall 2017

Find out what reality television is coming to TV and streaming from September through November 2017.

by | September 5, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by HBO/NBC/A&E)

From singing competitions to illuminating documentaries, here are the newest unscripted and docu-series headed to TV in fall 2017.


Deadline: Crime with Tamron Hall (ID)
What it is: Journalist Tamron Hall and her investigative team dig into two crime cases in each hourlong episode. The team includes Emmy-winning journalists Michelle Sigona and Angeline Hartmann, filmmaker Keith Beauchamp, and America’s Most Wanted correspondent Tom Morris Jr.
Premieres: Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 3

Biggie: The Life of Notorious B.I.G. (A&E)
What it is: A&E is relaunching its Biography series with this in-depth look at the life of rapper Biggie Smalls, the first biography authorized by the late star’s estate. Interviews include his widow Faith Evans, his mother Voletta Wallace, and fellow rap artists Sean “Diddy” Combs, Shawn “Jay Z” Carter, and Nas.
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 4 at 8 p.m. ET/PT (all three parts)

Below Deck (Bravo)
What it is: This reality show on the high seas chronicles the lives of young, hot crew members who work and reside on a mega-yacht during charter season. Season 5 sees the return of Captain Lee Rosbach, chief stewardess Kate Chastain, and senior deckhand Nico Scholly. New cast members include stewardesses Brianna Adekeye and Jennifer Howell; deckhands Chris Brown, Bruno Duarte, and Baker Manning; and chef Matt Burns.
Premieres: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 5

Grave Mysteries (ID)
What it is: On this new crime show, investigators must reconstruct the lives of the victims in order to solve their shocking murders. The hook is that the killers weren’t the only ones hiding secrets — the victims were too.
Premieres: Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 5

Vintage Rehab (DIY)
What it is: Married couple Ally and Buddy Mahon revive historic Pittsburgh area homes, turning total disasters into beautiful, new family dwellings.
Premieres: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 6

Total Bellas (E!)
What it is: For Season 2 of this Total Divas spinoff, twins Nikki and Brie Bella are sharing a home again. In order to help Brie with her pregnancy, Nikki and partner John Cena are moving in with Brie and partner Daniel Bryan in Phoenix. Cue the fireworks.
Premieres: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 6

Eric & Jessie (E!)
What it is: The third season of this reality show, which follows singer Jessie James Decker and her professional football player husband Eric, will look very different from its 2013-2014 iteration considering the couple has since welcomed two children: Vivianne, 3, and Eric Jr., 1.
Premieres: Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 6

American Masters: Tyrus (PBS)
What it is: This documentary is an in-depth look at famed visual artist Tyrus Wong, whose work can be seen in movies for Disney, Warner Brothers, and Hallmark. He passed away in 2016 at the age of 106.
Premieres: Friday, Sept. 8 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Foreman (Epix)
What it is: Step into the ring for this documentary about George Foreman, the 1970s heavyweight champ who reclaimed the world title as a 45-year-old in 1994. He later became the face of the grill bearing his name.
Premieres: Wednesday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

The Vietnam War (PBS)
What it is: This 10-part miniseries from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick tells the story of one of the most divisive events in U.S. history through multiple perspectives, including Americans who fought in it, Americans who opposed it, and both combatants and civilians living in North and South Vietnam.
Premieres: Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 17

Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
What it is: Celebrate the 25th season of this popular dancing competition series. The cast is still top secret, but former White House press secretary Sean Spicer will not be among its ranks.
Premieres: Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 18

The Little Couple (TLC)
What it is: The ninth season of this show will see big changes, as Dr. Jill Arnold and husband Bill Klein move their family to Florida. The season will also feature the family taking trips to Vermont and the United Kingdom.
Premieres: Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 19

Clinica de Migrantes (HBO)
What it is: This 2016 documentary comes to HBO to showcase what it is like as a worker or patient at a volunteer-run clinic that provides free medical care to undocumented immigrants in south Philadelphia.
Premieres: Monday, Sept. 25

The Voice (NBC)
What it is: Longtime coaches Adam Levine and Blake Shelton are joined by Miley Cyrus (who previously coached in fall 2016) and new coach Jennifer Hudson for the 13th edition of this singing competition. Special guest mentors include Joe Jonas, Rascal Flatts, Billy Ray Cyrus, and Kelly Rowland.
Premieres: Mondays and Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 25

Survivor (CBS)
What it is: The 35th (!) season of this granddaddy of reality TV is subtitled “Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers” and will feature 18 new players — no returning favorites this time around.
Premieres: Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 27

Hell’s Kitchen (FOX)
What it is: Watching Gordon Ramsay yell at chefs never gets old, hence why this reality staple is entering its 17th season. But there’s a twist this time around: all-stars. Every chef competing this season is a former contestant who finished anywhere from 6th to 3rd on his or her prior season.
Premieres: Fridays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Sept. 29

Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks (truTV)
What it is: Young stand-up comics bring their comedy to life in this new half-hour series. Riffs include weight problems, relationships, careers, and even church.
Premieres: Late September


Shark Tank (ABC)
What it is: The ninth season of this entrepreneurial reality show features guest sharks that include Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Real Housewives of New York and Skinnygirl maven Bethenny Frankel, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, branding expert Rohan Oza, and retired MLB player Alex Rodriguez.
Premieres: Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Oct. 1

Finding Your Roots (PBS)
What it is: The fourth season of this genealogy show reveals that Larry David is actually related to Bernie Sanders! Other participants include Dr. Phil McGraw, Amy Schumer, Christopher Walken, Tea Leoni, and Scarlett Johansson.
Premieres: Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT beginning Oct. 3

Spielberg (HBO)
What it is: This documentary chronicles nearly 50 years in director Steven Spielberg’s career, with contributions from J.J. Abrams, Francis Ford Coppola, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Zemeckis, and many more.
Premieres: Saturday, Oct. 7

Adventure Capitalists (CNBC)
What it is: Think Shark Tank for outdoors enthusiasts. This hourlong show takes investors Shawn Johnson (former Olympic gymnast), Dhani Jones (former NFL-er), and Jeremy Bloom (former Olympic skier) out into real-world adventure situations to see if the products live up to entrepreneurs’ claims.
Premieres: Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Oct. 10

Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party (VH1)
What it is: Get ready for round two of this charmingly bizarre talk show where unlikely BFFs Martha Stewart and Snoop Dogg have famous people over for dinner. Season 2 guests include Diddy, Jamie Foxx, Don Cheadle, Patti LaBelle, Margaret Cho, and Kelly Rowland.
Premieres: Mondays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning Oct. 16

Too Funny to Fail (Hulu)
What it is: This documentary tells the tale of the short-lived variety series The Dana Carvey Show, which boasted a crew and writers room of soon-to-be-huge comedians like Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Louis C.K., Robert Smigel, and Charlie Kaufman.
Premieres: Saturday, Oct. 21

At Home with Amy Sedaris (truTV)
What it is: Comedian Amy Sedaris is bringing her distinct quirky comedy to a new home show that’s a bit like Upright Citizens Brigade meets Martha Stewart. But it’s not a parody — Sedaris is actually an enthusiastic crafter, baker, cook and hostess.
Premieres: Tuesdays at 10:30 p.m. ET/PT beginning Oct. 24

Drop the Mic (TBS)
What it is: Hosted by rapper/actor Method Man and model Hailey Baldwin, this offering is based on James Corden’s Late Late Show segment where stars from the pop culture world engage in rap battles.
Premieres: Thursdays at 10 p.m. beginning Oct. 26

American Masters: Edgar Allan Poe: Buried Alive (PBS)
What it is: Tony winner Denis O’Hare stars as this legendary American author of “The Raven,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and dozens more poems and stories. The documentary draws on the rich palette of Poe’s evocative imagery and sharply drawn plots to tell the real story of the notorious author.
Premieres: Monday, Oct. 30 at 9 p.m. ET/PT


30 for 30: Nature Boy (ESPN)
What it is: The latest 30 for 30 documentary looks at the life of wrestler Ric Flair, painting a sobering picture of the two lives he led inside and outside the squared circle.
Premieres: Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT

Danica (Epix)
What it is: Take a rare, candid look at race car driver Danica Patrick in this new film, which follows her as she prepares for a race and considers starting a family.
Premieres: Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

(Photo by A&E)

Elizabeth Smart: Autobiography (A&E)
What it is: Timed to the 15th anniversary of Elizabeth Smart’s childhood abduction, this documentary will air in two 90-minute installments. Smart was abducted in 2002 at the age of 14 by a religious fanatic and was held captive for nine months where she was starved and raped before managing to escape; she collaborated with A&E on the making of this documentary and also the Lifetime movie dramatization starring Skeet Ulrich, Deirdre Lovejoy, and Alana Boden, which premieres Nov. 18.
Premieres: Sunday, Nov. 12 at 9 p.m ET/PT

Mythbusters (Science)
What it is: Everyone’s favorite experiment program is returning for a 14-episode new season featuring Mythbusters: The Search alums Brian Louden and Jon Lung.
Premieres: Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT beginning Nov. 15

Cold Blooded: The Clutter Family Murders (Sundance)
What it is: This documentary examines the 1959 murders of four Clutter family members in small-town Kansas by drawing from the first-hand accounts of relatives, family friends, townspeople, and law enforcement, some of whom have never spoken publicly before. The incident was the focus of Truman Capote’s famous true-crime novel In Cold Blood, but this documentary looks to shed new light on an infamous case.
Premieres: Saturday, Nov. 18 and Sunday, Nov. 19 at 9 p.m. ET/PT

Night of Too Many Stars (HBO)
What it is: This biennial telethon is back to raise money for people with autism and their families. Jon Stewart returns as host for the star-studded event, which features stand-up performances, sketches, and short films.
Premieres: Saturday, Nov. 18

David Letterman: The Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize (PBS)
What it is: This pre-taped event features a cavalcade of David Letterman’s friends and colleagues as the Kennedy Center pays tribute to the humor and accomplishments of the broadcasting icon.
Premieres: Monday, Nov. 20 at 8 p.m. ET/PT

(Photo by ABC)

America’s Funniest Home Videos (ABC)
What it is: Alfonso Ribeiro returns as host for the 28th season of this home video series.
Premieres: Sundays at 7 p.m. ET/PT beginning Nov. 26

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