Roku Greenlights Three New Reality TV Shows

Roku announced the expansion of its unscripted original content slate with the greenlight of three new reality adventure series: “Fight to Survive,” “Reptile Royalty” and “UFO Cowboys.”  

Hosted by Akbar Gbajabiamila (“American Ninja Warrior,” “The Talk”), “Fight to Survive” takes viewers to a remote tropical island for an intense survival competition across episodes involving 17 contestants from previous reality survival shows, including “Survivor,” “Naked and Afraid” and “Alone” competing for the $250,000 top prize.

“Reptile Royalty” introduces viewers to the unpredictable world of social media’s Jay Brewer and his Reptile Zoo in Fountain Valley, Calif. Working alongside his three daughters and a colorful group of animal lovers, Brewer cares for more than 600 of the rare and exotic reptiles across six episodes. 

“UFO Cowboys” follows a group of ranchers, known as the Cowboy Sky Watchers, as they investigate paranormal happenings along the 37th Parallel over eight episodes.  Known as the “UFO Superhighway,” this area is known for UFO sightings and disturbances, with more supernatural and extraterrestrial sightings in the American West than anywhere else in the United States.

“Our latest trio of Roku Originals underscores our commitment to showcasing everyday people in extraordinary circumstances,” Brian Tannenbaum, head of alternative originals, said in a statement. “Each series offers our streamers a glimpse into an almost unbelievable world – with a mix of high stakes, fight, heart, and some humor along the way.” 

The series will exclusively debut later in 2023 on The Roku Channel. 

FilmRise, Blue Ant International Co-Produce, Distribute Original True Crime Series ‘Killers: Caught on Camera’

New York-based film and TV studio and streaming network FilmRise Jan. 24 announced a co-production and distribution deal with Blue Ant International for a new true crime series with a voyeuristic twist, “Killers: Caught on Camera.”

The 10-episode true crime series aims to give viewers a front-row seat to footage and analysis of bad decisions and acts of pure evil, according to a FilmRise press release.

“[The series is] captivating … and we are confident that it will be another favorite among this genre’s audience,” Max Einhorn, SVP of acquisitions and co- productions of FilmRise, said in a statement.

The series was co-developed between Blue Ant and back2back productions, with additional financing from CBS Reality, Seven.One Entertainment Group and Viaplay Group. FilmRise secured all exclusive distribution rights in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. CBS Reality secured exclusive broadcast rights in the United Kingdom and Africa.

The series incorporates video footage from home security cameras, CCTV, and dashcams helping detectives catch perpetrators.

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Family members of victims and law enforcement provide first-hand accounts of how the chilling events unfold while experts, including criminal psychologist Dr. Julia Shaw, dissect the darkest corners of the criminal mind. Shaw, a psychological scientist specializing in false memory and criminal psychology, is most notably known as the co-host of BBC Sounds’ No. 1 podcast “Bad People,” which analyzes and tries to understand the behavior of murderers, sex offenders, cannibals and serial killers.

“Shocking, revealing and emotionally charged, [the show] takes the viewer to the very heart of each and every manhunt, as investigators use everything at their disposal to track down the person responsible,” David Notman-Watt, founder/managing director back2back productions, said in a statement.

The deal was negotiated by Einhorn and Ben Barrett, global head of content financing and partnerships of Blue Ant. FilmRise’s Danny Fisher and Einhorn serve as executive producers, alongside Notman Watt, Sam Rowden and Jess Rampling from CBS Reality.

Netflix Renews Realtor Soap ‘Selling Sunset’ for Two More Seasons as Christine Quinn Returns

Netflix has gone all in on the Southern California real estate market.

The streamer renewed the Emmy-nominated docusoap “Selling Sunset” for two more seasons, with production on seasons six and seven set to begin later this summer. 

Set in the world of LA’s high-end real estate, the series follows a team of successful female realtors who all work under the same roof at The Oppenheim Group, which claims to be the No. 1 agency in the Hollywood Hills and the Sunset Strip. The agents work hard and play harder, as they attempt to co-exist in the competitive LA market without backstabbing each other — too much.

The show elevated the profiles of several actor/realtors, including Christine Quinn, Jason Oppenheim, Mary Fitzgerald, her French-born husband Romain Bonnett, Heather Rae El Moussa (who is married to “Flip or Flop” star Tarek El Moussa) and Chrishell Stause, according to an online survey.

Indeed, Tarek and Heather just signed to appear in their own HGTV reality show, “The Flipping El Moussas,” which is sure to complicate matters, while Quinn launched an online realtor service with her husband based on cryptocurrency. Quinn, who masterfully played co-workers against each other for personal gain, was a no-show at the end of season 5 following allegations that she attempted to bribe the client of a follow agent (Emma Hernan) to list with her.

Netflix is set to bow a “Selling Sunset” spin-off show called “Selling the OC,” which features a separate cast of female and male realtors fighting each other under The Oppenheim Group shingle in Orange County. The eight-episode series launches Aug. 24.

Both series are created by Done and Done Productions and Lionsgate, with executive producers Adam DiVello, Sundee Manusakis, Kristofer Lindquist, Skyler Wakil and Jason Oppenheim, among others.

Interestingly, Netflix will also premiere “Buying Beverly Hills,” a real estate soap that follows the agents and clients within Mauricio Umansky’s The Agency in Beverly Hills, Calif., over eight episodes. Mauricio, his daughters, Farrah Brittany and Alexia Umansky, and the talented group of agents highlight the high stakes world of luxury real estate in Los Angeles. The series debuts Aug. 24.

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Separately, Netflix revealed the July 8 premiere of “How to Build a Sex Room,” an eight-episode show based around interior designer Melanie Rose who caters to couples looking for more spice in the bedroom.

“How To Build a Sex Room” (Cr. Caleb Alvarado/Netflix © 2022)

The streamer also announced the  July 27 debut of “Dream Home Makeover” season three, “Instant Dream Home,” which premieres Aug. 10, and “Designing Miami,” which premieres on Sept. 21.

Finally, “Buy My House” is set to premiere this fall featuring homeowners from across America selling their properties, on the spot, to one of four real-estate tycoons, including Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, Corcoran Group CEO Pamela Liebman, NFL Linebacker Brandon Copeland, and investment property magnate Danisha Wrighster.

The unique homes are up for grabs as the owners share heartfelt backstories and engage in heart pounding negotiations with the tycoons. 

Nielsen: Netflix Dating Show ‘The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On’ Topped Weekly Streaming Through April 17

In a switch, reality TV emerged No. 1 among Nielsen households streaming content at home through April 17. Specifically, Nielsen said Netflix’s dating series “The Ultimatum: Marry or Move On” finished No. 1 with more than 1 billion minutes streamed across 10 episodes. 

After weeks of multiple shows topping 1 billion minutes streamed, “The Ultimatum” was the lone content to surpass nine figures in user time spent streaming, besting the streamer’s reruns of “Better Call Saul” with 950 million minutes across 50 episodes, and period drama “Bridgerton,” with 885 million minutes across 16 episodes.

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Source: Nielsen Streaming Content Ratings (Amazon Prime, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix and Apple TV+), Nielsen National TV Panel, U.S. Viewing through Television.

Seasons One and Two of ‘The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch’ Due on DVD June 14

Seasons one and two of “The Secret of Skinwalker Ranch,” about an infamous hotspot of UFO sightings and other wide-ranging paranormal events, arrive June 14 on DVD from Lionsgate.

The series features aerospace engineer and best-selling author Dr. Travis Taylor (TV’s “The UnXplained,” TV’s “Ancient Aliens”) and real estate mogul and current owner of Skinwalker Ranch Brandon Fugal as they and a team of expert investigators explore the grounds, lead targeted scientific experiments, and examine their findings. 

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For more than 200 years, Utah’s Skinwalker Ranch has been the site of hundreds of unexplained paranormal and UFO-related activities, from strange animal deaths to possible gateways to other dimensions to UFO and poltergeist sightings. Using cutting-edge technology to document and investigate the 512-acre property, the nonfiction series provides an unprecedented look inside the mysterious locale.

Netflix Looking for a Few Good Reality Stars

Netflix has launched an online portal giving aspiring reality TV stars the opportunity to join the streamer’s growing portfolio of reality programming. Participants must select a program category and submit a one-minute casting video selling themselves to be considered for future seasons. Entrants must be at least 18 years of age and a resident of the U.S., Canada, U.K. or Ireland.

“Reality TV is a powerful genre,” Brandon Riegg, VP of unscripted and documentary series, wrote in a recent post. “It has the ability to make you invested in who is going to win the big competition or find true love. It also has the ability to bring people together from all walks of life. We love to hear from viewers who feel inspired and accepted after seeing themselves reflected in our shows.”

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Netflix also announced the renewal of three original reality shows: “The Circle” (for two more seasons), “Indian Matchmaking” and “The American Barbecue Showdown.” It also ordered a new series, “Roaring Twenties,” a coming-of-age story of eight twenty-somethings who set out to find success in life and love in Austin, Texas, while learning to navigate the “new normal” of pandemic America.

NBCUniversal’s Hayu Bows Reality TV Streaming Service Overseas on Xbox

NBCUniversal International Aug. 4 announced that Hayu — the ad-free subscription-based reality on-demand (SVOD) service — is now available on Xbox consoles internationally. The deal marks the platform’s first console agreement.

The NBCUI licensed app, which costs €4.99 per month with a seven-day free trial, is expanding to 22 territories via the Xbox Microsoft Store to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

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“It’s been an incredible year for Hayu with 2021 marking our fifth year of operation in the U.K., Ireland and Australia, as well as launches in new territories and expanded global distribution through partnerships with affiliates and device manufacturers,” Hendrik McDermott, managing director of Hayu, said in a statement.

Hayu offers more than 8,000 episodes of unscented subgenres in English, including House and Design, Dating, Cooking, Crime and Fashion. The breadth of Hayu’s content makes it possible to uniquely meet the needs of reality TV fans. Subscribers also don’t have to worry about spoilers as the vast majority of programs are available on Hayu on the day they air in the U.S.

NBCUniversal’s ‘Hayu’ Reality-TV SVOD Service Expands to 11 European Countries

The Kardashians may have ended their primetime TV gig in the United States, but the celebrity clan is helping drive foreign expansion of NBCUniversal’s “Hayu” SVOD service showcasing reality television.

NBCUniversal International Feb. 18 announced expansion of the subscription streaming service to 11 European countries, including Spain, Portugal, France, Italy, Switzerland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic. The $5.99 monthly SVOD service first launched in 2016 in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, followed by Germany and Austria.

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Hayu features more than 8,000 episodes of reality-TV programming, including all seasons of “Keeping Up With the Kardashians,” the franchise’s spin-offs, in addition other franchises such as “The Real Housewives,” “Below Deck” and “Million Dollar Listing.”

“As Hayu prepares to celebrate its fifth anniversary, we are thrilled to [extend] the service to 27 territories worldwide,” managing director Hendrik McDermott said in a statement. “As the premiere destination for world-renowned reality TV content, this multi-territory expansion continues to deliver on our goal of bringing the best reality TV to even more super fans of the genre.”


HBO Max Picks Up Second Season of Reality Show ’12 Dates of Christmas’

HBO Max has announced a second season pickup for holiday dating series “12 Dates of Christmas,” which follows single “leads” as they meet potential love interests and go on 12 dates in the hopes of finding that special someone to bring home for the holidays.

Season one was filmed at a castle in Austria and followed hopeless romantics as they searched for love in a magical winter wonderland. All eight episodes of the first season are available now on Max, and the new reunion episode “12 Dates of Christmas: Unwrapped” premiered Dec. 18. Hosted by D.J. Pierce, the reunion features original “leads” and their love interests discussing everything that’s occurred in their relationships since last Christmas — from settling scores and revealing behind-the-scenes stories, to unmasking secret hookups and answering whether the couples stayed together or said goodbye.

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“’12 Dates’ is the escapist holiday treat we all need right now,”  Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of nonfiction and live-action family at Max, said in a statement. “In season one, we wanted to shake up the snow globe to combine everything we love about holiday romcoms with a clever dating show format and a wink at our audience. We look forward to doing more of the same in season two, with a continued emphasis on casting to represent diversity of experience!”

IMDb: ‘The Boys,’ ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ ‘Tiger King,’ ‘The Last Dance’ Among Top TV Shows in 2020

Amazon-owned movie and TV data base Dec. 8 unveiled the Top 10 TV Shows of 2020 and, for the first time ever, the Top 10 Docuseries and Top 10 Reality and Competition TV Series. Rather than base its annual rankings on small statistical samplings or reviews from professional critics, IMDb determines its list of most popular shows from its proprietary rankings of shows based on the actual page views of the more than 200 million monthly visitors to IMDb.

“Though reality TV was in its infancy when IMDb was founded 30 years ago, it’s grown enormously in terms of the diversity, scale and, in many cases, prestige of its offerings,” Brian Carver, head of content and licensing for IMDb, said in a statement.

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Carver said 2020 proved to be a standout year for TV and streaming series, with an assortment of true breakout shows, turning many of these programs — including Amazon’s “The Boys,” Netflix’s “The Queen’s Gambit,” “Tiger King,” and ESPN’s “The Last Dance” and Netflix’s “Too Hot to Handle” — into cultural moments.

Keith Simanton, managing editor for IMDbPro, said it’s notable that many of the top reality programs have had exceptionally long runs, including an incredible 40 seasons of “Survivor” and 12 seasons of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

“We celebrate these shows for their ongoing creativity and longevity, keeping fans coming back for more, year after year,” Simanton said.

IMDb Top 10 TV Shows of 2020

  1. The Boys
  2. Money Heist (La Casa de Papel)
  3. Dark
  4. Ozark
  5. The Mandalorian
  6. The Queen’s Gambit
  7. The Umbrella Academy
  8. Westworld
  9. The Witcher
  10. The Crown


IMDb Top 10 Docuseries of 2020

  1. Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness
  2. The Last Dance
  3. Don’t F**k with Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer
  4. The Vow
  5. Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
  6. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
  7. Down to Earth with Zac Efron
  8. McMillions
  9. Pandemic: How to Prevent an Outbreak
  10. The Trials of Gabriel Fernandez


IMDb Top 10 Reality and Competition Series of 2020

  1. Too Hot to Handle
  2. Selling Sunset
  3. Love Is Blind
  4. The Great British Bake Off (The Great British Baking Show)
  5. Keeping Up with the Kardashians
  6. The Masked Singer
  7. Top Gear
  8. Survivor
  9. RuPaul’s Drag Race
  10. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills