Darkness (Discovery)


Darkness (Discovery) – Premieres 2nd August

Survival competition vaguely in the style of Naked and Afraid, three individuals are given basic survival items and enter a cave system at staggered intervals. The three then have to find each other, and when together, have to find the exit all within a 6 day time limit. All with the added stipulation that they can’t use any lighting in the pitch black caves.

Like Naked and Afraid and other such survival shows the contestants can bring along one additional item with their set pack to help them with the challenge. Along with showing the three perform the task, the programme shows their backstory and to why they decided to do the challenge, as well as interviews with army personal who have actually done similar as part of their training explaining what the three could be expected to go through.

As a survival competition it isn’t as watchable as something like Alone, nor is it as good as a military based training challenge like The Selection: Special Operations Experiment. That said, it still does a job.


Signed (VH1)


Signed (VH1) – Premieres 26th July

Music competition where a group of hopeful singers and rappers go in front of music moguls Lenny S, The Dream & Rick Ross with the chance of getting signed.

It begins with the 3 auditioning the hopefuls and whittling them down to a group that they believe have the best chance of development. They then select the top 3 performers who are then put on priority list, where they give them the opportunity to work with producers and the like to work on their music. And if the performers don’t impress during their time then they get sent home.

As a singing competition it is more like The Pop Game than the usual X-Factor type talent show. That said it’s still not that interesting a watch.


Dessert Games (Food Network)


Dessert Games (Food Network) – Premieres 10th July

A dessert spinoff to Guys Grocery Games, where baker Duff Goldman hosts a competition where four pastry chefs go head to head through three rounds and the winner gets $10k.

In the first round the four are challenged to create a dessert within a set budget where after their dishes have been tasted by the three judges the worst performing contestant is eliminated. The second round is a themed round where they have to create something within a 20 minute time limit and once again the loser get booted out. In the last round the final two go up against each to create a dish where a set ingredient that should be no where near a dessert is incorporated.

It’s a standard cooking competition, where if you liked Grocery Games this is more of the same.


Planet of the Apps (Apple Music)


Planet of the Apps (Apple Music) – Premieres 6th June

A Dragons Den/Shark Tank style show where app developers pitch their product in the hope to get venture capitalist investor funding and to get their app featured in the Apple App Store.

The show begins with the developers giving a 60 second pitch to the four advisors of Gweneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, Will.I.Am and Gary Vaynerchuk. If at the end of the pitch at least one advisor likes what they hear they are given the chance to talk about their app in more detail. After explaining what they  do the advisors then make a final decision in if they want to help the developers in the next round.

After getting through the first round the developers meet up with the advisor that they chose to help them, and together begin work on creating the pitch they’ll be giving to the venture capitalist in six weeks time. When the pitch is finalised the developer and advisor go in front of four members of a VC firm and like the first round, if the investors like what they hear the funds for them to progress their app are offered.

For what it is it’s pretty much a mix of Dragons Den and All-American Makers, though not as watchable as the aforementioned.


Boy Band (ABC)


Boy Band (ABC) – Premieres 22nd June – Cancelled

Singing competition hosted by Rita Ora where 30 lads are judged by three “architects”, Nick Carter, Timbaland and Emma Bunton, where the final five singers remaining will become a signed boyband.

The initial round of the show has all 30 performing indivdually in front of the “architects”, followed up where a couple of the contestants are chosen to pair up to see if they can perform in certain boyband scenarios.

After which the “architects” whittle the 30 down to 18, and three groups of 6 are formed. These groups then have to go through learning a song and routine where the weakest two members are put up for elimination with the loser leaving the show.

For a singing competition it’s no different to The X Factor and the like, where the performers backstories all seem to have varying elements of personal tribulations set to emotive backing tracks. The show offers nothing different to what is already out there and is a slog to sit through.


Superhuman (FOX)


Superhuman (FOX) – Premieres 12th June

A talent show where 5 seeming regular folk try to impress the studio audience and panel of judges the with their unique abilities, where the most impressive wins $50k.

Each of the contestants abilities demonstrate heightened mental capacities ranging from observational skills, maths, memory and the like. To show off their skills the are put through a live test where after completing it receive the verdicts from judges that include a neuroscientist who theorises on how their skills have come about.

After the 5 have completed their tests the judges pick the top three performers, then the crowd gets to vote on who of the remain three wins the prize.

For a talent show the uniqueness makes to more watchable than you’d expect, and yet it’s vaguely similar to the challenges last seen on an episode of You Bet.


Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC)


Steve Harvey’s Funderdome (ABC) – Premieres 11th June

A take on Dragons Den/Shark Tank where in front of a studio audience two inventors pitch their product leaving the audience to vote on which product should receive the funding.

In the show it goes through three seperate areas of inventions, where the creators can win between $10k to 100k depending on how close the product is to be ready for release. After the pitches are finished and Steve Harvey has completed his range of befuddled expressions, the crowd proceed to vote on their favoured invention.

Before the winner is revealed the two inventors are given the opportunity to cash in early where they can buzz in during a cash reveal to accept a lower cash value if they think their product won win the vote. If someone does take that cash then the remaining inventor gets the total cash only if the crowd backed them. If no one decides to cash in early the it does to a straight head-to-head reveal where the winner gets the money and the loser gets nowt.

It’s not the greatest bit of programming but is watchable enough if you need to waste 45 minutes and like seeing a crowd decide on a products future after seeing a 3 minute pitch.