Abby’s Ultimate Dance Competition is a reality dance competition that aired on the Lifetime Network. Heading up the series is the outspoken and often loud, Abby Lee Miller, from the series “Dance Moms”. Hosted by former MTV host, Kevin Manno, this series follows twelve boys and girls from ages 6 through 13 competing for the grand prize. The grand prize winner receives $100,000 cash and a scholarship to the Young dancer program at the Jeffrey Ballet School in New York City. Judging the competition with Abby is celebrity choreographer, Richard Jackson, and founder of the Pussy Cat Dolls, Robin Antin. Each episode follows the young dancers as they are given weekly challenges and learn new dance routines to perform in front of the judges. Abby is known for her yelling and often shrewd behavior throughout the serious. The contestants are coached by their own mother, who is also maneuvering in shark infested waters against and around other competitive parents. One child is eliminated by the judges each week after competing in the often stressful, yet rewarding competition.
Alias Smith and Jones was a western series that aired in 1971 on ABC about two outlaw cousins trying to reform. Hannibal Heyes (Pete Duel) and Jedediah “Kid” Curry (Ben Murphy) are the most famous bank and train robbing outlaws in the West. After realizing that they can’t keep up with the changing modern times, they decide to get out of the outlaw business. Heyes and Kid never actually killed anyone in their outlaw escapades, so they are able to make a deal with the territory governor. If the two can keep out of trouble for a period of time then the governor will grant them a pardon. The one catch they face is that they still remain on the wanted list until the deal is complete. Heyes and Kid take on the aliases of Smith and Jones to hide themselves from bounty hunters and law men that are out to bring the pair to justice. The new Smith and Jones take on an honest living with retrieving stolen items and taking down other outlaws. Often the pair find themselves being stuck in sticky jams where they are forced to commit crime or avoiding being caught.
Adam 12 was a police drama series that aired from 1968 to 1975 on NBC. The show focused on two police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) and Jim Reed (Kent McCord), as they patrol the streets of Los Angeles. The series gave one of the first realistic looks into the everyday life and work of police. The premise of the show is centered around the officers working in the patrol unit 1-Adam-12, thus giving the name for the series, Adam 12. In the beginning of the first season, Reed is a fresh out of the police academy rookie who finds himself partnered up with veteran officer, Malloy. In the weeks preceding Malloy had lost his partner, who was killed in trying to apprehend a bank robber. After the death of his partner, Malloy was debating on even staying on the police force when he realized that his new rookie partner is not ready to be working in the streets of L.A. alone. Malloy and Reed partner up and ever episode takes on new plots from police chases to burglaries.
The Academy is a reality series that aired on Fox following new police recruits as they go through the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy. This series goes behind-the scenes with the new police recruits as they go through 18 weeks of rough training. The first season started with 111 recruits in class 355 for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department along with recruits for other city police departments. In each episode there are recruits separated, or dropping out of the strenuous training academy. Out of the 111 recruits there were 24 separated for personal choice, injury, failed exams, or due to instructor’s advice. The class is led by head drill instructor, Deputy Miley or “the Ramrod”, who doesn’t always think the class, has what it takes. This reality series has everything from action, drama, to even romance when two classmates fall for each other. Each season leads up to the graduation when they realize their hard work paid off in the badge they awarded.
Taking its cue from the X Factor, The Voice is a multinational music competition on a quest to find the planets greatest vocal talent. What sets the show apart from its rivals is the refreshing change from the usual done-to-death talent show format. Contestants perform in blind auditions in a bid to impress judges with their talent alone—completely dispelling the idea that they are progressing through the competition based on their image rather than vocal skills. Once impressed, judges turn their chairs round as a signal of their interest, after which the ball is then left in the contestants court, as they decide which judge they’d like to work with. As the show progresses, singers take to the stage to duel each other in a unique sing-off, before showing what they are made of by competing live in the finals.
Alcatraz is a science fiction thriller that aired on Fox about a prisoners and guards that strangely disappear from the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary in the 1960’s. In 1963, 256 prisoners and 46 guards mysteriously disappear from the Alcatraz Penitentiary. The government tries to cover up the disappearances by saying the prisoners were transferred and closing the prison for harsh conditions. Federal agent, Emerson Hauser (Sam Neill), who was in charge of transferring prisoners knows differently. In present day the prisoners and guards start returning one by one with no recollection of their disappearance. The stranger part is that the guards and prisoners never aged. Headed by agent Hauser, a secret government team is formed under the FBI to bring in the inmates one by one. Joining Hauser’s task force is a quirky character, Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto (Jorge Garcia), who is a comic book store owner that happens to be a leading expert on Alcatraz. The plot thickens when police detective, Rebecca Madsen (Sarah Jones), discovers about the reappearing inmates when her partner is killed by one. Soon after, Madsen is brought in the secret agency in helping recover the prisoners.
What better way to get to know the inner workings of your company, than to disguise yourself as a brand new employee and go undercover in your very own firm? The idea started off in the U.K, with Undercover Boss examining some of Britain’s largest companies. Since then, Undercover Boss has become a reality sensation across the globe, with the show taking off in Australia, Germany, Canada and even the United States. Each episode follows the corporate manager turned espionage agent, as he/she embarks on a quest to get to know the companies employees, before ultimately revealing their true identity and rewarding those who’ve shown outstanding merit. Undercover Boss is The Secret Millionaire of the business world, but with plenty more awkward yet amusing situations to entice the viewers at home.
Dancing with the Stars is an American reality show competition that challenges celebrities to learn and master the art of ballroom dance. The celebrities come from a variety of backgrounds such as actors, athletes, musicians, and even astronauts. Each celebrity is coupled with a professional dancer, who is ultimately responsible for their development and training. Their dances are pre-selected and they perform week to week on styles that range from the fox trot to the tango. Overseeing their progress and analyzing their technique is a panel of three judges. These judges are experts in the world of ballroom dance. They give ratings on the performance on a scale of 1-10 and provide feedback. Ultimately, the decision of who continues on and who stays behind is up to viewers at home via a voting system.
On the outside, Glee is Fox’s answer to High School Musical. Look deeper and it’s an enthralling drama with the relationship complexities of One Tree Hill, paired with a hilarious comedic scenes. Glee focuses on telling the story of McKinley High School’s very own glee club, known as New Directions, who compete to win show choir competitions. Underneath, the show tackles common teenage issues, such as relationships and sexuality, but Emmy award-winning Jane Lynch who plays a hilariously quick-witted cheerleading coach, is always on hand to provide Glee with a hearty helping of humor. From Michael Jackson’s Thriller, to disco-infused Saturday Night Fever, each episode centers around a particular song or theme, allowing viewers to tap their toes away to popular music while becoming enthralled in the social lives of the characters.
The Good Wife is a drama about the wife of a prominent figure and his incredibly public sex scandal. Alicia Florrick is played by Juliana Margulies, the wife of Peter Florrick (Chris Noth), the former state attorney of Cook County. He is jailed after the scandal and was accused of political corruption and hiring a prostitute. It is loosely based on the scandal that happened in New York State involving former governor Eliot Spitzer. Alicia is faced with the issue of standing by her man during a devastating period in her life made public, or moving on. She ends up returning to her old job as a litigator, which she was very successful at prior to being married and being a stay at home mom to two children. Margulies has won multiple awards for this show.