On Gear Live: Geared Up: Hot New Apple Watch Features Coming to watchOS 7 & More Apple Rumors w/ Guest Jon Prosser

Mark BurnettBecause there’s nothing that Mark Burnett can’t handle—he will now be taking control of the MTV Movie Awards as executive producer. Now, we can’t expect any Burnett production to be without twists. But what can he do to an awards show? Make the nominees compete in elaborate challenges? Send the award losers to exile island? Have Donald Trump fire someone? Well, he can’t do too much to the awards, but he is changing things up a bit by televising the MTV Movie Awards live for the first time. Burnett won’t be altering much of anything, and the kooky categories and movie parodies that fans enjoy will stay put. He does plan to include some “bombshell moments” to make the broadcast more interesting. MTV president Christina Norman says in a statement, “Mark has great ideas and vision for the Movie Awards, and I know he’s going to bring some fresh energy to the show.” The MTV Movie Awards will air on June 3rd.

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Gallery: Mark Burnett Takes on MTV Movie Awards


The Apprentice The sixth installment of The Apprentice returns in January, with a heavy dose of contestants who are lawyers, plus a Mark Burnett twist. In this season, Burnett will take a page from the book of Survivor and subject each task’s losing team to a less-than-desirable consequence. In seasons’ past, the team who won each task would be treated to a special dinner or shopping spree, while the losers retreated back to the apartment to sulk. This time, the losers do their sulking as they camp in the backyard in tents, with outdoor showers and porta potties. The humanity! Viewers will also see a change in locale—former seasons have used NYC as home base, while the sixth edition calls Los Angeles home. Another fresh spin is that the winning team’s project manager gets to continue as PM until the team loses, and gets to sit in on the boardroom firing for the losing team. It’s nice to see them shake up the format a little, since this franchise has grown more and more stale as the seasons progress. Look for it on NBC on Sunday, January 7th at 9:30 p.m.

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Gallery: The Apprentice Returns in January—With a Twist

Amazing RaceOK, I admit it, sometimes the “All-Star” concept can stink. But in this case, The Amazing Race may bring back some great contestants to have another go at it. Hey, if nothing else, it beats the pants off of the “family edition” they did! So, who will be back for the All-Star edition? So far, Rob Mariano and Amber Brkich of Survivor fame and David and Mary Conley (Team Kentucky) look to be making a comeback. Season five couples Colin Guinn and Christie Woods as well as Mirna Hindoyan and Charla Faddoul are also rumored to make the cut. Rumors were swirling that season six’s Jonathan Baker and Victoria Fuller may return, but thankfully the ever-grouchy Jonathan will not be on the All-Stars. Season nine winners BJ Averell and Tyler MacNiven and season five winners, Chip and Kim McAllister will also not be returning. The Amazing Race: All-Stars began filming in Miami last week. The remaining stars have yet to be confirmed, but look for this newest installment next year!

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Gallery: Amazing Race: All-Stars

The Amazing Race Save the date—two of your reality faves will air their season finales in December. The Amazing Race will wrap up season 10 on December 10th, while Survivor: Cook Islands will air its finale on the following Sunday. The Amazing Race will crown the winner in just one hour. Survivor, of course, continues to drag their finale to the three hour mark. The first two hours are the last moments on the island, while the last hour announces the winner, live, followed by the reunion of the cast members.

The Amazing Race continues to go strong, even in its tenth season. The winner of four Emmys, Race was moved to Sundays for this season and has averaged 11.15 million viewers. Survivor is still keeping viewers interested in its 13th season, despite the move to provide a racial split among tribes this go-around. The negative press did bring some attention—then the show merged the tribes after the first two episodes, so the whole “social experiment” was moot. Despite it all, Survivor still averages about 16.7 million viewers.

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Gallery: Survivor and Amazing Race Finales Set for December

Leonardo DiCaprioThe latest reality show premise comes courtesy of Leonardo DeCaprio—and promises to deliver some environmental messages. Currently in development, DiCaprio’s environmental series, E-topia serves up home makeovers of the eco-friendly variety. In this case, a team will reconstruct a town in America into a “‘green’ utopia of tomorrow.” While the reality series is not yet on any network’s plate, it is being shopped around. The makeover is no quickie solution, as it’s anticipated that each eco-friendly re-do will take months. Adding to the mix are a team of workers unfamiliar with working with “eco-idealists.” The idea came from executive producers Craig Piligian (Survivor) and Tom Mazza (Treasure Hunters), with DiCaprio, an environmental advocate, taking on the task as co-creator and executive producer. “We’re going to take a devastated community and help transform it as a prototype for the future,” Piligian said. “At the end of the day, we’re all going to have to change the way we live, the way we burn and use fuel ... We’re trying to show the country and the world by example, town by town by town, how we can change the way we live and fight global warming.”

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Gallery: Leonardo DiCaprio Pitches E-topia

Survivor logo If you are on the fence about whether or not to watch the new season of Survivor because of its racial experiment, you’re not alone. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) opposes the concept of splitting the teams by race, but will “reserve judgment until the reality-TV show actually airs.”

“Concerning the new season of Survivor, whether we like the concept or not—and for the record, we do not—it is premature to judge the show purely on conjecture,” according to a statement from the NAACP. “We will judge the show on what we see, and we will monitor the public response.”

In response, executive producer Mark Burnett said, “I agree with the NAACP in that ‘there is no escaping the reality that race is a complex and emotional issue in America, one we are still reluctant to confront and address,’ and I am happy that they have reserved judgment until they watch the series. I would encourage anyone to follow this lead and watch at least a few episodes to get a clear picture of how the dynamic will play out.”

The new season of Survivor: Cook Islands begins on Thursday at 8 p.m. The 20 contestants will be divided into the following groups: black, white, Hispanic and Asian.

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Gallery: NAACP Reserves Judgment for New Season of Survivor

Amazing RaceThings are starting to kick into high-gear now with the introduction of three high-profile reality shows and the finales of several others:

Sunday Night Football (7pm EST on NBC):  TV sales will increase once women realize that football season will contend with Desperate Housewives.
FOX Comedies (starting @ 8pm):  Those men not already watching football—and/or live on the West Coast—will have a line-up of father-oriented comedies to watch:  The Simpsons, American Dad, Family Guy and The War at Home.

9/11 Anniversary (various):  Most of the networks will choose to pay tribute on the 5-year anniversary.  Other programming will most likely be interrupted by a scheduled Pres. Bush speech at 9pm EST.

Big Brother (8pm on CBS):  The finale between Mike Boogie and Erika.  Sadly, someone has to be chosen the winner.  Maybe they can just have each other.
Dancing with the Stars (8pm on ABC):  The 2-hour debut of the ABC powerhouse.  Am I the only one who believes that Mario Lopez still deserves some karmic embarrassment for cheating on Ali Landry before their wedding?

Today Show (NBC):  The debut of Meredith Vieira.  I’m betting she’s happy to have a little more testosterone in her life.
Rock Star: Supernova (8pm on CBS):  The winner will be announced.  If Dilana doesn’t win, I’ll be boycotting CBS.

Survivor:  Cook Islands (8pm on CBS):  My 24-hour boycott of CBS will have ended when I return to watch this controversial racial experiment.  Being 1/2 Asian, 1/2 Hispanic…I’m not sure which team I will root for.  I just know that if those two tribes merge, the other groups could be in a world of hurt.

SUNDAY (9/17)
The Amazing Race 10 (8:30pm on CBS):  Twelve teams of two will depart from Seattle and travel around the world.  Twelve teams of two will also be that much closer to Phil Keoghan than I will ever be.

Gallery: The Week Ahead in TV

TV Week Here’s a look at the highlights for the upcoming week.  In addition to more Fox premieres, we have several new personalities to prepare for:

CBS Evening News:  The long awaited debut of Katie (or Katherine?) Couric.  Will she be able to turn the perkiness off at night?
The View (ABC syndication):  The premiere of of Rosie O’Donnell.  My Tivo is ready…let the catfights begin!
House (8pm on Fox):  Will House’s limp return?  And will Hugh Laurie’s British accent come back with it?
Standoff (9pm on Fox):  Romance between hostage negotiators?  Now that we already know the plot, do we have to watch?
Nip/Tuck (10pm on FX):  The Carver is gone but Kimber’s vanity was still attacked.  I’m guessing she still won’t be fat anytime soon.

‘til Death (8pm on Fox):  Brad Garrett and Joely Fisher play an old married couple who have to contend with annoying newlyweds…and My Name is Earl, and Survivor and Ugly Betty...
Happy Hour (8:30pm on Fox):  It’s has something to do with a newly single dude, his new roommate and the neighbors he meets.  Kind of sounds like Joey and in a similar time slot.  We can guess what will happen from here.

Nanny 911 (8pm on Fox):  Do parents home on a Friday night really want to be reminded about why they aren’t going out?

Gallery: The Week Ahead in TV

Survivor Logo General Motors has decided to no longer sponsor Survivor, despite their six year run with the series. The timing of this decision seems to coincide with the series’ new twist to pit races against each other, however, GM says that it had nothing to do with their decision to pull sponsorship. GM spokeswoman Ryndee Carney told the Associated Press, “I think it’s just a coincidence. I know it’s not cause and effect.” Instead, GM insisted that Survivor simply did not fit in with their current marketing strategy—“to focus more on product placement and big-ticket live events, like sporting competitions and award shows.”

While most would agree that the news does seem to be a direct effect of this season’s segregated tribe format, CBS did confirm that GM announced the end of their sponsorship several months before the new season’s twist was announced. CBS spokesman Chris Ender said, “GM had no knowledge of [this season’s] ethnic format.”

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Gallery: Survivor Loses GM Sponsorship

Survivor logo I had read a couple of days ago that the new season of Survivor would pit races against each other, but quickly dismissed it as rumor. Now I see the story has been confirmed by People magazine, reporting that Survivor‘s new twist this season will be to divide the contestants by ethnicity. The cast of Survivor: Cook Islands will have 20 contestants divided into four tribes: black, white, Asian and Latino. Said creator and executive producer, Mark Burnett, “We’re going to take some heat for it, but it’s a great cast.” Take some heat for it? It may generate a lot of discussion and, therefore, more interest (translating to higher ratings), but it also may come back to bite them. Since the show is in its 13th season, perhaps there are fewer innovative twists to introduce, but this seems a drastic approach. Host Jeff Probst said of the new season, “Some people will think this is controversial. Others will think, ‘What’s the big deal?’ Either way, it’s going to be very interesting.”

The diversity of this season’s cast was a result of ridicule that the show has been largely comprised of white contestants. Said Probst of the lack of diversity, “Most of the people who apply are white—that’s just a fact.” This season will pit the races against each other and perhaps have each group tackling racial stereotypes. With a pirate theme, tribal councils are set to take place on a shipwreck built on the coast of the island.

Survivor premieres on September 14th.

Read More | People

Gallery: Survivor Plays the Race Card