DeAnna Pappas of 'The Bachelorette'
As it did last year, ABC
will load up on reality fare for the summer, bringing back a couple of familiar titles -- "The Bachelorette"
and "The Mole"
-- and hoping to latch on to the mania for all things "High School Musical" with a new competition series.
The network will roll out eight shows between mid-May and mid-July, beginning with a new season of "The Bachelorette" on Monday, May 19 (the final week of the regular season). The show, which will star Deanna Pappas -- who was left rose-less in the finale of "The Bachelor"
last fall -- will debut with a two-hour episode following "Dancing with the Stars" and will continue with 120-minute installments for the duration of its summer run.
The following week, ABC will resurrect "The Mole" after an absence of several seasons. New host Jon Kelley ("Extra") will put 12 players through a series of challenges while one of them, the Mole, works to sabotage their chances of collecting more cash. It will air at 10 p.m. Mondays starting May 26.
"High School Musical: Summer Session" premieres Sunday, July 20 and will feature contestants spending time at a music camp to hone their performing skills. The winner gets a secret prize that ABC is billing as "the opportunity of a lifetime" and which we're guessing has something to do with the "HSM" franchise (the third movie is set for a theatrical release in the fall).
ABC's other summer series are:
"Wipeout," in which two dozen people try to complete a gonzo obstacle course for a $50,000 prize, with the producers promising "the most crashes, face plants, impacts and wipeouts ever seen on television." It will be paired with "I Survived a Japanese Game Show," which features the experiences of 10 Americans recruited to take part in one of Japan's off-the-wall game shows; both series premiere Tuesday, June 24.
"Hopkins," an ABC News documentary series about the staff of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore premiering Wednesday, June 26. It's a follow-up "Hopkins 24/7," which aired in the summer of 2000.
"Dance Machine," a competition in which six amateurs perform a variety of dance styles each week, with a top prize of $100,000 at stake. It premieres Friday, June 27.
"Wanna Bet," a game show in which celebrity panelists (including Drew Lachey, Scott Hamilton and Bill Engvall) wager on whether a series of stunts and mental challenges can actually work, with their winnings going to charity. Hosted by the British comedy duo Ant and Dec, the show premieres Monday, July 21.
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