With ‘Boy Band,’ ‘Candy Crush’ and more, summer TV has more reality than you can shake a stick at

ABC’s “The Gong Show” is hosted by Tommy Maitland (who is probably Mike Meyers).
(Bob D’Amico / ABC)

Summer is upon us and so is a television landscape full of new competition series and game shows. The theme for this new crop of family-friendly entertainment appears to be “recycling,” as most are classic concepts with a slightly new twist. Here are a few:

“World of Dance”

Premieres: May 30 on NBC

Premise: Picture “America’s Got Talent” and “So You Think You Can Dance” having a very overproduced baby. “Shades of Blue” star Jennifer Lopez executive produces and sits on a judges panel that includes Derek Hough and Ne-Yo.


“Beat Shazam”

Premieres: Now playing on Fox

Premise: “Name That Tune” for a new era, “Beat Shazam” is going to generate lots of winning contestants if the song recognition technology is as spottily accurate as the actual phone app. Hopefully host Jamie Foxx’s catchphrase is “Oops! We didn’t quite catch that.”

“The Gong Show”

‘The Gong Show’ will be hosted by Tommy Maitland, who may or may not be Mike Myers.
'The Gong Show' will be hosted by Tommy Maitland, who may or may not be Mike Myers.
(Bob D’Amico / ABC)


Premieres: June 22 on ABC

Premise: The cult classic talent show created by the late Chuck Barris has been remade for modern audiences by producer and “Arrested Development”/“BoJack Horseman” star Will Arnett. It will include a rotating panel of guest judges including Andy Samberg, Anthony Anderson, Elizabeth Banks, Dana Carvey, Alison Brie, Will Forte and Jack Black among others. Oh, and it’s hosted by “British comedian Tommy Maitland,” who is most likely Mike Myers in elaborate makeup. Sweet dreams.

“90s House”

Lance Bass
Lance Bass
(Rich Fury / Getty Images)

Premieres: Aug. 16 on VH1

Premise: Modern youths are stripped of their electronic gadgets and forced to live like it’s the 1890s. No, sorry, that would actually be fascinating. Instead, they’re made to live like it’s the 1990s with the decade’s dial-up modems and wired phones, as if that were the Dark Ages. Also, Lance Bass of ’N Sync will be there.

“Boy Band”

Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and Spice Girl Emma Bunton
Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and Spice Girl Emma Bunton
(Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP | Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

Premieres: June 22 on ABC

Premise: The series looks to find singing talent to mold together into a pop group, not unlike how the British series “The X Factor” created One Direction. With Spice Girl Emma Bunton and Backstreet Boy Nick Carter joining the show, ABC seems ready to recapture the halcyon days of ’N Sync and 98 Degrees with a show that says “We ordered this before we closed the deal on our ‘American Idol’ reboot.”



Premieres: June 14 on Game Show Network

Premise: A seeming twist on “Classic Concentration,” which featured contestants competing to decipher a rebus, except now the rebus is made entirely of emojis. Because of course it is.

“Battle of the Network Stars”

1978 “Battle of the Network Stars” featuring Gabe Kaplan and Robin Williams.
1978 "Battle of the Network Stars" featuring Gabe Kaplan and Robin Williams.
(ABC Photo Archives / ABC via Getty Images)

Premieres: June 29 on ABC

Premise: Another reboot of a classic competition show, but this time one that forces mid-level TV celebrities to compete in athletic events for our entertainment. It’s no “Circus of the Stars” but it will have to do for now.

“Candy Crush”

CBS series “Candy Crush”
CBS series "Candy Crush"
(Johnny Vy / CBS)

Premieres: July 9 on CBS


Premise: An adaptation of the cellphone game that forced you to block all your cousins on Facebook, individuals face-off on interactive game boards while host Mario Lopez looks on.

Read more stories from our summer television preview here.

Twitter: @SarahARodman