The Watchman: Grocery Gala on ABC; Offbeat Life Suggestions on HBO; Kilcher Clan Back on Discovery

Supermarket Sweep
‘Supermarket Sweep’ (Image credit: ABC/Eric McCandless)

Supermarket Sweep is back! The game show from the late ’90s/early 2000s is on ABC, and Leslie Jones hosts. Jones was a die-hard watcher as a kid, and reached out to Fremantle about bringing it back. 

“Leslie brings an unparalleled amount of energy to everything she does,” said executive producer Wes Kauble. “If there’s one thing Supermarket Sweep needs, it’s that bombastic personality in primetime.”

Three teams of two battle it out using their grocery-shopping skills. Fremantle built a store in an airplane hangar in Santa Monica. “The supermarket has grown up quite a bit in the last 20 years,” Kauble said. “It’s definitely a primetime supermarket now.”

Jones feels contestants’ pain when they lose and their joy when they win. Contestants can come away with $100,000, a far cry from the original show’s $5,000 jackpot. “You can watch people’s lives change in a matter of seconds,” said Kauble. 

How To with John Wilson

How To with John Wilson (Image credit: HBO)

How To with John Wilson premieres on HBO Oct. 23. A documentary filmmaker, Wilson films random New Yorkers while passing along life lessons, such as How to Make Small Talk. 

Wilson’s how-to videos on Vimeo caught the eye of Nathan Fielder of Nathan for You. Fielder got some meetings, and a show for Wilson. 

“I’m surprised HBO picked it up,” Wilson said. “It’s such a low budget, dangerous show.”

Nathan for You, which saw Fielder help struggling businesses with often loony suggestions, lasted for four seasons on Comedy Central. Wilson called it a dream to have Fielder on board. “We’re very similar,” he said. “We both want the same things out of our work.”

These are certainly polarized times, but Wilson said How To taught him to work past that to find what makes people tick. “The gray areas are always more interesting than the polar ends,” he said. 

Season 10 of Alaska: The Last Frontier rolls on Discovery Oct. 25. The Kilcher family is fighting its usual array of harsh elements, and a pandemic to boot. Just after production began in March, crews were evacuated. The homesteading family shot their own footage. 

It offers a unique perspective on a unique family. “By following them through their own lenses, viewers will experience the Kilchers’ resiliency, tenacity and their incredible work ethic in an up-close and personal way,” Gretchen Morning, executive producer, said. 

Why do viewers love watching the Kilchers? “For many of us, living on our own terms and defining our lives is something we long to do,” said Morning. “It’s somewhat a part of our American ethos. And so seeing the Kilchers do so both on a daily basis — and for three generations — is inspiring and motivating.”

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.