Nothing left to live for now that ”American Idol” is over? Au contraire! New reality shows are heating things up this summer with a giddy array of scheming women, warbling children, wretched funnymen, and a whole lot of stuffed bikinis. Here’s a breakdown of what’s new, why you’ll watch, and why you may just have to keep channel surfing (yeah, right).
”FOR LOVE OR MONEY” (NBC, Monday, June 2, 9 p.m.)
THE DEAL Fifteen beautiful bachelorettes duke it out ”Bachelor”-style for the attention of a dashing Dallas defense attorney. The twist comes in the first episode, when the women discover that the lucky winner will decide between taking home Mr. Hottie or a cool million dollars (Mr. Hottie doesn’t know about the deal). This is otherwise known as a Beverly Hills divorce.
WHY YOU’LL WATCH If you thought ”Joe Millionaire” was too darn nice, this damning indictment of cold-hearted golddiggers has your name on it.
WHY YOU WON’T Do we really hate lawyers enough to watch this poor sap get his liver fed to him?
”AMERICAN JUNIORS” (Fox, Tuesday, June 3, 8 p.m.)
THE DEAL Think ”American Idol” for kids. Children ages 6 through 13 compete for one of five spots in a pint-size pop group. Simon is gone (even the cruel Cowell isn’t willing to crush the dreams of a fourth grader), as are the humiliatingly bad first-round auditions – so the producers turn their scathing eye on that most loathsome of creatures: stage parents.
WHY YOU’LL WATCH Brought to us by the producers of ”American Idol,” this show should reduce the cheese factor of NBC’s lame ”America’s Most Talented Kid.”
WHY YOU WON’T But aren’t the so-bad-they’re-good audition tapes and Simon’s scathing critiques a huge part of ”AI”’s appeal?
”LAST COMIC STANDING: THE SEARCH FOR THE FUNNIEST PERSON IN AMERICA” (NBC, Tuesday, June 10, 9 p.m.)
THE DEAL A nationwide comic-talent search executive-produced by ”SNL” alum Jay Mohr brings the 10 best yuksters together to live in a house and compete for the ultimate prize: a contract with NBC.
WHY YOU’LL WATCH Think how much better any season of ”The Real World” would have been with 10 Janeane Garofalos.
WHY YOU WON’T Gosh, a contract with NBC? Well, whatever show they come up with couldn’t be worse than ”Good Morning, Miami.”
”PARADISE HOTEL” (Fox, Monday, June 16, 8 p.m.)
THE DEAL Six men and six women – winners of a subscriber sweepstakes on AOL (EW.com’s parent company) – will live together in a beach resort. Each week one of the group is voted off by his resort mates, while the studio audience (with some help from the other competitors) chooses a viewer to fill the open spot. The point of the show is apparently staying long enough to see how much of Fox’s budget you can blow on your bar tab.
WHY YOU’LL WATCH Bikinis! Intrigue! Voting! It’s almost like ”Survivor,” but with running water and good food!
WHY YOU WON’T What’s the point of ”Survivor” with running water and good food, anyway?
”NORTH SHORE” (WB, Wednesday, June 18, 8 p.m.)
THE DEAL Seven professional surfers are brought together in one house (can’t any of these networks afford separate apartments?) to compete in the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing in Oahu, Hawaii. We follow the cast as they party, surf, and then, um, party. And surf.
WHY YOU’LL WATCH Surfer Danny Fuller, a dreamboat with all the bad-boy credentials to be Rory’s next main squeeze on ”The Gilmore Girls.”
WHY YOU WON’T Unfortunately, no one else comes close to matching Fuller’s brooding hotness. And didn’t MTV already do this (with the far cooler idea of a girls-only cast) with ”Surf Girls”?