May 23, 2012 7:19pm PT by Jethro Nededog
TLC's Summer Slate Highlights Offbeat and Eye-Opening Programming (Exclusive Video)
TLC is about to kick off its new and returning series for the summer. And hot off the presses, The Hollywood Reporter has the first look at the cable network’s summer sizzle reel.
Over the years, TLC’s brand has evolved to finding new ways of seeing the world around us. From the unexpected restorative qualities of a new wardrobe on What Not to Wear to exposing the madness of wedding day perfection on Say Yes to the Dress, and even the sheer drama and hilarity behind making your one-of-a-kind dessert on Cake Boss, their shows give us a peek behind-the-scenes on the people and services we may take for granted.
The network has also become synonymous (and sometimes comes under fire, cough, Toddlers & Tiaras) for featuring subcultures many of us had no idea existed or had access to before. The lifestyles portrayed on shows like Sister Wives, Extreme Couponing and My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding can seem quite unlike the lives we lead, but can also give us a whole new understanding of those who may have once seemed strange to us.
Continuing in that vein, TLC’s summer season starting Thursday offers more new and returning series that offer unique perspectives on the people, cultures and services that surround us.
Watch THR’s first look video at TLC’s summer programming above for a taste of what's to come. Below, you’ll find the series descriptions and premiere dates.
On The Fly - Premieres May 24 at 9/8c - On the Fly takes viewers on an exploration of the modern air travel experience. Going into airports across the country, the series shares an insider’s view of Southwest Airlines – at the gates, in the air, and behind the scenes – revealing the hectic, unexpected, and over-the-top happenings with customers and employees. The premiere episode highlights a wheelchair passenger unleashing her wrath after missing her flight. A passenger travels in disguise to surprise his flight attendant girlfriend with a proposal. And a supervisor must determine if a man is fit to fly after a few drinks.
Tattoo School - Premieres May 24 at 10/9c - taped at Shreveport, LA’s renowned World's Only Tattoo School, will provide prospective tattoo artists with a once-in-a-lifetime, two-week intensive course on the art of tattooing. Instructed by Dr. Bill Pogue, the class includes an array of artists with different goals and expectations. Whether it is a career change, secret talent or desire to turn life around, Pogue's students will develop the necessary knowledge, skills and experience to break into the highly-competitive tattoo industry. Over the two-week intensive course, students will be tested on three ‘real world' challenges that mimic the situations they may find themselves in as a working tattoo artist. Upon graduation, the student with the best final, original tattoo is gifted with a golden gun, which will last for their entire career.
My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding - Season one continues Sundays at 10/9c - The series goes inside the hidden world of American Gypsies and explores this tight-knit community while offering unprecedented access to their lives. Welcoming viewers into their homes, trailers, and inviting them to their infamous Swarovski Crystal-studded weddings, TLC is building on the worldwide success of the UK series MY BIG FAT GYPSY WEDDING.
Big Brooklyn Style - Premieres May 29 at 10/9c - a new series that follows husband and wife business owners Lisa and Jim Dolan, as they revise and revolutionize the norms of plus-size shopping experiences in their Brooklyn clothing store, Lee Lee's Valise. Each episode will focus on three different customers as their intimate shopping experience at the store, combined with Lisa's distinctive clothing line, helps transform their lives.
Randy to the Rescue - Premieres June 15 at 10/9c - Every week on TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress, Randy Fenoli makes brides’ fantasies come true. He’s one of the most trusted names in bridal fashion and every bride-to-be wants to work with him. But what’s a girl to do if her budget doesn’t include a trip to New York? For the first time ever, Randy is going where he’s never gone before - behind the wheel of a big rig - to bring his favorite gowns, his unsurpassed dress knowledge, and his signature "head-to-hem" styling approach to brides across America!
Sister Wives - Season three continues Sundays at 9/8c - It’s been a year since the Browns abandoned their home in Utah for a new hope in Las Vegas, but their lives have been anything but peaceful. Christine continues to struggle with her unhappiness in her marriage to Kody, while Robyn finds caring for her young baby Solomon to be all consuming. Finally, Meri must decide on whether to accept Robyn’s offer to be a surrogate and carry a baby for her, but will it be too much for her to handle. From a fistfight and a bloody nose, to one deeply unhappy wife, Kody has his hands full trying to pull this larger-than-life family together.
Cake Boss - Premieres season five Monday, May 28 at 9/8c - Season 5 kicks off with a bang as Buddy makes a cake for Baby Carlo’s first birthday that’s fit for a prince! Meanwhile, Next Great Baker winner Marissa learns just what it means to be a part of the crew. And things turn serious when Grace gets fed up with Mary's lateness!
Extreme Couponing - Premieres season three Monday, May 28 at 10/9c - This season follows some new couponers who have unique motives as to why they love to clip n snip. In the season three premiere episode, viewers will meet University of Louisville student Dominique, who teams up with his fraternity brothers to throw the biggest toga party the university has ever seen. The only way they can afford to do it is if Dominique pulls off the most extreme coupon shopping trip he's ever attempted. He pushes his frat brothers to any lengths to get the coupons he needs, including going door to door in togas asking for coupons and singing for coupons in the quad
What Not to Wear - Season 9 returns with new episodes May 29 at 9/8c - What Not to Wear is back and this time it's live in front of a studio audience. Filmed in front of hundreds of adoring fans, our contributor, Anna, gets the ultimate fashion surprise when confronted by our fashion experts, on-stage in New York City.
Say Yes to the Dress - Season 8 kicks off June 15 at 9/8c - Season eight kicks off with Bride Aimee declaring she wants a dress that’s tight, blingy and to use her words "a little slutty." Yovanna and her two friends have flown in to find her a dress that shows off the figure she’s so proud of. Sahar, a belly dancing paralegal, has her fitting.
Email: Jethro.Nededog@thr.com; Twitter: @TheRealJethro