If TV is seeming more and more like a swamp lately, then that’s because an increasing number of reality shows are originating in the swampy locales of the deep South.
Two cases in point: These new unscripted shows in development at A&E, which announced a bunch of new shows on Wednesday. The cable channel’s two swamp-based series (both in the development stage) are “Cajun Blue,” about the everyday work lives of sheriffs down in the bayou (Terrebone Parish, La., to be precise); and “Duckmen,” about a family in the duck-hunting business. Also located in the Louisiana swampland, this duck-hunting clan manufactures duck calls and decoys, among other products.
Why single out these swamp shows? Because they join a growing number of swampy series already on the air, including “Swamp People” on History Channel, “Swamp Men” on NatGeo Wild, “Swamp Wars” on Animal Planet, “Swamp Loggers” and “Swamp Brothers” on Discovery and probably a few others.
One other show on the A&E list also “bore” a resemblance (pun intended) to at least one other show already on the air – “Hogs Gone Wild” on Discovery – about people who make their livings capturing feral pigs when the animals become disruptive to humans. A&E’s new show is called “Boar Hunters,” about a family in Texas engaged in that very same pursuit.
Here’s what else intrigued us on the A&E development list:
“In-Laws”: At last, a reality series about the uneasy relationship between married men and women and the respective families they each married into. In this new series, couples whose relationships are on the rocks due to in-law issues receive counseling and, hopefully, the help they need to mend their marriages.
“Ship Happens”: Sometimes a show’s title alone is enough to sell it to a network and that might have been the case with this cleverly named reality series about independent truckers who make their livings hauling stuff other trucks won’t touch such as herds of goats (according to A&E).
“Storage Wars: Dallas”: Yes, storage-locker auction fans, in the tradition of the “CSI” shows on CBS, A&E has begun the process of creating “Storage Wars” spinoffs based in other cities – this one in Dallas. In case you didn’t know, “Storage Wars” has emerged as a huge hit for A&E. And of course, the original has been renewed for a second season too.
Scripted dramas: In the tradition of “The Glades,” which A&E has already renewed for a second season, here comes “Big Mike” starring Greg Grunberg in the title role – playing a beefy police detective plying his trade in sunny San Diego. Also on the way: “Longmire,” a detective series based on the “Longmire” mystery-book series by Craig Johnson.
Another Michael Crichton miniseries: Following its adaptation of “The Andromeda Strain,” A&E is producing a miniseries from another Crichton work – his 1978 film of the Robin Cook novel “Coma.” This new miniseries is from Ridley and Tony Scott.