Television Without Pity

The Ten Reality TV Franchises That Should Be Benched

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The doctor is out: Dr. Drew can enjoy some R&R now that his reality shows are on the shelf (VH1)

The doctor is out: Dr. Drew can enjoy some R&R now that his reality shows are on the shelf (VH1)

VH1 has wisely decided to give "Celebrity Rehab" and "Sober House" an indefinite break. While the network claims that the shows could return at some point, it's about time that VH1 gave the Dr. Drew-led shows a rest. Here are some other unscripted programs that could take a break for a season or two (or longer!) and then maybe come back when they've got something fresh to offer fans.

10. "Sister Wives"
When this show started, it was filled with promise, but now we're stuck with the Browns house-shopping repeatedly and constantly buying furniture. And we certainly don't ever need to see the wives work out again, or anyone else have a baby. We'd like them to take some time off before we hate them as much as we hate the Gosselins.

9. "What Not to Wear"
This show is beyond stale. Hell, we could do the makeovers ourselves by now: Take people who like sweatpants. Fix their hair, put them in clothes that fit, toss on some high heels, and pound on the pancake makeup. Voila.

8. "The Biggest Loser"
Much as we love to ogle Dolvett's fine physique, two seasons a year and two hours an episode have worn us down. Even watching people get tortured during Last Chance Workouts has lost its luster. And we've developed such unrealistic perspectives of weight loss from this show that if the contestants don't weigh 500 pounds and lose 30 a week, we feel let down.

[See Who We Think Will Win This Season of 'Biggest Loser']

7. "Survivor"
In a cost-cutting measure, the series has been filming seasons back-to-back in the same location. But, boy, is that boring for us at home. They recycle the challenges as well, which further dilutes the air of originality, plus they keep bringing back former contestants instead of seeking out some unique new individuals. They're so lazy, they don't even seem to do many reward challenges these days.

6. "Top Chef"
There are "Masters," "Just Desserts," and original flavor, and given how dull this current season of "Top Chef" has been, something's got to give. The main series is so desperately trying to hammer home the Texas theme that the show is suffering. If we have to watch one more meat-preparation challenge, we may be out. And while the online Last Chance Kitchen concept could have infused the show with a new twist, it seems like an afterthought on the air.

5. "Project Runway"
The All-Star season just started, but that's a separate series with new judges and hosts. If there's no Tim Gunn, it's not really "Runway." But the original show has gotten so bloated and dull that we could do without it for a while. They need the time to seek out designers who realize the competition is about more than sewing and who have some inspired edginess to their clothing instead of ones who produce things we've seen a million times before.

[Check Out Photos of the 'Project Runway All-Stars' Cast]

4. "The Real World"
Seven strangers picked to live in a house and drink copious amounts of alcohol. They've been to every city possible, most of them twice. At this point, the show seems to just be a breeding ground for new "Challenge" participants, and for people who want to promote their lame pet projects in increasingly obvious ways.

3. "Hell's Kitchen"
This Gordon Ramsay-hosted series seems like it's always on since it alternates with "Kitchen Nightmares" (which could also use a timeout) and "MasterChef." But, really, there are only so many incompetent chefs being screamed at that we need in our lives. At this point, how is Gordon going to find new ways to insult people? Will they ever properly cook beef Wellington? Who cares?

2. "Keeping Up With the Kardashians"
Actually, we'd like to bench any Kardashian-related show, especially after the clearly staged-for-attention wedding. Let's give Kim and her big ass a rest, OK?

[The Kardashian Wedding Made Our List of the Year's Worst Shows]

1. "The Amazing Race"
We love this show, but lately it's been subpar at best. The series needs some time to recharge, find new destinations, and plan stunts that are actually challenging. Remember when a woman had to shave her head or risk being eliminated? Contrast that with untying some knots, setting up beach umbrellas, or, God help us, typing. Let's bring back the excitement instead of just running a pale imitation of a once-great program two seasons a year.

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