Booty and bingo dominate summer TV

For anyone planning to watch television this summer, be ready for a heaping dose of reality. The networks have picked up more reality shows than any other genre. Here is a look at some of the most interesting – and bizarre – reality and game shows coming this summer.

CBS will try to cash in on the Pirates of the Caribbean hype with the reality show Pirate Master. Sixteen contestants will spend over a month on a 179-foot pirate ship in Dominica. Each episode they will go on an adventure while gathering clues and gold that will eventually lead one of them to a $500,000 booty, earning him or her the title of “Pirate Master.” Hosted by Australian actor Cameron Daddo, the show begins May 31 at 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, On The Lot is the filmmaker’s answer to American Idol. The show pits short films from amateur filmmakers against each other, giving the audience the chance to pick the best of the bunch. Like American Idol, the judges thin the competition before opening the contest up to viewers. The Simon, Paula and Randy of the show are Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia from Star Wars), Garry Marshall (director of Pretty Woman and Georgia Rules), Brett Ratner (director of the Rush Hour movies) and Jon Avnet (director of Fried Green Tomatoes and Risky Business). On the Lot starts Tuesday, May 22 at 9 p.m. on FOX.

And just when people started to think Friday nights were boring, ABC decided to create National Bingo Night to mix things up. With a sleek set complete with one of the biggest bingo dispensers and British host Ed Sanders, the network attempts to appeal to younger viewers by depicting this mellow contest in the same dramatic fashion as modern game shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? and The Weakest Link. Viewers can play at home for free and have the chance to win a variety of prizes from a seven-day cruise to $500,000. National Bingo Night starts May 18 at 9 p.m.

Similarly, NBC takes a stab at updating a mundane concept for today’s viewers with Age of Love. The show has 30-year-old professional tennis player Mark Philippoussis trying to find true love with 13 women, the twist being that the women’s ages range from early 20s to late 40s. The show asks, “Does age matter?” Age of Love premieres June 18th at 10 p.m.

Those who don’t find reality television appealing may have to settle for reruns, since most new shows are trying to keep it real.