It's January, and in the world of television, that means the fall freshman duds have been cancelled -- sayonara Animal Practice and 666 Park Avenue -- to make way for a fresh crop of shows and television specials. Here are five that probably aren't worth your valuable free time.
#5. Stars in Danger: The High Dive (January 9, Fox)
Unfortunately for viewers, the stars won't be in any real danger during Fox's upcoming Stars in Danger: The High Dive two-hour special. Perhaps if they partially drained the pool or populated it with ravenous alligators we could work up some enthusiasm for the show. Those deciding to tune in should plan on keeping Google on speed dial, as even by reality standards, "stars" is a bit of a stretch for this cast. We imagine Dancing With the Stars contestants were snickering when they heard the lineup: Bethany Hamilton, JWoww, Alexandra Paul, Kim Richards, Kyle Richards, Terrell Owens, Antonio Sabato Jr., and David Chokachi learn to dive and/or belly flop with the help of Olympian Troy Dumais. Fox appears to have hustled this one out of the gate, no doubt to pre-empt ABC's Celebrity Diving series, which premieres in March. Sources say ABC's series is based on a hit Dutch show, while Fox claims its special is based on a German one -- which we're guessing means that it's packed with more schadenfreude moments.
#4. Double Divas (January 10, Lifetime)
A reality show set in a lingerie shop -- no doubt this would have been a titillating premise if it had debuted in 1993 rather than 2013. Unfortunately for Double Divas, the Internet is a thing now, and watching zaftig women try on brassieres is about as racy as driving a Zipcar. While the eye-catching trailer does boast a woman endowed with ginormous breasts, we doubt that the possibility of a glimpse of middle-aged sideboob is enough to add this one to your "Must See TV" list.
#3. The Carrie Diaries (January 14, CW)
The latest incarnation of the Sex and the City franchise premieres on the CW this month. The Carrie Diaries is a prequel to the hugely popular HBO series and movies. Smart move, considering that the age of the original cast would practically necessitate the "girls" swapping blow job stories at a retirement community as the next chronological scenario -- and The Golden Girls already had that territory pretty well covered. From the trailer, we gather that life in 1984 is one big extended-play Adam Ant music video, and young Carrie had a bunch of ethnic friends before she ditched them in favor of the Waspy crew that made up her inner BFF circle on HBO. Unless you have a burning desire to learn how vapid, self-absorbed twits come to be, you'll probably want to give this one a pass.
#2. The Pro Bowl (January 29, NFL Network)
While the Pro Bowl draws bigger television ratings than all other major sports all-star games, it's arguably the least watchable in pro sports. Scheduling the game the week before the Super Bowl means that many of the top picks have better things to do than play a glorified game of touch in Hawaii. But by far the biggest problem is that NFL athletes understandably don't want to risk injury in a "just for fun" competition, and the lack of contact renders the Pro Bowl about as exciting and intense as a game of red rover.
"Oh God, please don't touch me!"
#1. Pete Rose Hits and Mrs. (January 14, TLC)
Baseball's Charlie Hustle is the latest celebrity to dip his toe into the fetid waters of docudrama reality programming. The Learning Channel's Pete Rose: Hits and Mrs. follows the 71-year-old MLB legend and his 31-year-old busty fiancee -- former Playboy.com model Kiana Kim -- as they prepare for their upcoming nuptials.
Baseball fan / the future Mrs. Pete Rose
Will the adult children from Pete Rose's previous marriages ever approve of his new special lady? Is Ms. Kim a gold digger? These are questions the show promises to answer -- we're just not sure who's asking. On the upside, at least now being ineligible for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame won't be Pete Rose's most humiliating life experience.