If you like Syfy's Face Off (as I do), then you're already predisposed to enjoy the channel's new reality competition series Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge (Tuesday, 10/9c), which often feels like a shot-by-shot copy, complete with fetching female host (Farscape's Gigi Edgley), insane time pressures in producing elaborately fanciful Henson-esque creatures, and a three-member judging panel including the likable Brian Henson (Jim's son and chairman of the Henson Company with its fabled Creature Shop). What Creature Shop may lack in originality it makes up for in creative energy, with the contestants further challenged in mentoring sessions by being made to focus on having the full-body costumes be fully functional for the skilled Henson puppeteers within. The climactic "Screen Test" reveals are fun to watch, and the critiques (as in Face Off) are smartly constructive.
His agents must be dying. Dominic Monaghan has a blue-chip acting career—topped by The Lord of the Rings trilogy and the TV phenom Lost—yet he's risking it all for Wild Things With Dominic Monaghan. The new BBC America nature series (premiering Tuesday at 10/9c) finds the Brit star trekking through Asia, Africa and South America in search of creepy creatures — flesh-ripping ants, giant carnivore centipedes, waterbugs that turn their prey to liquid. And he'll merrily rappel into subterranean, snake-filled caves or swim in a croc-infested waters. Is he nuts? No, just fearless.