Mark Burnett: “I was confident Survivor would be a cult phenomenon.”

Mark Burnett: “I was confident Survivor would be a cult phenomenon.”
The Chicago Tribune’s TV critic, Steve Johnson, talks to Survivor creator Mark Burnett about manipulating journalists (“On most of the questions, you can’t believe a word I tell you.”), not what the cast will do once they’re playing the game (“it’s impossible to predict”), the show’s battle with NBC’s Friends (“I didn’t know whether we would get our ass kicked Thursday nights by “Friends”) and the lawsuit (“It’s not true.”).

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.