Mark Burnett admits to using stand-ins and re-enactments during Survivor.

Mark Burnett admits to using stand-ins and re-enactments during Survivor.
Mark Burnett “sometimes uses re-enactments of the program’s competitions–played out by stand-ins for the contestants–to help give [the show] high production values,” The New York Times reports this morning. Stand-ins recreate certain challenges and other events during Survivor for helicopter and other shots that would otherwise show the production crew on the ground, “ruining the aerial effect.” What does Mark Burnett have to say? “I absolutely couldn’t care less–I’m making great television.” CBS tells the times that it’s just “window dressing–it doesn’t involve the contestants and doesn’t in any manner influence the outcome of any challenge or change the result of what happened.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.