Dirk’s testimony released; reveals Mark Burnett suggested an alliance.

Dirk’s testimony released; reveals Mark Burnett suggested an alliance.
Dirk Been’s testimony in Stacey Stillman’s lawsuit against CBS and Mark Burnett was released today. CBS has issued a press release, which says that Dirk voted for Stacey himself, and was not “coerced” or “manipulated.” But it also says that Mark Burnett “suggested that Mr. Been form an alliance to vote against Ms. Stillman and to keep Rudy Boesch on the island.”

+ update: Aaron Barnhart points out the “damning” part of the release at his TVBarn.com site and asks the key question: “Was anyone else similarly influenced by Burnett?” Also, the first news stories are starting to appear; ABCNews.com’s AP story reports the above and adds that Dirk was upset because Mark Burnett told him on the phone last summer that their conversation about Stacey never took place. CBS’ lawyer says all the info “supports the integrity of this show.” CBS News runs an AP story, too, although with a fun headline and spin that proves their journalists to be quite the team players: “Castaway: No Coercion.” If you want to read the raw materials, Peter Lance has them, of course. He posts Dirk’s letter to Mark Burnett, plus a PDF file of Dirk’s entire testimony; links are on the front page of his site, The Stingray.

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.