A&E, PBS plan different Chicago-based reality TV shows that will follow improv actors.

A&E, PBS plan Chicago-based reality TV shows that will follow improv actors.
Both A&E and PBS are planning competing reality TV shows that will be filmed in Chicago and follow the lives of improvisational actors. PBS is creating Comedy Tonight, a show which is produced by a team including Second City and Saturday Night Live cast member Tim Kazurinky. The 11-episode show “will follow the process of auditioning dozens of improv actors and narrowing them down to a single team. … Shooting is expected to take place from January to April, with the series debuting in June,” the Chicago-Sun Times reports. A&E’s show Laugh Track “is already being shot at Second City by documentary crews,” according to the paper, and “it may air as a series or a onetime special.”

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.