2002: the year in reality TV.

2002: the year in reality TV.
For a genre that was declared dead in 2001, 2002 certainly was an active year. From The Osbournes to American Idol, new shows debuted that became the talk of the nation. A look at the Google Zeitgeist and the Lycos 50 for 2002 reveal that searches for reality TV shows are still prevalent, and best and worst lists (USA TODAY’s, The New York Post’s, the American Film Institute’s, The New York Times’). While some shows bounced around from network to network (No Boundaries) or were just cancelled (Under One Roof), it looks like we’re won’t see the genre’s popularity break for a while, judging by the stream of shows that are being planned and renewed.

Unlike in 2000 and 2001, when reality blurred recapped the past year in reality TV, this year we present a link to the archives, because we are way too tired after the holidays to recap so much news. And there was a lot of news this year–801 individual posts over 52 weeks, to be exact, although many of those contained multiple links to different stories. So, dive in to the 2002 archives and begin exploring. From the debut of The Osbournes to Kelly’s victory on American Idol, there’s plenty to revisit.

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.