FOX axed gay jokes, which Ryan says were used “to break stereotypes.”

FOX axed gay jokes, which Ryan says were used “to break stereotypes.”
The increasingly bitchy banter between American Idol 2 host Ryan Seacrest and judge Simon Cowell was stopped by FOX, Entertainment Weekly reports. Producers were told to end the sexuality-suggesting gay jokes, during which the two made references to gay culture that were rather “knowing references for a pair of just-kidding guy’s guys,” as EW’s Mark Harris writes. Ryan says the references are “just a joke” that were “never meant to be mean-spirited” but instead exist “to break stereotypes”; he compares the jokes to his ribbing of Randy for not speaking in complete sentences. EW’s Harris suggests the jokes were part of the show’s “larger conservative vibe,” which recently has included the decision to record “Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA,’ a virtual Republican national anthem.”

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.