sponsors, not NBC, paid for Restaurant.

sponsors, not NBC, paid for Restaurant.
The product placement on NBC’s The Restaurant, which debuted Sunday evening, is hard not to notice; there are lingering shots of the American Express logo in the opening sequence and ads for the Mitsubishi that Rocco drives. There’s a good reason for that, beyond normal product whoring: “NBC did not have to pay for the show, it only had to commit to air it,” because the advertisers funded it, Reuters reports. Coors, Mitsubishi, and American Express each paid for one third of the show, and will share fifty percent of the regular advertising time. The Boston Globe calls the approach “a less obvious approach to marketing.”>

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.