21.5 million watched Survivor; lowest debut yet “pummel[s]” competition.

21.5 million watched Survivor; lowest debut yet “pummel[s]” competition.
Although the 21.5 million viewers who watched the debut of Survivor Pearl Islands represented “the franchise’s smallest debut audience since its first edition back in the summer of 2000,” the season premiere “pummeled its competitors,” The Washington Post reports. In a press release “CBS noted that 4.5 million people were without power in mid-Atlantic markets due to Hurricane Isabel,” but as the Post points out, “[a] quarter of them would have had to tune in to CBS to make up the difference between the audience for Thursday’s debut and the audience accrued by the first episode of Survivor: Thailand last fall.”

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.