American Candidate may air on Showtime as a fake race for President.

American Candidate may air on Showtime as a fake race for President.
The initial concept behind American Candidate–the second incarnation of a presidential election-related series produced by RJ Cutler–involved the show being an American Idol that had consequences beyond CD sales. The winner would possibly go on to represent run in the presidential election next fall. Perhaps because of the cost that forced FX to abandon the project, Showtime is now exploring the series as “a simulated presidential campaign,” as the AP reports. “The 10- to 12-week series” would air next summer, and viewers would ultimately vote for a winner. However, donations to the candidate would go to charity, and some parts of the series, such as debates and press conferences, could be “staged.” Even if it is fake, the series could face legal consequences; thus, “Viacom is awaiting an answer from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on whether the program could violate election laws.” Problems could arise if the candidates endorse real candidates, or maybe choose to run for office.

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.