Showtime’s American Candidate will follow mock presidential campaign.

Showtime’s American Candidate will follow mock presidential campaign.
The nearly two-year saga that was the build-up to American Candidate is finally over, as Showtime has officially picked up the series. Originally announced in 2002, HBO’s Candidate 2012 was designed to follow, over 10 years, one person’s quest for the presidency in 2012. The show will now take place over just 10 weeks. After HBO and later FX both dumped the series, Showtime stepped up and will air the series as an American Idol-style contest that will leave one winner who may run for President if he or she chooses. As the New York Times reports, contestants will “go through the motions of a mock presidential campaign.” Viewers will narrow the field of 12 candidates; applications are now being accepted from those who will be 35 by inauguration day and are natural-born citizens who have lived in the US for at least 14 years; you can also call 877.RUN.2004 to apply. The Times reports that Showtime received clearance from the FEC after the NRA “complained in a filing with the commission that the producers’ plan to feature real political candidates campaigning would wrongly allow Showtime’s parent, Viacom–which has a political action committee and lobbies Congress–to give candidates a voice without having to abide by election rules.”

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.