28 million watch American Idol 3; Simple Life “lost episode” will air Mon.

28 million watch American Idol 3; Simple Life “lost episode” will air Mon.
Tonight, American Idol 3 faces The Apprentice. But on the first evening of the premiere trifecta, American Idol did very well for FOX: 28 million people watched the show, 1.5 million more than tuned in last January for the second season’s debut. That helped My Big, Fat, Obnoxious Fiance, which started after Idol ran eight minutes into the 9 o’clock hour but which still lost about seven million of its viewers. The show “reached more than 21 million viewers and averaged a 9.9 rating in the 18 to 49 group,” The New York Times reports. The paper says a “lost episode” of The Simple Life will air next Monday to help Big Fat get even bigger and fatter numbers. Meanwhile, the star of the show is in big fat trouble: Randi Coy “interrupted her first year of teaching at Thanksgiving break to begin taping the show,” The Arizona Republic reports. Worse, she’s a “first-grade teacher at Pope John XXIII Catholic School Community in northeast Phoenix.” Her principal “sent a letter to parents, alerting them to Coy’s leave and upcoming TV appearance” and says that Randi hasn’t talked to him about the show, and is still on leave. He says, “You can’t be teaching and do a show like that.”

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.