success of product placement on Queer Eye means it now comes with a fee.

success of product placement on Queer Eye means it now comes with a fee.
Remember when Queer Eye gave companies free product placement in exchange for great stuff? A refresher: a producer said, “They’re giving me a location, and they’re giving us product. Why would I charge them? That would be horrible.” Apparently, not being horrible was so 2003, and being horrible is now in, because getting your stuff on the show comes with a price. Why? Unmitigated greed, of course, but also because having a product featured on the show equals instant sales. Remember the chofa? The company that produces it says they’ll sell $1 million of them this year, and its CEO tells Fortune, “It’s the most amazing marketing vehicle that Domain has ever been able to do. And it wasn’t even our idea.” And that’s just the beginning; at Illuminations, “sales of a sconce spiked 365% following the program.” So, now “some mentions come with a pricetag–Oral-B says it was quoted $20,000.” A spokesperson tells the magazine “that there are no fixed prices, and adds that everything used on each episode is chosen by the Fab 5.”

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.