Mark Cuban will give away $1 million on ABC’s format-less The Benefactor.

Mark Cuban will give away $1 million on ABC’s format-less The Benefactor.
Mark Cuban, the owner of Dallas Mavericks, will give away $1 million for absolutely no reason, on a show that has absolutely no format. Naturally, The Benefactor will air on ABC, which is desperate to get into the reality TV game with something more than Bachelor spin-offs. In an e.mail interview, Cuban tells the Dallas Morning News that the format is simple: out of 30 contestants, one “person is going to get on my good side at the right time, and whoever that is, is going to walk away with a check from me for $1 million. … I can promise you it will be a journey, with some of the rules made up along the way.” The paper reports that the UK’s “12 Yard Productions approached ABC with the idea, and a search began for a host.” ABC’s Andrea Wong tries to spin the lack-of-a-format thing by calling it “a show without boundaries” that “can take infinite twists and turns.”

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.