at $2 million an episode, The Contender is the most expensive reality series ever.

at $2 million an episode, The Contender is the most expensive reality series ever.
NBC will cough up $2 million per episode for Mark Burnett, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Sylvester Stallone’s The Contender, making it the most expensive new reality TV show ever produced. An anonymous NBC exec tells the LA Times that with Burnett’s “track record, you are willing to pay a premium because this could potentially be a very lucrative business to be in, even at the high licensing fee we’re paying for an unscripted show.” ABC offered $1.5 million an episode, and FOX offered “nearly $2 million.” Maybe more significantly than cash, NBC offered “an advertising barter component” where Burnett “will buy six spots per episode from NBC and sell them.” The paper also reports that “Burnett also is developing a 13-episode scripted series for NBC based on castaways on an island, a topic close to his ‘Survivor’ heart.” That show will be his fourth for NBC.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.