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.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.