FTC kills American Idol phone scam.

FTC kills American Idol phone scam.
The FCC saves us from unwanted breasts, and the FTC saves us from stupid mistakes. People who called certain wrong toll-free phone numbers to vote during the first two seasons of American Idol were told to dial a 900-number, only to be told what the correct voting toll-free number. The scam was born when “three Utah-based companies bought dozens of phone numbers very similar to the toll-free numbers that Idol fans call to place their votes.” According to the AP, “The three companies have agreed to pay a civil penalty of $40,000 for engaging in deceptive conduct and violating federal law, the commission said.” Roughly 25,000 stupid people paid “up to $3 per call during the 2002 and 2003 seasons.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.