producers hate Idol product placement ads, but are forced to produce them.

producers hate Idol product placement ads, but are forced to produce them.
Of the Ford ads that run during American Idol 3, one of the show’s executive producers says “I hate the damn things.” Ken Warwick says that in the UK, the system “absolutely forbids any interference within the program by any sponsor, by any advertising, or any product placement whatsoever. It’s just completely forbidden. So in truth, yes, I find a lot of them painful.” So why do they air? And why are they so ridiculous? Simple: “We’ve got no say in the commercials.” According to MTV.com, FOX “requires the producers to include the promotional segments in the Wednesday elimination episodes.” And producers “have no time to do them justice,” nor do they “have a huge budget that a properly produced commercial will have,” Warwick says. Eliminated finalist Leah LaBelle disagrees, saying “[t]he Ford commercial was real cool”; other contestants similarly attach their lips to Ford’s ass.

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.