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.

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.