12 of top 20 shows are reality; TV “being driven by reality television.”

12 of top 20 shows are reality; TV “being driven by reality television.”
Here’s an article to print out and shove up the nostril of the next person you encounter who disses reality TV: As the New York Times reports, “In the current television season, 12 of the top 20 shows are reality shows.” And the president of 20th Century Fox Television, Dana Walden, says that the TV “business is being driven by reality television.” NBC’s Jeff Zucker agrees, says they realized that “the next ‘Friends’ was not a half-hour scripted comedy. It was The Apprentice.” FOX is essentially skipping the fall premiere season because of June premieres, fall baseball, and a presumed winter American Idol 4. Other reality TV shows will replace failed scripted shows. That has fallout for writers and actors: “big paydays for actors are drying up” and writers “can no longer command a big overall deal worth millions to create pilots,” the paper reports. Some good news: Another NBC exec says that advertisers are excited about “the right kind of reality–upscale reality.” In other words, maybe we’ll see fewer little grooms and more billionaires with scary hair.

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.