“reality producers said they feared the business was at risk because of the rampant pocket picking.”

“reality producers said they feared the business was at risk because of” theft.
Theft of show concepts between networks has become almost as common as . But the situation might be hurting the genre. According to The New York Times, “reality producers said they feared the business was at risk because of the rampant pocket picking.” The paper reports those “producers charged Fox with setting the standard for ripping off reality ideas.” Mark Burnett says, “It’s totally lawless. The judges aren’t really judges” and says, “It’s just very, very competitive. Do I sound like I’m happy? I’m obviously not happy.” He’s not happy now because FOX took his idea for a boxing series and will now likely air its version before his NBC version debuts. Last week, he and partner Jeffrey Katzenberg met with FOX’s Peter Chernin and Gail Berman last week, and he says “[i]t was a tough meeting. Anyone wandering into that restaurant would have witnessed quite an animated discussion.” Burnett says he’s not likely to sue: “The courts are loathe to do anything about this.” Instead, he says, “The best thing to do with Fox is get even” by producing a better show.

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.