Italy’s Big Brother, Grande Fratello, is Europe’s most popular version of the show.

Italy’s Big Brother, Grande Fratello, is Europe’s most popular version of the show.
With more than one-sixth of Italy’s population tuning in to Grande Fratello, the nation’s version of Big Brother, the show is the most popular incarnation in Europe. According to Time magazine, production company Endemol says that “only Spain–another Latin country–has ratings that are close to those in Italy.” How popular is it? Earlier this year, the show had “a weekly share of 34% over three months, and more than 11 million viewers (in a country of 58 million) tuning in for May’s final episode.” Unlike other gimmicky versions of the show, producers in Italy rely on “people who are bound to babble.”

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.