CBS’ Big Brother 5 debuts tonight.

CBS’ Big Brother 5 debuts tonight.
Thirteen human beings you’ll undoubtedly loathe move into the Big Brother 5 house when the show debuts at 8 p.m. ET. The special hour-and-a-half episode kicks off the series that debuted four summers ago shortly after Survivor, but which has always remained its bastard cross-eyed cousin who has a slightly asymmetrical face. Thursday episodes at 8 p.m. will show nominations and evictions; Saturday episodes at 9 p.m. will be watched only by those without lives. And if you’re a gigantic loser, you can pay money to watch the housemates do things like sleep, and I know this only because I used to watch them. Despite the fact that one season of the show featured a near-knifing/making out session, Newsweek reports that the series is “the reality show even reality-show addicts shun.” Yet it “is one of the most successful shows in all of television.” Besides being insanely popular overseas, here “CBS has kept it around because its audience is one of the network’s youngest.”

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.