Growing Up Gotti gives A&E its best new series debut ever; new episodes ordered.

Growing Up Gotti gives A&E its best new series debut ever; new episodes ordered.
In its 20 years on television, A&E hasn’t had a show debut with ratings like those for Growing Up Gotti, which kicked off Monday. A grand total of “[a]bout 3.2 million viewers tuned in, making it A&E’s biggest series debut in its 20 year history,” Broadcasting and Cable points out. Additionally, “Among A&E’s core adult demo targets, 2 million adults 25-54 tuned in and 1.8 million adults 18-49″–and that 18-49 number was also a record. A&E has asked producers for five additional half-hour episodes, according to The Hollywood Reporter, adding to the 20 episodes already set to air. Variety’s account differs slightly, as that paper claims A&E asked for “an additional seven episodes of the skein, bringing the total first-season order to 20 segs.”

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.