sit-coms, reality TV will share equal amounts of time on fall schedules.

sit-coms and reality TV will share equal amounts of time on fall schedules.
For the first time in television history, reality television and situation comedies will both occupy network schedules for the same number of hours. And the number of hours of reality TV–just over 20–that will be on TV each week is just shy of half the number of hours that dramas occupy. As BackStage.com reports, “According to the Screen Actors Guild, the upcoming fall network TV schedule includes 20.5 hours of reality programming per week, an increase of 128 percent over 2003. These figures include ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, UPN, and WB. The increase in reality television leads to a decrease in production of scripted series. This fall, the number of half-hour comedies has plummeted from 52 to 41, a 21 percent drop. Hour-long dramas are down from 48 last fall to 45 this year.” The site reports that this shift is hitting casting directors hard, as casting talentless whore nobodies for reality TV shows is quite a different type of work than casting talentless whore actors. Those actors are also facing tough choices, such as whether or not to get attention by exposing their ugly, nonscripted personalities to the world on shows such as Big Brother.

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.