Challenge debuts tonight; past RW and RR cast members can make $90K a year.

Challenge debuts tonight; past RW and RR cast members can make $90K a year.
Just when you wonder where your favorite has-been MTV reality stars are, they show up again to occupy Monday nights with another cast member battle. Thirty-six faces from the past will compete for three $60,000 prizes. Because they’re completely out of ideas over at Bunim-Murray, this will be known as The Real World/Road Rules Battle of the Sexes 2. Wondering why these kids, many of whom are now pushing 40, keep showing up for these degrading displays of third-grade pettiness? Because they make a crapload of cash from being famous. In its profile of past reality TV stars, The New York Times reports that ex-The Real World and Road Rules cast members and other “reality stars can make $80,000 to $90,000 in campus talks alone.” They often pull in $1,500 to $2,000 for each appearance. While that’s nothing compared to the $15,000 Survivor‘s Richard Hatch makes per appearance, it is a lot more than they’d be making at the Taco Bell, assuming their limited skills could even get them employment there. Coral Smith, whose participation in this latest series marks her fifth MTV reality show, says, “Fun job, fun job. People are lining up outside–it’s harder to get on ‘The Real World’ than it is to get into Harvard. Who am I to say no?”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.