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?”

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.