reality TV helps, worries insurance cos.

reality TV helps, worries insurance cos.
Who do we have to thank for letting us have our reality TV? The insurance industry! The chief entertainment underwriting officer of the St. Paul Travelers Companies says that “reality TV is the fastest-growing segment of the entertainment insurance industry.” And that means insurance companies stand to make a bunch of money, as “Insurance rates on a reality TV show with physical stunts can be 20 to 50 percent higher than a standard program shot in a studio,” according to an AP report. But to avoid paying out a huge claim, they’re actively involved in making sure the shows are safe. The AP reports that for a recent Fear Factor stunt, a “team of risk-control analysts questioned, analyzed and triple-checked every detail of the stunt. The cow tongues had to be properly cooked and certified as safe to eat by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; the lard had to be fresh from a supermarket freezer.” Kenneth Wefer, the owner of “an engineering company based in Los Angeles that helps insurers evaluate stunts,” tells the AP that it’s a dangerous game: “One death. One dismemberment. That’s all it could take to end reality television.” Wait, is he kidding? A dismemberment would make the best. reality. series. ever., and after getting huge ratings, would lead FOX to create I Want to be an Amputee.

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.