more death warrants issued for reality.

more death warrants issued for reality.
Rather than running from the room, shrieking, every time I read one of these reality-tv-is-dead stories, I might as well collect them. That way, we can later point at these reporters and laugh, like I frequently do to AP TV critic Frasier Moore, who famously pronounced reality TV to be “sputtering.” Four years and three months ago. Idiot. Anyway, Knight Ridder’s Jonathan Storm reports on the rise of some dramas this fall, but tempers his response by noting that “It’s far too soon to declare a renaissance for prime-time serials.” However, he loses all cred by declaring that “A far more certain trend is the wholesale viewer tune-out from reality series that assemble a cast of supposedly regular folks and leave viewers, the cast itself or an omnipotent mogul to direct the plot.” Additionally, he overstates the case a bit elsewhere, writing, for example, that “ABC’s ‘Benefactor’ is bankrupt and will be canceled Monday after only six episodes,” which overstates the case just a wee bit (it was only eight eps to begin with, and the series isn’t being cancelled). Deep breath. Okay, next: FOX News’ Marla Lehner is, I’ll admit, a lot better in her analysis, although she still overreacts a bit, and fairly, with balance, underplays FOX’s collossal reality failures this fall. She quotes TV Guide Online’s Michael Ausiello, who says, “I definitely think the genre had reached a saturation point. I don’t think the genre is dead by any means. I do think the weak shows will fall off quicker than they used to and the stronger ones will stay on.” That’s a rational assessment. But she also writes that reality “is losing its cachet” and cites the fact that “several reality staples have suffered declining ratings and a few newcomers have already been axed or cut down.”

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.