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.”

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.