NBC’s The Biggest Loser debuts tonight.

NBC’s The Biggest Loser debuts tonight.
Twelve people will compete with themselves and their appetites tonight as NBC debuts The Biggest Loser at 8 p.m. ET. Caroline Rhea will host the nine-episode series, which will award a quarter million dollars to the person who loses the most weight. Apparently, though, how much the contestants weigh will contribute to who goes home but won’t be the deciding factor: During the show, “two competing teams follow comprehensive diet and exercise plans to undergo radical physical makeovers,” and following “physical challenges, surprising alliances and irresistible temptations,” contestants “ultimately have to decide which player gets eliminated each week.” Caroline Rhea tells the Boston Herald that she wishes the show “was called something like ‘The Fantastic and Supportive Show’,” but says it was okay for them to dangle tempting foods in front of the cast members’ faces: “My experience has been that the moment I’ve left that situation, like when I’ve gone to a diet place, I’m eating on the airplane, I can’t get to something bad fast enough. It’s really behavior modification to see whether or not they’ll make the right choices, and you will be really impressed with the choices these people make.” Executive producer Dave Broome tells the Grand Rapids Press that he wanted “to do (a makeover show) the right way, with no stapling, sucking or surgery.”

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.