American Idol 4 debuts January 18.

American Idol 4 debuts January 18.
American Idol will return to FOX in mid-January, debuting with three weeks worth of audition episodes. Starting on Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 8 p.m., and continuing the next evening at 9 p.m., audition episodes will air on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. The semifinal rounds, which have already been taped, will air on Feb. 8, 9, 15, and 16. Then, more than a month after the first episode airs, viewer voting will finally begin.

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.