NBC’s $25 Million Hoax debuts tonight.

NBC’s $25 Million Hoax debuts tonight.
NBC gets into the twisted game of manipulative reality TV when it debuts the redundantly titled $25 Million Dollar Hoax at 10 p.m. ET. The twenty-five million dollar dollar hoax show will air for three weeks and feature a woman who drags her family through emotional hell so she can get some cash. Her task involves “convincing them she has won the lottery and changed from a level-headed, sweet girl to a selfish spend-a-holic.” If she does this, she gets just $400,000. And we thought no reality show could be cheaper than Big Brother and its tiny prize. Variety’s review compares it to My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance and says the series “offers all the Fox show’s cruelty with none of its humor, though it is fun to watch pretty blond contestant/hoax-er Chrissy Sanford try to think, which kind of looks like it hurts.” The Hollywood Reporter’s review says it is “deception for deception’s sake, playing the audience for fools as much as it does the featured unwitting clan.”
+ also: these shows “cull their stars from the unsuspecting and manipulate them ruthlessly and relentlessly.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

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A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

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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.