Apprentice 2’s “innovative, new, fun way of selling” can cost companies $2 million.

Apprentice 2’s “innovative, new, fun way of selling” can cost companies $2 million.
The relentless product placement on The Apprentice 2 transcends ordinary product placement, as “entire episodes have been built around” individual companies and products, the LA Times reports. The paper says “companies are paying ‘product integration’ fees of up to $2 million to put their goods center screen, plus in some cases hundreds of thousands more to buy ad time from NBC. That money buys them a large measure of control over how their products are portrayed.” The report details M&M Mars’ involvement in last night’s episode, from the refurbishment of an unused factory for filming to the nature of the challenge. Executive producer and creator Mark Burnett says all of this is “an innovative, new, fun way of selling. … The show is entirely about entertainment. … ‘The Apprentice’ is supposed to be about business, so it’s very appropriate to have these big companies with name brands testing these young guns who want to make it big.”

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.