American Idol 4 begins its run tonight.

American Idol 4 begins its run tonight.
American Idol 4 debuts with a two-hour premiere tonight at 8 p.m. ET, followed by an hour-long show tomorrow night that also airs at 8. (Next week it airs for an hour at 8 both nights, and eventually settles into a Tuesday night at 8 and Wednesday night at 9 pattern; during the semi-finals, the show will air Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.) The show is undergoing some changes, including a shift in the semi-final structure, as 12 men and 12 women will face off during that round. The show also gets a new set and graphics, woo. Although it’s obvious that FOX needs this show to recover from poor ratings in the fall, FOX president Gail Berman told TV critics “we can expect to see audience dispersion and some declines. I think that is only natural.” She added, “What surprised me last year, its third year, was that its audience grew. We certainly don’t expect to see that this year.” In other words, if the ratings suck, we’ll look like we expected it; otherwise, we can pretend that the show is defying our low, low expectations.

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.