on Fear Factor, death, injury is “a matter of when and how bad. It’s inevitable.”

on Fear Factor, death, injury is “a matter of when and how bad. It’s inevitable.”
Fear Factor‘s stunt coordinator and senior producer Perry Barndt says that a death or injury on Fear Factor “is not a matter of if. It’s a matter of when and how bad. It’s inevitable. It doesn’t matter how good you are or how careful you are. Somebody can get hurt.” Broadcasting & Cable reports on the business of keeping contestants safe, and covering networks’ asses. It reports that “Producers of scripted shows typically budget 3%-5% of total production costs for insurance. That can balloon to 7%-10% for reality shows. For Fear Factor, which costs upwards of $1 million an episode to produce, insurance can run $100,000 for every completed hour.” Jonathan Paulsen, chief underwriting officer for St. Paul Travelers Entertainment, which ensures Fear Factor, identifies some limitations (no contestants in cars that go over 30 MPH) and shows that he won’t insure (“shows that feature hidden cameras or involve some sort of hoax … because you do the shot and then, afterward, go back and try to get a release from the person you just scared or embarrassed.”). He says that “All it would take, is either a death or significant, paralyzing injury.” Still, on Fear Factor, after hearing about a stunt, “the contestants go back to the matter at hand: signing yet another Fear Factor release form.”
+ plus: Dean and Ashley win $1 million couples Fear Factor.

Review: Married at First Sight

Marriage At First Sight

In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

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.