Spike’s Invasion Iowa debuts tonight.

Spike’s Invasion Iowa debuts tonight.
Tonight, Spike TV debuts what it’s calling “the greatest hoax in US History.” At 9 p.m. ET, Invasion Iowa kicks off its five-hour, four-night run–the network is airing it as a mini-series rather than spreading the episodes over several weeks. Produced by the people behind The Joe Schmo Show, this hoax involves an entire town. The inhabitants of Riverside, Iowa, “think William Shatner is coming to shoot a science fiction movie called ‘Invasion Iowa.’ What they don’t know is that the movie is fake, and they’re about to take a front row seat to a ridiculous parody of Hollywood.” In other words, it features Shatner and others acting like parodies of themselves, if that’s even possible. Producer Rhett Rheese told the Arizona Republic, “We just thought, ‘What greater undertaking than to try to fool this many people and, really, in essence, fool America?'” Most critics who reviewed the series today or earlier did so by merely summarizing the plot, so screw them and their inability to make an argument.

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.