Mark Burnett Productions sues agency that helped find product-placing companies.

Mark Burnett Productions sues agency that helped find product-placing companies.
Mark Burnett has filed suit against the company that helped bring him products to whore on The Apprentice. According to Mediaweek’s account, “Mark Burnett Productions is suing the entertainment marketing firm credited with bringing Procter & Gamble’s Crest, Levi’s and Mars to The Apprentice for alleged double-dealing and charging up to two and a half times Burnett;s fees for securing the product placements. … Burnett alleges that Los Angeles firm Madison Road told clients it was affiliated with Burnett in order to secure their business when no prior relationship existed.” However, the suit claims that “‘on several occasions’ the firm then led Burnett to believe that ‘to do business with the client, it must go through Madison Road.'” What did this mean in dollars? Mediaweek reports, “Industry observers estimate the going rate for placement deals tied to The Apprentice are in the $2-3.5 million range. The suit alleges that Madison Road charged clients ‘250%’ above the standard fee, then gave a portion of that amount to Burnett.”
+ plus: in a quasi-related story, TVgasm taste-tests Apprentice 3 cast member Michael Tarshi’s candy bars, and the results aren’t pretty.

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.