Extreme Makeover uses “innovative scheme” to keep families from paying taxes.

Extreme Makeover uses “innovative scheme” to keep families from paying taxes.
As gifts from show producers, renovations done to a home on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition are taxable, and that could end up costing families who participate hundreds of thousands of dollars. But Variety reports that Endemol “has an innovative scheme to get around at least the initial tax hit. The company leases the property for the purposes of shooting the show for 14 days. Any improvements made during the lease are tax-exempt.” The producers of FOX’s Renovate My Family, Rocket Science Laboratories, “decided to pay families a lump sum to cover tax liabilities. But since the payment itself is also classified as taxable income, they adjust the amount so in the end the families owe zero.” One family featured on that show, the Rosiers, received a 1099 form showing $529,148 in income from the renovations. Variety reports that Rocket Science is “offering $215,000 to cover their tax liabilities.” The company did the same thing with Joe Millionaire 2‘s David Smith, who “won a 70-acre Texas ranch”; Rocket Science “covered the taxes on the $500,000 gift.”

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.