reality shows helping A&E succeed.

reality shows helping A&E succeed.
A&E’s relentless focus on reality television programming was a strategy designed to attract the kids with cheap shows. And it worked: In “2004, A&E’s ratings rose 34 percent among adults 18-49, and 76 percent among adults 18-34,” Mediaweek reports. Plus, “A&E last year snagged 24 Emmy nominations–more than any other ad-supported cable net.” The network’s new president, Abbe Raven, says, “When we set out to transform A&E, we went after nonscripted programs because we knew it would resonate with younger audiences. We knew we could execute it quickly and, from a production standpoint, we knew we could roll out with it continually.” The network’s successes include Airline; Dog the Bounty Hunter, which kicked off its second season last night; Family Plots; Intervention, which is averaging 1.3 million viewers; and Knievel’s Wild Ride, which also kicked off last night and follows Robby Knievel’s attempts to not die while doing crazy stuff. A&E is doing so well that The Boston Globe also has a write-up about its success, giving the network yet another tongue kiss.

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.