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.

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.