Contender renewal, rematch fight both may be announced this week

Although The Contender is not on NBC’s fall schedule, it hasn’t been officially cancelled. According to the New York Times, “An NBC spokeswoman said that while it did not have the show on its fall lineup, the network had not passed on ‘The Contender’ altogether.” Producer Mark Burnett confirmed “that if NBC was not interested, a cable channel was a possibility.” That cable channel reportedly is ESPN. Regardless, it’s “highly likely” that a renewal will be announced sometime this week.

Meanwhile, what was up with Sly and Sugar Ray constantly talking about a rematch while the final fight was still going on? While Peter and Sergio were fighting, Sly said, “I know the fight’s not even over yet, but I gotta start thinking about a rematch.” Burnett says “it was just natural exuberance from Sly and Ray–the fight was so close.” The paper reports that “he expected to announce another fight this week and that a rematch of the two fighters is a strong possibility.” The Providence Journal notes rumors “that a Contender tournament is being planned for July 5 in Las Vegas featuring the four finalists on the show–Manfredo, Mora, Alfonso Gomez and Jesse Brinkley.” Peter Manfredo Sr. “hadn’t heard anything from either NBC or Mark Burnett … [but] thought that July 5 was too soon for his son to get back in the ring,” the paper reports.

Low Ratings Aside, a Call for a Contender Rematch [New York Times]
Manfredo feels like a winner after loss [Providence Journal]

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.