reality TV shows led in product placement.

If a company climbed into bed with producers of a TV show and dangled their product in front of your eyes sometime during the first three months of this year, you were most likely watching a reality show. That’s because “[e]ight of the 10 TV programs with the most product-placement ads were unscripted reality shows,” according to Bloomberg News.

Leading the pack, surprisingly enough, was The Contender, followed by that bathhouse of consumerism, American Idol. UPN’s The Road to Stardom With Missy Elliott came in third.

The product that led the way was Coca-Cola, which “appeared 1,931 times on U.S. television shows in the first quarter, almost as many times as it did in all of last year,” Bloomberg reports. Overall, “product placements rose 27 percent, six times the growth rate of network-TV ad sales, Nielsen Monitor-Plus said in a report released this week.”

Product placement goes reality route [Bloomberg News]

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.