Original US Big Brother started filming five years ago today

On July 4, 2000, in celebration of our nation’s birthday, 12 people entered a trailer in the parking lot of CBS Studio City. Yes, the cast of Big Brother 1 started their sentences five years ago today.

After we, the audience, voted out the most interesting people, the remaining cast members proceeded to put us into a coma for the next three months. Even the producers were bored, as they tried to bribe the houseguests to leave. No one took the bait.

Although CBS has since purged the show’s web site, you can relive the season in text form via reality blurred’s archives, or in pictures, thanks to crew member C. Park Seward’s site. He has behind-the-scenes photos, plus shots of the houseguests getting banished.

Happy fourth. Go have some pancakes.

Big Brother at CBS Studio City [videopark.com]
Big Brother archives [reality blurred]

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.