So You Think You Can Dance, Venus & Serena: For Real both debut tonight

FOX gets into the dancing reality game with So You Think You Can Dance, which kicks off with a two-hour premiere at 8 p.m. ET. The series comes to us from American Idol‘s producers, and thus follows its model. FOX says “the nation’s best dancers will be pitted against each other in a grueling 12-week competition to become American’s hottest, freshest and most famous new dancer.” The 50 dancers will be guided by five choreographers.

Also tonight, ABC Family debuts a show about Venus and Serena Williams that offers a look “into their private lives.” But Venus & Serena: For Real is not what we’ve come to expect from celeb reality shows.

As The New York Daily News’ David Hinckley writes, there are “No selfish, profane celebrity brats here. No pseudo-stars whose primary motivation seems to be amusing either themselves or the camera. This is the anti-Osbournes, six weeks in the life of people who are sane, tempered and rational.”

In other words: bo-ring. Hinckley says as much: “The issue for the TV is that what makes for an admirable life doesn’t always make scintillating television.”

The show debuts at 10 p.m. ET.

Venus & Serena: For Real [ABC Family]
So You Think You Can Dance [FOX]

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.