ABC plans Miracle Workers; WB will air Survival of the Richest

This spring, ABC will air Miracle Workers, a series that “chronicles the lives of seriously ill people who lack the contacts or the money for treatment,” according to the New York Times. “ABC will pick up the bill, allowing a regularly featured team of doctors and nurses to steer people to the latest medical breakthroughs as cameras capture the travails of patient-hood, from consultations to surgery to recovery.”

Producer Jay Renfroe says the series “works on two levels for a TV show. The actual surgery itself is remarkable. These are also highly relatable stories about people’s lives.” Six episodes have been ordered; each follows two people for more than half a year. Among those who will be featured are “a 3-year-old boy with severe scoliosis, a 19-year-old woman with an extreme form of Tourette’s syndrome and a blind father of four,” the Times reports.

Meanwhile, The WB plans to examine class warfare with its new series Survival of the Richest. The show “will take seven super-wealthy youngsters … and pair them with seven average Joes and Janes with a collective debt of $150,000,” Variety reports. “They’ll then live and work together for a number of weeks, competing in challenges designed to illuminate the differences between the classes.”

After the challenges–they’ll be “working as waiters at Medieval Times, picking peppers in the desert heat and surviving military boot camp”–one pair will be voted off each week; the winning team gets $200,000 to share. Among the participants: The Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s daughter, Kat. Hall Sparks hosts the series, which has already been produced, and the WB’s president David Janollari says it “makes noise. It’s not gentle. It’s not politically correct. I think it’s going to be really explosive and illuminate the way they live (vs.) the way most of us live.” The show will debut this summer.

Raising Reality-TV Stakes, Show Plans to Offer Medical ‘Miracles’ [New York Times]
Frog shows us the money [Variety]

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.