Survivor Panama debuts tonight

Survivor returns to some very familiar islands tonight when Survivor Panama debuts on CBS at 8 p.m. ET.

Although we’ve seen the exact same locations in two previous editions of the show, the game has changed for this season. Besides the initial tribal split, which for the first time divides the castaways into four groups of four, there’s also Exile Island, where one person will be banished each week. But on that island, they’ll be able to hunt for an immunity idol, which will give the idol holder crazy amounts of power. Together, those two twists have the potential to really change the game for the first time in its 12-season history.

Although the show has aired 11 seasons in less than six years, its still the most popular reality show besides American Idol. The Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan asks a bunch of people, “Why do we still watch ‘Survivor’?” Executive producer Tom Shelly says its because producers “are really letting people tell their own stories. They’re in charge of their own fate. … Watching real people under pressure, I believe, is fascinating to us. We can all identify with that.”

Survivor Panama: Exile Island [CBS]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.