Cingular made a max of $4.15 million from text messages from American Idol 4

Cingular’s exclusive text message vote contract earned as much as $4.15 million for the company last year, the Boston Globe reports.

Basically, the paper did the math, finding that “Cingular charges between $19.99 per month for a text package with 2,500 messages included and 10 cents per message on a pay-as-you-go plan, meaning the company raked in as much as $4.15 million in text messaging fees from ‘American Idol’ votes alone last year.” In other words, if they all the messaging viewers had plans, they made a lot less from the show.

Speaking of text messages, late last month The Boston Herald followed-up on my report about text message votes not counting from non-Cingular founds, and found that other companies probably won’t charge for votes sent. A spokesperson told the Herald, “It just won’t work if you’re another subscriber.” Of course, that also means the vote won’t count.

And the big winner looks to be … Cingular [Boston Globe]
Confused callers worship false Idol [Boston Herald]

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.