ABC’s American Inventor debuts tonight

ABC’s American Inventor, which will either be the next American Idol or the next copycat failure, debuts tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

After 12 finalists are selected by judges, America will vote for the winner, who will receive $1 million and have his or her product sold on And the show’s first five hours will be auditions. Simon admits that this format borrows heavily from FOX’s talent search. “It’s got the flavor of the kind of shows I’ve been involved with, which is about giving normal people the opportunity, and the lunacy that follows,” he told USA TODAY.

Reviews are mixed. The Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan says it’s “dreadful,” “the worst unscripted outing to hit the airwaves in many a moon.” The Detroit Free Press’ Mike Duffy says it’s a “cheesy carnival,” while The Hollywood Reporter’s Ray Richmond calls it “humiliating.”

American Inventor [ABC]
Get your Bladder Buddy here, on Cowell’s ‘Inventor’ [USA TODAY]

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.