ESPN debuts Bonds on Bonds, which “ignited fierce debate within ESPN”

Also tonight, ESPN2 debuts its new Barry Bonds reality series Bonds on Bonds at 8 p.m. The 10-episode series airs new episodes on ESPN2, and ESPN will air repeats.

ESPN says it “shows a more intimate side to this American game and currently its brightest star.” Yet as the AP reports, the series “will show a far different profile of Bonds” because during production, he became “embroiled in scandal.”

ESPN Entertainment’s Joan Lynch says that producers “aggressively made sure the news was part of the show. We really lucked out in our access to him at this time and his candor for him wanting to tell his story and wanting to have his say.”

Still, production “ignited fierce debate within ESPN over how to handle material revealed as news broke around Bonds with camera crews in tow,” the AP reports. Thus, an outside producer was hired, and “the entertainment division will keep all show material secret from the news department until the air date to avoid the appearance of paying for access to Bonds.”

The show’s director and producer, Mike Tollin, tells Reuters, “I’ve been given a … great deal of creative freedom and I feel very good about the opportunity to tell a story that’s fair and honest and objective.”

Bonds On Bonds [ESPN2]

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.