NBC bribing viewers to watch The Apprentice 5; viewer votes may “slightly” change the show

Sliding ratings for The Apprentice 5 have led the network to take drastic measures: “NBC is offering money to people to watch the show,” the Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan reports on her blog.

It’s not exactly payola or a straight-up bribe, per say; instead, “the network is dangling a weekly $10,000 prize in front of ‘Apprentice’ viewers” to participate in the show as “NBC appears to be turning the show into a hybrid that is equal parts reality contest and game show.”

Every week, viewers will vote online or via text message for the “candidate they think deserves to be ‘fired’ in the week’s episode,” according to an NBC press release. Three winners will be selected during every episode. It’s not exactly clear how this will work, but NBC says, “Viewers are ultimately in control and depending on how people vote, each time zone could end up with a slightly different version of the show.”

Trump or no Trump [Chicago Tribune]
NBC’s ‘The Apprentice’ Gives Viewers the Chance to Watch and Win $10,000 [NBC press release]
Get Rich with Trump! [NBC]

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.