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]

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.