Last Comic Standing 4 debuts tonight

After a disastrous third season that led to the series losing its critical host, Last Comic Standing returns tonight four a fourth season at 8 p.m. ET.

Anthony Clark hosts the show, which will also feature a parallel online competition. He promises that the contestants are “all new. America does not know about these people. None of them are open-mikers. They’ve all done it for four or five years, going through the comedy-club circuit all over America. But no one in the final five is a household name by any means. But they’re really, really funny,” he tells the Boston Herald.

But Scripps-Howard points out that “for every unknown in the contest, ‘Comics’ unjustly lets established talent into the competition.” Among those people are a GSN host, Bil Dwyer; Skippy from Family Ties, Marc Price; and Theo Vaughn, who’s apparently trying to break through his career as a Road Rules and Challenge cast member.

Last Comic Standing [NBC]

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.