The Contender 2 drops host Sylvester Stallone and team challenges

Sylvester Stallone will not appear on-screen for The Contender 2, which debuts on ESPN in July. Stallone “was busy filming Rocky Balboa,” according to Entertainment Weekly. Thus, Sugar Ray Leonard is left to host awkwardly all by himself.

The magazine also reports that, for the second season, “producers have stripped away the silly truck-pulling and cinder-block-lifting challenges from the first season.” However, it will retain its “heart.” Executive producer Mark Burnett says, :Stallone advised me correctly that Adrian was the key element in Rocky.”

Burnett is content with the move to ESPN. “NBC is a very wide audience; ESPN is a sports audience. It’s probably the correct home for Contender,” he said.

Summer TV: July 2006: The Contender [Entertainment Weekly]

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.