The Contender loses 5.5 million viewers moving from NBC to ESPN; ABC’s The One beaten by SciFi show

Moving from NBC to ESPN cost The Contender more than 5.5 million viewers. Last week’s debut was watched by 1.03 million people, compared to the 6.7 million that watched the first episode on NBC last spring.

While some of that change could be blamed by the show’s move to cable, which has traditionally drawn fewer viewers than network TV, that excuse doesn’t work this time.

On the same night, ABC’s debut of The One, the US version of Fame Academy, was pounded into the ground by SciFi’s new show Eureka. Despite the drama’s poor execution of an intriguing concept, Eureka “bested the new ABC reality series … by 32%,” according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Sci Fi on map with “Eureka” premiere [Hollywood Reporter]

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.