Former child star will appear on Big Brother to whore his CBS sitcom

The Big Brother 7 houseguests are getting a surprise visitor tonight, CBS has announced, spoiling its own surprise before it even happens.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a surprise unless there was a chance for cross-promotion, and the visitor is the star of a CBS sitcom. But he’s probably better known for the sitcom he starred in as a teenager, Doogie Howser, M.D.

Yes, Neil Patrick Harris “will make a surprise visit to BIG BROTHER: ALL-STARS when he drops into the house for ‘Christmas in August,’ a prize the Houseguests won in Sunday’s food competition,” according to CBS. The network calls him “an avid reality TV fan,” although who knows if he’s a Big Brother fan.

Update: An alert reader noticed that Will lists Neil Patrick Harris as one of his only favorite actor. I’d say he’s being facetious, but he also lists How I Met Your Mother as one of his favorite TV shows. Someone’s going to be very excited.

Neil Patrick Harris, Star of How I Met Your Mother … [CBS press release]

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.