Kathy Griffin, Tim Gunn will guest star on Ugly Betty, which is sponsoring a dress design challenge

Normally, reality show star guest appearances on TV shows aren’t really newsworthy; there are just too many of them. But in the span of a few weeks, ABC’s Golden Globe-winning drama Ugly Betty will have both Kathy Griffin and Tim Gunn as guest stars.

The show’s executive producer, Silvio Horta, told The Chicago Tribune’s Maureen Ryan that he’s “a big ‘Project Runway’ fan.” In addition, he said, “A lot of us watch the show, we talk about it a lot in the [writers] room.” Thus, “we always thought when [our] Fashion Week [episode] comes along we’d love to have him, whether as a fashion TV reporter or just have him there as part of the mix,” Horta said.

Tim “will play a fashion correspondent during ‘Ugly Betty’s’ version of New York City’s Fashion Week,” the paper reports. He’ll be on two episodes which will air Feb. 1 and 8, according to ABC. To recap, then, Tim now his own reality show on Bravo and a guest appearance on network television, but no contract to appear on Project Runway 4.

Ugly Betty’s nod to Bravo’s number one series goes beyond casting the reality show’s star. The drama is also sponsoring a design contest, asking viewers to “design a fabulous couture dress … that will appear in an episode” of the drama.

Like a Project Runway challenge, there’s a twist: The formal garment has to be made from “everyday office supplies.” The winner gets “a trip for two (2) to Los Angeles, CA for the taping of the Ugly Betty television show scheduled to take place on 02/02/2007, where a dress based upon the winner’s Design will be incorporated in the Show.”

‘Ugly Betty’ snags Tim Gunn as a guest star [The Chicago Tribune]
Tim Gunn (“Project Runway”) Guest Stars as a Fashion TV Reporter, on ABC’s “Ugly Betty” [ABC press release]
ABC Ugly Betty Design-A-Dress Contest [ABC]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.