Dancing with the Stars has its best debut yet

The debut of Dancing with the Stars 4 was the show’s highest-rated debut yet, as 21.8 million people watched. Variety notes that “ABC has not been as potent since “Dancing” ended its most recent season in November. Now, though, the net appears headed for a strong finish to the season.”

By comparison, about 20 million people tuned in for the first episode last fall, while the second season debut was watched by 17.46 million viewers.

Amusingly, Variety’s report makes sure to note that these higher ratings were “[d]espite … bowing at the start of daylight-saving time — when overall viewing levels drop off.” (Variety also ran a full story about how that affected last week’s ratings.) Or maybe all of this daylight savings time stuff is just an excuse for television so mediocre that it can’t compete with some dwindling sunlight?

‘Dancing’ a dynamo for ABC [Variety]

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.