John Ratzenberger joins Dancing with the Stars 4, replacing Vincent Pastore

John Ratzenberger, who played Cliff on Cheers, will replace Vincent “Big Pussy” Pastore on Dancing with the Stars 4, ABC announced today.

Ratzenberger “had previously turned down an offer to join the cast for the 10-week dance competition because of a scheduling conflict,” the AP reports.

Pastore quit Wednesday during training for the competition, saying it was too “physically demanding.” Ratzenberger is 59; Pastore is 60.

The show debuts two weeks from Monday.

‘Dancing’ adds Cliff from ‘Cheers’ [AP]

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.