This American Life debuts on Showtime tonight

The groundbreaking public radio show This American Life comes to television tonight on Showtime at 10:30 p.m. ET (and repeats frequently).

The series follows the same structure as the PRI and Chicago Public Radio broadcast, telling multiple personal stories on the same theme. Each episode, however, is just 30 minutes long. The first, “Reality Check,” “tells three stories of people who set out to make their dreams come true, but were snapped back to reality by unpleasant outcomes,” according to Showtime.

After watching the first episode, I was surprised how seamlessly Ira Glass and his producers managed to translate the radio show to television. Watching the show feels like listening to the radio, except there are images, which is perhaps really obvious. But the tone and pacing feel the same, even though it works as a TV show, a format that requires a whole different approach, as Glass explained to Terry Gross recently.

This American Life [Showtime]

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.