The Real World’s 15th anniversary is today

Today is the 15th anniversary of the debut of MTV’s The Real World, as the Real World/Road Rules Blog reminds us.

In 15 years, since May 21, 1992, The Real World has aired 18 seasons–only a little over one per year. The 19th season is in production, the 20th is casting, and MTV is about to air a mini-season that’s the first-ever extended reunion of a cast.

While I didn’t really start watching until season two, I was 14 when the New York season debuted, which makes me feel very old and yet doesn’t seem like that much time–especially since one week from Thursday is the seventh anniversary of Survivor‘s debut.

I’d wish the show another 15 years, but honestly, as the most recent season proved, the show seems to have jumped the shark–or perhaps it’s just now outside of my definition of entertainment. In any case, I wouldn’t miss it if it were cancelled tomorrow. But we do have the show to thank for every show that followed it, and for proving that real people’s lives can be as entertaining, if not more so, than fictional creations.

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.