Shaq’s Big Challenge debuts on ABC tonight

Shaquille O’Neal helps kids lose weight on ABC’s new six-episode reality series Shaq’s Big Challenge, which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET.

Of the six kids, ages 11 to 14, five weigh more than 200 pounds; the other weighs 182. When TV Guide asked how the kids were chosen, Shaq helpfully explains that “we looked for kids who were obese.” For a weight loss show? Really?

In addition to helping them with their diets and exercise, Shaq “swaggers around with the kids, giving them street credibility and making them bully-proof,” The New York Times reports. “Watching this charming hero-giant, who has six children of his own, counsel boys and girls is a novelty on television.”

Shaq’s Big Challenge [ABC]
Shaq Attacks a Most Dangerous Epidemic Facing Kids [TV Guide]
Lighten Up, Overeaters. This 7-Foot Giant Is in Touch With His Inner Child. [New York Times]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.