America’s Got Talent 2 debuts tonight

NBC’s summer talent competition series America’s Got Talent returns tonight for its second season. The two-hour premiere starts at 9 p.m. ET; it will typically air Tuesdays at 8.

Half of the show’s cast is brand-new: Jerry Springer hosts, filling in for Regis Philbin, while Brandy is out as a judge and will be replaced by Sharon Osbourne. David Hasselhoff and Piers Morgan return as judges.

NBC says the first four episodes will feature auditions, which will be followed by a “‘boot camp’ episode where they will have a chance to perfect their craft. Each performer will be required to demonstrate the diversity of his or her act in order to move on to the semi-final performance episodes where the judging will be turned over to the American viewing audience who will vote each week for their favorites.” Once again, the winning act gets $1 million.

America’s Got Talent 2 [NBC]

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.