SAG, AFTRA investigate Kid Nation as the media looks for more angles on the same story

There hasn’t been much new news about CBS’ upcoming reality series Kid Nation and the quasi-controversy surrounding its production, but media organizations are tripping over each other to create ever-more sensational headlines and find new angles on the exact same story.

Topping bleach drinking as a headline is tough, but between new investigations and interviews with producers, there are tiny hooks to use to generate many column inches. One critic even makes a wild prediction that this show will end reality television as we know it. Yes, a genre that dates back to the early 90s, or the early 1970s, or even television’s early game show days, depending upon how you look at it, will be decimated because some kids lived without adults (except all the ones behind the cameras) for more than a month.

Later this week, look for headlines about investigations into how Laguna Beach rich teenagers were forced to have conversations about their feelings for 30 minutes a day. But for now, here’s a round-up of some recent Kid Nation headlines:

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.