ESPN renews The Contender for a third season; unedited fights will air on ESPN2

The new season debuts Sept. 4 at 10 p.m. ET and will be “the first to feature the full, uncut fights that will air on ESPN2,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The 16 boxers will compete for $1 million, a $500,000 increase (although ESPN says the prize is $750,000). Also increasing will be the contestants’ weight class, the paper reports. The 16 new boxers will be super-middleweight, up three notches from last season’s welterweight class. (Earlier this year, a report suggested the series would leave ESPN for HBO and switch its focus to heavyweights.)

Executive producer told ESPN that they are “a combination of experienced guys who have fought for world championships and very good prospects who will wind up fighting for world championships.”

They include two Australians, Sakio Bika and Sam Soliman, who may “have a rematch [on the show] following their controversial 2002 battle in Melbourne,” the Sydney Morning Herald reports. Production started two weeks ago, the SMH says, and Bika told the paper, “The last two weeks has been constant testing, interviews, psychology tests. It’s been a bit hard for me to get used to, there are about 10 cameras filming us every time we train.”

While Sugar Ray Leonard returns, Sylvester Stallone will remain missing in action, even though he’s done filming Rocky Balboa.

There’s no quit in ‘Contender’ [Hollywood Reporter]
“Contender” returns for third season [ESPN]
Bika, Sam get shot at being contenders – and a rematch [Sydney Morning Herald]

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.