Dancing’s striking writer only wrote teases, episode descriptions

Dancing with the Stars has a single writer on staff, but until he went on strike, he did not write the hosts’ banter or the judges’ comments, as was previously reported.

Instead, David Boone “was scripting material including introductions and descriptions of upcoming episodes, a task [host Tom] Bergeron said now is handled by producers,” the AP reports. That means the judges’ comments “and the wry quips of host Tom Bergeron, have been largely spontaneous all along.”

However, that wasn’t always the case. During the first season, and part of the second, the hosts’ comments were scripted. “Bergeron used to lean heavily on canned patter until realizing, early in season two, that the approach wasn’t working,” the AP reports. Now, the show’s writer also “served as a ‘wonderful’ sounding board for impromptu jokes during the live broadcast, said the host; the longtime friends had worked together on ‘Hollywood Squares.'”

Bergeron said, “You can see I’d walk on after a dance and have a line ready to go. Sometimes it was a very good line, but it wasn’t organic to what was happening. … We don’t do that anymore. Now, I’m watching the dance and responding to it and what I felt about it.”

‘Dancing’ Waltzes Through Writers Strike [AP]

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.