Survivor Micronesia debuts tonight, Survivor Supercharged Sunflower Seeds debut in March

Survivor Micronesia, the 16th season of the series, debuts tonight at 8 p.m. ET. It’s the show’s third season with returning contestants, counting Guatemala, and will feature 10 fans competing against 10 favorites.

With two romances and many blindsides, Jeff Probst promises plenty of drama from both groups, who apparently become enemies immediately. Making fans face off against people they watch on TV creates an interesting dynamic, although I’m skeptical about the fans, who came off as way too overeager in the first preview. Hopefully, that was just bad editing.

Starting in March, you’ll be able to watch the show while eating the show in the form of Survivor Supercharged Sunflower Seeds, which are fortified with vitamins. While that corny alliteration and odd choice of product makes this seem like a joke, it’s just part of an increased effort to pimp out the brand. “CBS Consumer Products is moving its ‘Survivor’ brand into the world of health and fitness, signing up two new licensees — with many more on the horizon,” Variety reports.

CBS Consumer Products general manager Liz Kalodner said, “‘Survivor’ is part of the lexicon now here in the United States. We can translate it into any product or experience that is about challenging one’s self, or the ultimate outdoor experience. Both of these new launches play into that.” The other product is the Survivor Fitness Program, and Variety says Kalodner is “in the process of securing deals that will create ‘Survivor’-branded outdoor adventure programs and corporate team-building/leadership development plans.”

Survivor Micronesia [CBS]
Advantage super-fans on latest ‘Survivor’? [MSNBC]
‘Survivor’ expands brand [Variety]

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.