Oprah’s Big Give had the third biggest debut this TV season

Despite scathing reviews, Oprah Winfrey’s first reality show, Oprah’s Big Give, debuted to huge ratings Sunday night.

It was watched by an average of 15.6 million viewers, beating its feel-good lead-in, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which was watched by 14.8 million people.

That’s the “third-most-watched freshman series debut this season,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. And the episode “will rank among the top five new series debuts this season in adults 18-49 and total viewers,” Media Life reports.

There may be trouble for the series, however. It “did fall off from its first to its second half hour, … slipping from 16.3 million total viewers to 14.8 million,” according to Media Life.

ABC’s ‘Big Give’ gets big love in Sun. debut [Hollywood Reporter]
‘Oprah’s Big Give’ gives back big time [Media Life]

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.