American Gladiators returns tonight with Rocket and Jet

NBC’s newly resurrected version of American Gladiators returns for a second season tonight, just three months after the first season concluded. A two-hour episode airs at 8 p.m. ET.

Last season’s winners Evan Dollard and Monica Carlson claim their prizes and become new gladiators Rocket and Jet (really). There’s also Phoenix, a new female gladiator, in addition to “an all-new state-of-the-art Gladiator Arena” and seven new events, according to NBC. The show also has recruited gay competitors.

In addition, like other Facebook whores, the show has created an American Gladiators Facebook application that “will allow users to square off against gladiators, their friends and the entire Facebook community for the chance to win an official ‘American Gladiators’ Joust Stick — signed by the American Gladiators along with other top prizes,” according to an NBC press release.

Despite the new hires and changes, producers have tragically not fired terrible hosts Hulk Hogan and Laila Ali, although perhaps they’ll be allowed to just speak this seasons instead of badly reading badly scripted banter off teleprompters.

NBC Announces Two New Heart-Pounding Events and Three New Gladiators… and
NBC Gives Daring Facebook Users the Chance to Face Off With ‘The Official American Gladiators Challenge’ [NBC press releases]

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.