America’s Got Talent 3, Flipping Out, and Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood debut tonight

Another wave of summer reality TV shows starts tonight, from a summer staple talent show to a docudrama about a crazed man.

America’s Got Talent 3 debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET and tries to again become the number one summer reality series. Jerry Springer returns as host, and the judges–Sharon Osbourne, the Hoff, and Celebrity Apprentice winner Piers Morgan–are also back. Piers tells TV Guide that this season has “[a]n amazing collection of talent and some of the most deluded people in America.”

Last year’s winner, ventriloquist/singer Terry Fator, recently “signed a five-year, $100 million contract to perform at Las Vegas’ Mirage casino 48 weeks a year beginning in 2009,” USA TODAY reports. Fator said that winning was “way better than hitting the lottery. In my wildest dreams, I never thought something like this could happen.”

At 10, house flipper Jeff Lewis and his employees return to Bravo on Flipping Out, which is exceptionally watchable even though–or perhaps because–he’s certifiable. He tells the New York Daily News that being criticized for his behavior was tough, but ultimately he’s in this for the cash. “I always wanted to be rich but not famous. After watching people turn their notoriety into successful books or product lines, that was really my goal with this show. This is just about using the fame or notoriety and spinning it into something productive,” he said.

Also at 10, Tori Spelling and Dean leave their fake bed and breakfast behind for their third reality season on Oxygen, Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. This season follows them as they “buy their first house, celebrate baby Liam’s first birthday, publish Spelling’s first book — and get ready for the birth of their first daughter,” according to Oxygen.

America’s Got Talent [NBC]
‘Talent’ show is back for 3rd wacky season [USA TODAY]
Flipping Out [Bravo]
Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood [Oxygen]

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.


Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.