Janet Jackson, celebrities who want another show, single moms all get reality shows

Newly announced reality series include some original ideas, but also some that cover familiar territory, like yet another music competition (because there aren’t enough of those already) and another show with quasi-celebrities.

Janet Jackson is producing and starring in an MTV series that “will feature Jackson as she mentors a group of aspiring singers and dancers. Project will be shot in the coming months as Jackson prepares for her world tour, which launches on Sept. 10,” Variety reports.

Next week, TLC will debut Must Love Kids, a show that follows three single moms who “give themselves the opportunity to meet someone special–potentially, a life-long partner,” according to TLC.

Two production companies are talking to organizations that work to free imprisoned people about possible reality series, although there’s nothing confirmed yet. USA TODAY reports that GRB Entertainment “has discussed a proposal with the California Innocence Project,” while “[a] separate, undisclosed company is negotiating with the Innocence Project of Texas.” And “the national Innocence Project is approached nearly every week with a new proposal to allow cameras access to a long and confidential process that may — or may not — result in exoneration, spokesman Eric Ferrero says.”

Fox Reality is giving celebrities–the same damn celebrities–yet another chance at a TV show with Gimme My Reality Show!, on which “celebrities compete for the right to have their own reality show,” according to a press release. The show debuts Oct. 11. The irony is that the cast members who have been announced (Traci Bingham, Santino Rice, and Gretchen Bonaduce) have already been on reality shows, and this show will be yet another show, never mind the one they’ll get if they win. How about a celebrity competition where the losers have to stay off TV forever?

Janet Jackson keeps it real for MTV [Variety]
TLC Gives Three Single Moms the Chance to Explore a Whole New Role [TLC]
Reality TV’s new target: Flipped-verdict dramas [USA TODAY]
Fox Reality Channel Announces New Original Series [Fox Reality press release]

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.