ABC renews Wipeout for a second season

The ridiculously fun summer hit series Wipeout will return to ABC, as the network has unsurprisingly renewed it for a second season. It’s unsurprising considering the series is the second-most popular show in the country. Four episodes of the show remain.

Variety reports that the show has averaged 10.2 million viewers this summer–well over what, say, Big Brother and even So You Think You Can Dance are drawing. Thus, ABC “[executives] have been keen on setting up ‘Wipeout’ as a summer franchise, much in the same vein as CBS’ ‘Big Brother,’ Fox’s ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ and NBC’s ‘America’s Got Talent.'”

Tuesday night’s recap episode, framed as a fake awards show, was even better because it spent so little time on the people and even more time on watching them bounce off things. Usually I define reality shows based upon how much time they spend getting to know contestants; Price is Right doesn’t count because it’s about the games, not the people, and similarly, Wipeout is just about watching bodies–it doesn’t matter whose–splashing into water after being slammed into padded surfaces or big rubber balls. But I don’t care; it’s endlessly entertaining, at least for now.

ABC renews ‘Wipeout’ [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.