Homeland Security USA reality show “unprecedented” access

In early January, ABC will debut Homeland Security USA, a 13-episode unscripted series that is based on an Australian show and is produced in the US by producer Arnold Shapiro. He previously created the documentary Scared Straight, but is now probably trying to repair his reputation after being associated with that crapass CBS show Big Brother for five seasons before he left.

In a press release, ABC says “the series takes cameras into situations never before seen on television, with each episode covering eight or more locations on the ‘front lines’ where the officers and agents work each day.” The network calls the access “unprecedented” and said the stars “aren’t heroes. They’re average men and women working against an epic landscape.”

The show debuts Jan. 6 and airs Tuesdays at 8. The first episode, “This is Your Car on Drugs,” includes segments about drug smugglers and undocumented immigrants lost in the desert, plus a segment at LAX where, ABC says, “a voluptuous 20-year-old woman arrives from Switzerland with no working papers but a suitcase full of titillating surprises!”

Maybe Shapiro hasn’t moved far away from Big Brother after all.

ABC’s New Series, “Homeland Security USA,” Premieres… [ABC press release]

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.