Showtime’s This American Life cuts episodes due to lack of stories

Showtime’s Emmy-winning documentary series This American Life, which is essentially a televised version of the long-running public radio show of the same name, may not be able to produce a full six-episode season this year.

“We need stories with real drama, things unfolding, something at stake and characters we can relate to — ideally, with people doing something that has a visual component to it. It’s incredibly important to have something interesting to look at,” host and executive producer Ira Glass told Creators syndicate’s Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith. But he can’t find enough of those.

Thus, while the series aired a full second season last summer, which is out on DVD today (the first season is also on DVD), they report that the show “may be cutting back from six episodes this year to several specials.”

Glass said that he now understands what reality show producers face. “Doing this makes me sympathetic to those reality show programmers and respectful of the dramatic cunning involved in making those shows happen,” he said.

Ira Glass Has New Respect For ‘Dramatic Cunning’ of Reality TV [Creators Syndicate]

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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.