Survivor’s episode tonight is not “all-new”

CBS’ ads for tonight’s special Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET episode have been calling it an “all-new episode,” which is disingenuous at best. It’s just the mid-season recap that CBS typically airs during March Madness (spring) or Thanksgiving (fall), but since the show is essentially off the air for three weeks, it’s understandable why they want us to tune in–especially since Survivor Tocantins hasn’t quite found a groove yet.

Still, it’s a clip show. Because of the misleading ads, I even called CBS to triple-check. A press release describe that “Jeff Probst highlights new scenes and never-before-seen footage,” and “an intimate look behind-the-scenes at camp life including alliances that have formed, Taj revealing her emotional struggle with being away from her family and Tyson’s playful side around the ladies in camp … and what Coach’s tribemates really think of him.”

If that’s the stuff they highlight in a press release, imagine what they’re going to fill 44 minutes with. Perhaps it’s fortunate that it’s just this episode that’s against a special Wednesday performance episode of American Idol.

Jeff Probst says they know how much the clip shows suck, and promises this one is better. He acknowledged that in his Entertainment Weekly blog, and it’s one of the few actually insightful things that he’s written. (Jeff’s an incredibly cool and nice guy, and is both talented and best reality host we have, but he’s a terrible writer, and he should stop trying to do my job since I sure as hell couldn’t do his.)

Anyway, Probst writes that it’s “a really cool ‘never before scenes’ special. … It’s really good stuff. I know a lot of you guys hate this episode so we worked especially hard to make it rock! One of our best producers Daren sweated night and day for weeks to find stuff worthy of your time. Give it a shot if you’re around.”

Jeff Probst blogs ‘Survivor: Tocantins': episode 5 [Entertainment Weekly]

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.