Shaq Vs.’s scripted banter lands it in third place, tied with More to Love

Shaq Vs. has an interesting format, but it’s too bad ABC and/or the show’s producers didn’t trust their star enough to let him just interact with people. The banter with his personal trainer and the episode’s co-star, Ben Roethlisberger, was so annoyingly scripted that I can’t believe they expected anyone to believe it’s authentic. The few genuine-seeming moments were drowned out by that stupidity, never mind the color commentary that makes it seem too much like ABC’s dry and lifeless Superstars. And on the radio and elsewhere, I’ve heard some skepticism about the actual competition and whether it, too, was staged.

Perhaps as a result, or just because Shaq doesn’t have the same popularity he used to, viewers didn’t exactly flock to it, and other Tuesday reality TV–Big Brother, Hell’s Kitchen, and America’s Got Talent–all performed a lot better. The first episode “came in tied for third with FOX’s More to Love for the hour with adults 18-49,” according to TV By the Numbers, “though Shaq Vs. had slightly more viewers than More to Love (4.337M vs 4.032M).”

Big Brother 11 hits highs, Hell’s Kitchen still fiery, and Shaq… [TV By the Numbers]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.

Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.