Gail Simmons will host Top Chef Just Desserts; Bravo renews several shows

The second spin-off of Top Chef, the pastry chef competition called Top Chef Just Desserts, will be hosted by one of the series’ regular judges, Gail Simmons.

I have mixed feelings: On the one hand, Gail is fantastic, and she will be a lot better than some bland or awkward unknown host, or some over-the-top host who tries to monopolize attention. On the other, she’s a great judge, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into being able to be a great host.

Meanwhile, Bravo made several announcements yesterday. First, my favorite show on the network last year, Top Chef Masters, will return April 7. The cast hasn’t yet been revealed.

The network has renewed several of its docudramas: Flipping Out, My Life on the D-List, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, and The Rachel Zoe Project. At least one of those will have a major cast change: Rachel and Brad no longer have TayTay, so they’ll get another employee. Also, Bravo’s information about Jeff Lewis’ show doesn’t mention Ryan Brown, who fought with Jeff last season, so it’s possible he may not be back.

In addition, The Real Housewives of New York will return in March, and the new Jackie Warner series Thintervention has officially been picked up to series; the photography competition Double Exposure will debut sometime in April; and Bravo announced details about Bethenny Frankel’s new series, which is called Bethenny’s Getting Married?. It actually has a question mark in the title even though, as Bravo says, it will follow Bethenny “as she juggles her happy love life, plans a wedding and prepares for baby while managing her insanely busy schedule and career as a natural foods chef.”

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.