Rickey Minor leaving American Idol to join Jay Leno

American Idol musical director Rickey Minor is leaving one mediocre show for even more mediocre show: he’ll become the band leader on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, replacing Kevin Eubanks, who announced he was leaving yesterday.

NBC announced that he’ll start work June 7, a few weeks after American Idol 9 ends, and said that “Minor will continue to consult and work with ‘American Idol’ creator Simon Fuller on various projects.” The Tonight Show’s executive producer, Debbie Vickers, said in a statement, “We couldn’t be more excited. The ‘Tonight Show’ has a long tradition of acclaimed musicians in this role, and it’s great to now include Rickey alongside Kevin and Branford.”

Minor’s role–or at least, visibility–on Idol has become, yes, minor over the past few seasons, especially since the redesigned stage moved the band up into the rafters where they might as well be on tape for all we can tell.

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.