Deadliest Catch returns with calm seas and a somber tone

Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch is back tonight for its sixth season at 9 p.m. ET, and it will include the February death of Cornelia Marie captain Phil Harris. Although it’s unclear how much footage we’ll see, producers did film him in the hospital prior to his death.

Over its first five seasons, the show has remarkably reminded to find entertaining narratives and a lot of drama from a very repetitive job. It can also be remarkably lighthearted and fun. But as this clip shows, this season will have Phil’s impending death hovering over it even in scenes that aren’t about him or the Cornelia Marie:

As an indication of the somber tone, this sixth season trailer starts and ends with Phil and his sons, Jake and Josh, and is a lot quieter than the usually frenetic series:

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.