Wipeout beats Big Brother, which had higher ratings than BB11’s debut

Despite a challenge that involved people holding on to giant phalluses and slipping into a (not-very-well-padded) area below, Big Brother couldn’t beat ABC’s hit Wipeout, a show about people bouncing off of padded things. However, ratings were up for the Julie Chen-hosted show compared to last summer.

Interestingly, according to TV By the Numbers’ half-hour break-downs, Big Brother just barely led in its first half-hour, but not among young viewers; in the second half-hour, Wipeout took a commanding lead, and while the overall number of viewers slipped on CBS, there was a greater share of younger viewers.

In a press release, ABC said, “among viewers and young adults, ABC marked its best-ever performance against the Thursday premiere of Big Brother.'”

CBS’s spin is that the show had “its best premiere in viewers since ‘Big Brother 8′ (July 5, 2007) and best in adults 18-49, adults 25-54 and adults 18-34 since ‘Big Brother 9′ (February 12, 2008).” The network’s press release also said the episode “was first in adults 18-34″ and “tied for first in adults 25-54 (2.9/09, with ABC) and adults 18-49 (2.4/09, with ABC),” and the premiere “was up +4% in both adults 25-54 (from 2.8/09) and adults 18-49 (from 2.3/08), +17% in adults 18-34 (from 1.8/07) and added +750,000 viewers (from 6.60m, +11%)” compared to last year.”

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.