Record viewership for Phil Harris’ final episode; “Redemption Day” montage now online

Tuesday’s episode of Deadliest Catch, which ended with the death of Cornelia Marie captain Phil Harris, was the series highest-rated episode ever in addition to being extremely well-produced television and extremely emotional.

Its 8.5 million viewers “is remarkably high for the Discovery Channel,” The New York Times reports, noting that “[t]he episode ranks as the third-highest telecast in Discovery’s 25-year history, behind only ‘Raising the Mammoth’ and ‘Walking With Dinosaurs,’ two special events in 2000.”

Meanwhile, the final act of the episode has found its way online. It’s exceptionally powerful reality TV:

Captain Phil’s Death Draws Record Ratings for ‘Deadliest Catch’ [New York Times]

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.