American Idol producer working hard to convince us new judges don’t suck

American Idol is working overtime to convince us that its new, Simon Cowell-less judging panel isn’t going to be an unmitigated disaster. First came reports that Randy Jackson had become the new Simon Cowell, and now executive producer Nigel Lythgoe is saying that Jennifer Lopez will be the panel’s leader and that Steven Tyler is “smart.”

“Randy, of course, has changed his persona. Randy knows what he’s doing, so he’s there. Jennifer gets stronger and stronger and she’ll take over. There’s no question in my mind,” Nigel told Hollywood Life. “No question in my mind. She will take over.”

In case we forgot about the last judge, Steven Tyler, Nigel said “Steven is very smart, very quick witted. So, I really like them all. They all bring something — and they don’t all agree with each other.”

Jennifer Lopez Will Be The Leader Of The Judge Pack, Producer Nigel Lythgoe Says! [Hollywood Life]

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.