Teen Mom spinning off another series; is it another Jon & Kate Plus Eight?

Last night, the second season of MTV’s Teen Mom concluded, and today there’s a report that the network is creating a spin-off of the series, which itself is a spin-off of 16 and Pregnant. Meanwhile, an essayist asks if the camera and tabloid attention given to cast members, such as Amber Portwood and her abused boyfriend Gary Shirley, affects the reality of their existence so much that the show is no longer really honest or accurate.

The New York Post’s report is vague and ambiguous, but makes it sound like the new series would basically be a second Teen Mom, as “at least some of the women featured on the spinoff show have appeared on ’16 and Pregnant.'” The cast of Teen Mom will return for their third season, so they wouldn’t be part of the new show.

Meanwhile, in Salon, Amy Benfer argues that with each season, “it becomes more difficult to tease out the impact the show itself has had on the lives it depicts” and “the more difficult it will be to separate what it is telling us about the lives of teen mothers from what it is telling us about the lives of parents and children who live under public scrutiny.” Among the questions she raises but points out are not not addressed are the impact the series has on their lives, never mind the money and attention the teens get from tabloids.

Of course, we’ve seen this before with Jon & Kate Plus Eight, a show where the off-camera reality of their lives essentially destroyed their on-camera and actual lives. Benfer writes that show “morphed gruesomely from a show about their family in which cameras happened to be present into a show about their family breaking up, thanks to the pressures of the cameras.” Will that happen with Teen Mom, too?

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.