Biggest Loser shuts down after unionizing crew walks out; cast member not injured hiking

Crew members on The Biggest Loser have walked out in an effort to unionize, shutting down production on the show. Deadline reports that “representatives from IATSE, the union that represents most film and TV crew members, showed up on the set of The Biggest Loser [Monday] night and led the crew off the set. As a result, filming on the show was suspended.”

The site notes that “representatives from IATSE and Reveille, which produces the series with 3 Ball Prods., have been discussing a potential agreement” but previously, “producers were not aware of such attempts and were surprised by the labor action.”

In related news, last week TMZ reported that season 11 contestant “Amy Feitelberg was hiking on Backbone Trail in the Malibu area, when she fell off the trail during a workout for the show.” But that wasn’t true, so TMZ did what all ethical journalists do: deleted their story and pretended it never existed. (Google doesn’t forget.)

Three days later, the site posted a new story that said a woman staying at a show-themed camp was injured, and then the story celebrated the ignorance of TMZ’s never-identified staff, and also their inability to even use a search engine, writing, “But who knew there was a Biggest Loser camp?” Way to use your perpetually juvenile and weak writing to cover for your shoddy reporting and unethical behavior.

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.