Paula Abdul returns to reality TV tonight (sigh)

After being blissfully absent from competitive reality TV for more than a year now, Paula Abdul returns to host, judge, produce, and clean the windows on Live to Dance, which debuts tonight at 8 p.m. with a two-hour audition episode. It continues tomorrow at 8, in Survivor‘s timeslot (which it will vacate by mid-February).

The stylish preview is engaging enough, but the previews showing Paula all but weeping over contestants and telling them how special they are, never mind clapping at them like she’s wearing oven mitts, makes me grateful that it only has a limited run.

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.