Casting directors discuss whether actors should do reality TV

Does it help or hurt an actor to go on a reality TV show? There’s varied evidence, from The Real World‘s Jamie Chung, who will be in the Hangover sequel, to Survivor‘s Jessica “Sugar” Kiper, who bragged about her contract with CBS but hasn’t apparently turned that into anything since her two appearances on the show, even though she was working actively before it.

Backstage interviewed four casting directors to get their perspective on whether being on a reality show can help or hurt an actor’s career, and The Middle and Arrested Development casting director Deborah Barylski probably sums it up best: “There is no doubt that being on a reality show offers a kind of visibility that can be very, very helpful to an acting career. However, make sure you’re ready. And by ‘ready,’ I mean you need to be trained and have enough experience to fully take advantage of the doors that could open for you. Otherwise, you will be hired only because of your notoriety, and as soon as you ‘cool off,’ you will no longer be of interest to producers.”

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.