Japan suspends whaling because of Sea Shepherd

The upcoming season of Whale Wars will chronicle Sea Shepherd’s most successful campaign yet, as Japan’s government has suspended whaling in the Southern Ocean, where Sea Shepherd boats, with camera crews aboard, have been preventing the fleet from whaling all season, and there’s talk that whaling might end permanently.

That seems to be at least partly due to the threat of intervention by Chile, because the whaling ships were near that country’s protected waters. But The Sydney Morning Herald reports that “shift in fortunes for the whalers has been blamed on activist harassment.” In addition, “financial restrictions meant a reduced fleet without the usual protection of spotter and security ships to keep the Nisshin Maru clear of activists,” and “The Fisheries Agency of Japan said it was studying the situation, including the possibility of cutting its season short.”

The Australian reported that “confidence is growing among conservation groups in Japan that the now-suspended Japanese whale hunt may be the last one in Antarctic waters as financial and diplomatic pressures take their toll.”

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.