Survivor South Pacific premieres tonight with a focus on Coach and Ozzy (ugh)

Survivor debuts its 23rd season tonight, returning to Samoa and last season’s Redemption Island game structure with returnees Ozzy Lusth and Ben Wade.

Survivor South Pacific does feature a promising cast of regular people and some welcome changes, so perhaps they’ll vote out Coach and Ozzy immediately and play their own game.

CBS has released the first 75 seconds of the 90-minute premiere, below, and it has a disappointing but unsurprising focus. My big wish for Survivor is that its producers (Jeff Probst included) and supervising CBS network executives would trust their own format and stop being crippled by insecurity and fear. The irony is that what’s slowly killing the show is not competition, but the reliance on gimmicks like bringing back people who were once interesting.

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.