Survivor’s social media takeover: weird

As part of CBS’ “Social Sweep Week,” a reference to November’s status as a month when TV ratings are used to make future decisions about advertising and programming, the network is letting casts and producers of its shows take over their official Facebook and Twitter accounts. The Amazing Race did this on Sunday, and today it’s Survivor‘s turn on its Facebook page and Twitter account.

The great thing about this is hearing directly from people involved–in this case, with the oldest and still one of the most-popular reality TV shows. The odd thing about this is it basically acknowledges that following the show on Facebook or Twitter means that we’re usually getting filtered, controlled information from publicists. And of course, we can just follow, say, Jeff Probst if we want to hear from him directly, instead of watching a special video in which he continues to try to get the atrocious phrase “interactive living room” to stick even while dropping a mild spoiler about tonight’s episode.

So far, the social media takeover consists of an oddly brief debate between Stephen Fishbach and Rob Cesternino about this season, and location photos from art director Jesse Jensen. Probst also promised comments from challenge producer John Kirhoffer later today.

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.