Was it a mistake to expand The Sing-Off and give it a full, fall season?

The Sing-Off concludes its third and first full season tonight, as either the Dartmouth Aires, Pentatonix, or Urban Method will win the a cappella singing competition. But moving the show to the fall as a placeholder for The Voice may have been a mistake.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, ratings are down significantly: they’ve have dropped more than a third since it was expanded into a full-season series instead of a two-week special event series that aired during the holidays, when few networks air original series. This fall, it faced off against Dancing with the Stars, among other shows.

That ratings decline, and the previous success of the two-week December version, prompts Media Life to say that “It’s hard to imagine that Sing will return as a regular series, though NBC could revive it next December as a limited-run special again,” because it “is averaging a 1.6 18-49 rating, a distant fourth among the Big Four networks in its timeslot and often ranking even behind Univision.”

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.