Fear Factor comes out of its coma tonight

Five and a half years after being cancelled, Fear Factor is being resurrected on NBC tonight, now in HD and with more cow’s blood. But everything seems to be pretty much the same, including the return of host Joe Rogan, although the stunts are bigger.

When I first broke the news that the show was casting and thus returning, it wasn’t clear how it might evolve, or even if Joe would return. In the preview below, he says, “It feels like we went into a coma, and woke up, and just started to do Fear Factor again,” adding “everything’s the same.”

The preview certainly does make it seem like the same show, but executive producer, Matt Kunitz it’s a “much bigger and badder Fear Factor”; Joe later calls it “the old show, plus.” Instead of 50 gallons of cow blood, for example, there are 3,000 for a challenge, according to the New York Times.

Two new episodes air back-to-back tonight starting at 8 p.m. ET; it’ll be interesting to see if just dusting off an old format works for NBC, or if the fatigue that affected the show back then will remain.

The Sing-Off loses its star

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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.

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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.