Sea Shepherd used drones to find Japanese whaling fleet; Whale Wars renewed

Although Sea Shepherd stopped Japanese whaling last year, the country decided to resume whaling this year, using tsunami relief funds to fund additional security, so Sea Shepherd’s boats are back–and that means Animal Planet’s Whale Wars will be back, too.

The network unsurprisingly renewed the series, noting that it is one of its three highest-rated series. This will be its fifth season, and next year, the network will also air a series following Sea Shepherd’s campaign in the Faroe Islands, which I reported on for a future story.

Sea Shepherd’s current Operation Divine Wind has a new weapon: long-range drones, one of which was donated by New Jersey’s Bayshore Recycling Corp. A drone found the whaling fleet on Christmas Eve, according to a Sea Shepherd press release, which said the Steve Irwin “deployed a drone to successfully locate and photograph the Japanese factory ship Nisshin Maru on December 24th. Once the pursuit began, three Japanese harpoon/security ships moved in on the Steve Irwin to shield the Nisshin Maru to allow it to escape.”

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.