Survivor, American Idol have their lowest-rated episodes ever

Venerable reality TV franchises Survivor and American Idol hit ratings bottom last week. The Fox music competition was easily beaten by the Big Bang Theory Thursday night, which helps to solidify NBC’s The Voice as the top-rated show of the season so far.

Survivor One World had its lowest ratings ever for a regular episode among people 18 to 49, TV By the Numbers reports. Other shows were down, too, many to season lows.

As to American Idol, Variety reported that “excluding Thursdays (a night it moved to last year), Wednesday’s two-hour Idol is the lowest-rated, in-season regular episode of the show to date.” TV By the Numbers notes that its ratings were “down a whopping 35% vs. last year’s equivalent telecast.” Thursday, the news was even worse: the show was “down 14% from last week and down an alarming 39% versus the year ago Thursday night telecast.”

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.