The Voice will return in the fall with all four judges

The Voice will return for a third season, which is unsprising, but NBC will only wait a few months in-between seasons, airing it in the fall. I’m excited that it will be back, but think having it return so soon could be a pretty big mistake.

All four judges–Christina Aguilera, Blake Shelton, Cee Lo Green, and Adam Levine–will all return, The Wrap reports, saying they will get “substantial pay raises”: $6 million for everyone except Christina, who gets $10 million.

NBC has a huge hit in the series, which could overtake American Idol this season. It may do equally well in the fall, probably crushing X Factor despite whatever has-been pop star Simon Cowell offers a ridiculous amount of money to, because The Voice is the superior format and show.

But part of why it works now, I think, is that there’s been a gap between seasons. Building anticipation works. Need proof? American Idol. Fox never got greedy and chose to air just one season a year (after the first year, because the show debuted in the summer and returned for its second season in January), and it’s pretty clear that’s one of the many things that contributed to its enduring success. It’s special.

Now, if NBC just settles The Voice in the fall, that might be okay. And pumping out two seasons a year might be a challenge considering its coaches are actual musicians with careers. But I fear NBC is clinging to one of their few successes so hard that they will smother it.

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.