Nigel Barker, Jay Manuel, Miss J. fired from Top Model

America’s Next Top Model‘s limp toward its death accelerated yesterday, as Nigel Barker, Miss J. Alexander, and Jay Manuel–were fired from The CW reality competition. They won’t be back for season 19 in the fall, but Tyra Banks and her ego are both staying.

Page Six reported that “the three mentors were informed yesterday morning that their contracts would not be renewed for the next season.” The reason: a “production decision” and “major changes planned for [season] 19.”

Those changes do not, apparently, involve cancelling the show, which is basically a walking corpse, creatively and in terms of its ratings. This “British Invasion” cycle debuted in February with fewer than 50 percent of the viewers its spring debut had last year. On Wednesday, just 1.31 million people watched.

Executive producer Ken Mok told the paper in a statement that the three men “helped turn this show into the household name it is today. They have been amazing assets to the show and will always be a part of the ‘Top Model’ family. We will continue to actively work with each of them on future projects.”

Nigel confirmed on his blog that he “will not be returning,” but saying nice things such as, “I will miss the cast, the crew and ANTM will always have a special place in my heart, having made life-long friendships with countless fond memories. This change will allow me to take on new projects and turn my attention to other business prospects in the worlds of fashion, beauty and entertainment.”

Tyra also confirmed the three departures, tweeting “fierce & love” and said she’s “excited for what the future holds for us.” Yes, the future of not working together.

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.

Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

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.