Strange talk show promo introduces us to Jeff Probst

Survivor host Jeff Probst’s talk show debuts this fall, and there’s a new teaser promo that introduces us to its star, as if he was somehow unfamiliar. Even more oddly, it does that only using adjectives such as “upbeat,” “energetic,” “relaxed,” “well-traveled,” and “off the wall,” barely including Jeff at all.

I don’t really get it, and it seems to do a pretty bad job of what should be pretty easy: selling Jeff Probst as a charismatic, engaging, and smart television personality. There’s at least 12 years of footage to use as evidence, because even if he sometimes frustrates Survivor viewers, Jeff is unquestionably excellent at what he does. I understand that they might want to avoid the connection to the reality show altogether, so as to attract a daytime audience, but still. This? Yikes.

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.