Big Brother renewed for a 15th season

CBS renewed Big Brother today, so it’ll be back for its 15th season next summer.

The announcement for the early renewal noted that this summer, the show “has consistently finished among the summer’s top-rated series in young demographics,” and “is one of television’s most socially engaged series” with “five times the average number of tweets per episode (according to BlueFin Labs) compared to last season.”

That was different than last year’s renewal, which bragged that season 13 had the show’s largest audience in many years, averaging 8.11 million viewers and a 3.1 in 18-49; this year it averaged 6.79 million viewers and a 2.5.

Still, despite the decline in popularity, the renewal is a no-brainer: the show gets enough ratings to justify its cost, and there’s no reason to make changes. It’s cheap to produce, the set is built, and the formula is carved so deeply into stone that animals are burrowing in the crevices.

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.