Jillian Michaels returns to Biggest Loser (again), which will feature teenagers (oh no)

Trainer Jillian Michaels will return to The Biggest Loser, her second return to the show because she has quit twice. She last quit to have a child, and previously quit because of the editing. Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince will also return for its 14th season.

The show will also “tackle the childhood obesity epidemic head on by featuring kid participants (ages 13-17) for the first time ever,” according to an NBC press release. While they will not be able to be eliminated, and will “work at both the ranch and at home” with “medical staff as well as behind-the-scenes childhood obesity experts will help the children get healthy, achieve their personal goals and transform their lives during the course of the season,” the kids “will compete with and contribute to their respective teams,” NBC says.

If they contribute to their team’s overall weight loss percentages and thus play a role in the competition, that’s definitely worrisome: the series has been accused of creating eating disorders thanks to its competition component. At least they won’t be subjected to elimination, which has always been the most awkward part of the show–and what makes it attractive to network audiences, alas.

In the press release, Jillian is quoted and ties together her return and the new cast members: “As a former overweight teen, I know firsthand how dramatically weight issues can affect every aspect of a child’s life. Having recently become a mother of two, I am more passionate than ever about helping empower children and families with the information and resources they need to live a healthier life.”

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.