Diving with the Stars coming to ABC, reality TV makes us smart, Pawn Stars UK

  • SyFy has renewed Face Off, which is a pretty strong competition series now airing its third season Tuesday nights; director Bryan Singer will be among those who guest star next season.
  • People keep sending this to me, so here’s an argument in Wired that reality TV makes us smarter because of the way it helps us learn about other people. I agree, of course, but the argument seems a little underdeveloped and, to be blunt, he totally lost me in paragraph two when he write, “Reality TV may even be the next stage in the evolution of television.” May be? Uh, we’re there, and have been for the better part of 12 years.
  • History Channel’s Pawn Stars is heading to the UK–or at least, the format is, as a UK-specific version of the show will be produced. Pawn Stars UK will have eight episodes and “will be uniquely adapted for an international audience,” producers said.
  • Discovery is giving $100,000 to one lucky Gold Rush season premiere (Oct. 26) viewer.
  • ABC has ordered a series which is basically Diving with the Stars, though it’s called Celebrity Splash. I’d guess this will go the way of Skating with the Stars, but it’s all about the casting, of course. It’s based on a show of the same name from the Netherlands; a trailer/pitch reel is below, and it’s worth a watch for the spectacular belly flops.
  • 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.