Real World’s Puck in prison; Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp; NBC’s Bear show; reality fans more neurotic?

  • The Today Show’s web site “surveyed nearly 19,000 people and found those who watch reality TV consider themselves more extroverted, more neurotic, and say that they have lower self-esteem than folks who aren’t fans of the genre.” Our lower self-esteem is probably because of polls like this.
  • NBC announced today that American Idol winner Carrie Underwood will star as Maria von Trapp in the network’s adaptation of The Sound of Music, which will be based on the Brodway musical. The three-hour movie will air a year from now and be produced by those who produced the Chicago and Hairspray films.
  • American Idol winner Phillip Phillips’ debut album landed at number four on the Billboard 200, and while he sold fewer records than Scott McCreery did last year, USA TODAY notes that this marks “a strong first week of album sales from [Idol’s] winner for a second straight year.”
  • The Real World San Francisco disaster Puck, aka David Rainey, is in prison after being convicted earlier this year for stalking and sentenced to two years, though he’ll be out less than a year from now after receiving more than a year of credit for time served.
  • Ricky Martin will judge The Voice in Australia next year, replacing Keith Urban, who is now judging American Idol.
  • NBCbearshow.com is not a competition between large, hairy gay men, but instead the casting web site for Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls, which is like NBC’s Lost in that “teams of two will be dropped in a remote wilderness location.
  • Elmo puppeteer Kevin Clash–the subject of the great documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey–resigned from Sesame Street, leaving the show without one of its “main creative forces” after he was sued by a second man of underage sex, which was followed by third man later sued, too. The first accuser recanted his accusation and then recanted his recantation. The second man, who’s now 24, sued Clash for $5 million and, as The Smoking Gun revealed, describes himself as “an exotic diva” in Craigslist “transvestite for men” ads.
  • Dancing with the Stars‘ Karina Smirnoff will headline a summer Cruising with the Stars cruise that includes dance lessons with her.
  • The penthouse that housed the Top Chef Seattle contestants is profiled by Zillow.
  • Speaking of Seattle, Seattlites hav been cast in two Norwegian reality shows: The Great Norway Adventure and a dating series called Sons of Norway.
  • There’s an interesting argument in The Atlantic about all-star seasons ruining competition shows because they are “rewarding self-aware ‘brand-building’ over talent.”
  • 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.