Bethenny divorcing; Reality Steve sued again; crews face reality TV danger

  • Bethenny Frankel and Jason Hoppy separted before Christmas, and she has now filed for divorce and wants primary custody of their daughter, Bryn, along with child support. Two weeks ago, Bethenny said they’d “continue to amicably co-parent our daughter” and called it “immensely painful and heartbreaking.” This is likely surprising to anyone who didn’t see how miserable Jason always seemed on Bethenny Ever After, not that a TV show could capture all parts of their relationship.
  • Producing reality TV can be dangerous because networks “are cutting corners on safety, exposing cast and crew members to hazardous conditions,” according to an L.A. Times report. The story details the death of a producer on a Discovery Channel pilot, and the life-threatening injuries sustained by a co-executive producer on Bamazon, and also Thom Beers and others’ efforts to unionize and protect the crew members who produce the shows we love.
  • A&E’s new series The Governor’s Wife will follow former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards’ wife Trina. He’s 85, she’s 51 years younger, and they met via correspondence while he was in federal prison serving eight years for bribery and extortion. Also featured on the show: his daughters who are about twice his wife’s age.
  • The Bachelor‘s producers have sued Steve Carbone again, claiming that he is violating his settlement agreement with the show. NZK Productions and Horizon Alternative Television say that Steve continues “to seek confidential information from participants, cast, crew and other employees of the Bachelor series and, in the course of doing so, continue to solicit and induce participants and employees of the Bachelor series to breach their contractual obligations”; Steve calls it “bogus.”
  • The Producers Guild announced its award nominees, and the results were mostly predictable . Nominated for Outstanding Producer of Nonfiction Television are producers of American Masters, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Deadliest Catch, Inside the Actors Studio, and Shark Tank. The nominees for Outstanding Producer of Competition Television are producers of The Amazing Race, Dancing with the Stars, Project Runway, Top Chef, and The Voice. HBO’s strong documentary series 24/7 and On Freddie Roach were nominated in the sports category.
  • Kyle Massey’s lawsuit over the awful Lifetime series Bristol Palin: Life’s a Tripp has been settled. Whether or not Tripp Palin used a gay slur will never be settled.
  • Flipping Out star and creator Jenni Pulos is pregnant. Jenni told Us Weekly that Jeff Lewis wants the baby to be named Jeff; she did not say anything about Jeff’s lawsuit against her.
  • The owner of a bar says he wouldn’t let MTV’s Buckwild continue to film there because producers lied to him and said they were filming “an educational documentary” but instead the cast fought at his bar, although a crew member insisted cast members were “just acting.”
  • I suppose this was inevitable, but here’s an essay that connects the Sandy Hook massacre to reality TV by claiming reality TV is responsible for filling the world with negative energy and anger. It’s written by Reed Cowan, whose bio says he was a semi-finalist to be on OWN’s Your OWN Show.
  • Julianne Hough, actor and former Dancing with the Stars pro, tells Cosmopolitan about being “abused, mentally, physically, everything” at age 10.
  • Heidi and Spencer are on the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother, playing as one contestant and living in the crappy basement, which is, of course, perfect.
  • Kris Allen and his pregnant wife, Katy, were in a head-on car crash; he had surgery Friday for a broken wrist.
  • Ryan Seacrest will narrated season three of PBS’ documentary series Pioneers of Television. As with all things Seacrest, my reaction is: ugh.
  • 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.