Jeff Probst Show cancelled soon? Also, Chris Harrison clothes; Speidi second on BBUK; Face Off lawsuit

  • Will The Jeff Probst Show be cancelled soon? Ricki Lake’s low-rated talk show was cancelled today and Deadline predicts that “[a] similar announcement for Jeff Probst should be coming soon.”
  • Donald Trump is suing Bill Maher over an obvious joke Maher made on Leno: Mocking Trump’s $5 million offer to see Obama’s college records, Maher joked he’d give $5 million to charity if Trump proved he wasn’t the “spawn of his mother having sex with orangutan.” Trump insists that wasn’t a joke because Maher “said it with venom.”
  • American Ninja Warrior is casting for this summer’s season of the insane obstacle course competition.
  • Celebrity Rehab cast member and porn star Ron Jeremy is on a respirator after surgery for an aneurysm.
  • Sea Shepherd, which is filming itself for the next season of Whale Wars, has found the Japanese whaling fleet before the whale-killing began. However, the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an injunction ordering that Sea Shepherd cannot get within 500 yards of the whalers. Meanwhile, Sea Shepherd has created two White House petitions “to save whales and help Captain Watson.”
  • Spencer Pratt attempted to show emotion on the finale of the UK’s Celebrity Big Brother, telling his fellow housemates, “I would have loved to come on this experience and just been normal, but that’s not what they pay me to do, so it’s been very difficult for me to be awful. But you know, I just gotta be the bad guy.” He and Heidi placed second.
  • A production company has sued SyFy and NBC Universal over the idea for Face Off, SyFy’s awesome Hollywood makeup competition.
  • Chris Harrison is developing a clothing line; it’s not clear if the clothes will come with smarminess infused into the fabric.
  • Multiple documentaries about Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath are being produced, in part because, as The New York Times reports, “The unearthly atmosphere of a blacked-out Lower Manhattan alone was enough to send would-be auteurs prowling the streets with cameras.”
  • Malcolm Freberg will be on The Bold and the Beautiful Feb. 13.
  • A singer who lost during the battle rounds on the UK’s version of The Voice auditioned for Simon Cowell and other judges on Britain’s Got Talent.
  • Patrick Duffy criticized reality TV shows for “eroding good TV.” Patrick Duffy.
  • This awesome story about behind-the-scenes drama on Smash, written and reported by my friend Kate Aurthur, makes it clear that NBC’s biggest mistake with the series was not filming the drama of the production itself for a companion reality series.
  • 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.