The Biggest Loser is the biggest thing on loser NBC

NBC’s ratings failure during February sweeps are detailed in a New York Times article that is best summed up in this one sentence: “no episode of any show on NBC in February came within one million viewers of a show on PBS: Downton Abbey.”

NBC is doing so terribly that it was well behind Univision, and The Biggest Loser tied with The Office to bring the network its highest rated prime-time episodes this month, earning a 2.1 among viewers 18 to 49. Both were beaten by AMC’s post-Walking Dead talk show Talking Dead, which got a 2.2.

But never fear: NBC scheduling exec Jeff Bader told the paper that its “heavy-hitters,” particularly Celebrity Apprentice and also The Voice, which has replaced two of its coach/stars with two new people and is attempting a third season of the same show in the past year.

So yes, NBC’s greatest hope comes from Donald Trump and Gary Busey–and those swivel chairs.

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.