Survivor Cochran’s jury paper, new CBS gigs; Dawn and Brenda; Erik’s analysis of Probst

Lingering stories and information about Survivor Caramoan:

  • This season was the 29th most-popular TV show among people 18 to 49–just behind The Amazing Race, and well behind #18, Survivor Philippines.
  • John Cochran, this season’s winner, has been hired to write for CBS’ new sitcom The Millers, which stars Will Arnett and Margo Martindale. He’ll also recap Big Brother for EW, which is kind of like working for CBS.
  • Cochran’s famous piece of academic writing about the Survivor jury system is “not even a good essay,” he told HitFix, saying it’s “literally five pages long” and “was just a cute thing” that “wasn’t showing any great insight. … That’s why I haven’t released it.”
  • CBS screwed up Cochran’s check, which had a typo in his address.
  • Dawn and Brenda made up at Ponderosa after the teeth incident, Dawn told Gordon Holmes, but they didn’t stay connected. She also calls Cochran “My very best friend in the whole wide world.”
  • Rob Cesternino makes a case for promoting Survivors’ Twitter handles, and I agree that there’s value in it for the network to help their stars have more of a following on social media. I don’t agree with his assertion that “if there’s anything that Jeff Probst seems to loathe, it’s the self-promoting reality star,” both because of the evidence in the reunion (Boston Rob, ugh) and also because the obsession with returnees is about turning one-time players into self-promoting stars with more fans who justify their returns.
  • Erik Reichenbach did a Reddit AMA that is incredibly insightful and really makes me think he got a shitty edit, and is a lot more complex than the dolt the editors turned him into. He confirms that the camera operators are unintentional but useful clues about the location of the idol (one followed him when he went to pee) and says “Brandon teetered on the edge the whole time he was there. He claimed he had some kind of medication that he was not allowed to bring but I don’t know if there’s any validity in this.” Most fascinatingly, he offers pretty pointed criticism of Jeff Probst:
    “He has changed a lot. It has been 4 years in between though, and I am sure I have changed too.

  • … Jeff Probst Micronesia filming is 100 times greater then Jeff Probst at Caramoan. He was much more fair and generally pleasant during Micronesia compared to Survivor 26. His bias for specific players is not only unfair it is kind of ruining the future seasons. Survivor 22 is one of the worst seasons I have ever watched.

    …Jeff Probst has gone from Host to show-runner I believe in the last few years. He has much more creative control which is bad in my opinion. He is a great host, but he is making some very poor choices.”

  • Malcolm may have appeared on the Bold and the Beautiful, but Phillip Shepherd, who has a book in case you didn’t know, appeared on an episode of the web series Development Hell. I don’t have the slightest idea what’s going on in this episode, but I like the callbacks to Survivor and Phillip’s self-parody. Most of all, I want to see the reality series “Who Dat Cheater” hosted by Phillip. Fox, please put that into development ASAP.
  • Lisa Ferreira, who created the amazing “Hold Up, Bro” Lego musical number (have the MP3 yet?), recapped the season finale and live reunion. She was in the audience, but the recap is in Lego, of course. To close out the season, here’s a reprise of “Hold Up, Bro,” easily one of the highlights of this deeply hit and miss season:
  • Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

    Eaten Alive

    Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


    Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

    winter 2015 reality TV schedule

    Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

    There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

    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.