Survivor vs. Big Brother cast; Bachelor dating app; Big Brother casting; Dr. Drew and Mad Men

  • Reality Gamemasters, Rob Cesternino’s Kickstarter-funded online show following six reality show cast members playing Risk, now has all six episodes online. Three Survivor cast members (including two winners) and three Big Brother cast members (including one winner) faced off; guess which show prevailed?
  • Jewel will judge The Sing-Off when it returns to NBC later this year; Shawn Stockman and Ben Folds will also judge.
  • Daytime Emmy awards went to MTV’s great documentary series Made; the host of Discovery’s now-cancelled game show Cash Cab, Ben Bailey; and to Food Networks’ series Best Thing I Ever Made and Trisha’s Southern Kitchen.
  • Big Brother 4 winner Jun Song discusses the casting process, responding to my behind-the-scenes report on Big Brother finals casting, which focused on a more recent season. Jun concludes her piece by noting, “I only had good things to say about everyone who worked in production. They’e good hardworking people. There’s so much unnecessary filth thrown at Allison Grodner and her crew, and over what. A summer reality show? Alleged rigging? These people at CBS are real people…”
  • A fascinating interview about how (ethical) reality producers do the work required to produce a show, from editing to coaching cast.
  • An excellent profile of A+E CEO Nancy Dubuc, who oversees networks including History, Lifetime, and A&E. Vikings creator Michael Hirst said “The industry is driven by fear. People don’t want to fail. They have huge ambitions, but they’re afraid that the show won’t work. That’s why they start interfering. It’s their fear that starts screwing everything up. By not being afraid, by trusting people, you get the best work back. Nancy isn’t afraid of anything.”
  • The Bachelor host Chris Harrison and series creator Mike Fleiss teamed up to create a dating app, At First Sight, that uses brief video profiles to gauge chemistry (it’s also available for Android). Harrison told TV Guide, “We’ve taken what we’ve learned from the show over the last 11 years and … the best parts of social media and have put them all together.” That begs for so many jokes I can’t even make one.
  • Afghanistan is getting its own Got Talent show, the 55th international version of the Simon Cowell-produced series.
  • If you’re a fan of Mad Men, you’ll probably want to know that the show has always actually been only about Dr. Drew and his patients, which he actually claimed this week: “Have always said that Mad Men is fundamentally a study of my patients (traumatized/alcoholic/sex addicts) in a particular historical moment.” Ugh, the ego. For a truly entertaining and wild theory about the whole series, read this, which suggests Don Draper is D.B. Cooper (!!!).
  • Nik Wallenda successfully crossed the Grand Canyon on a tightrope without a harness or net, and the live broadcast earned Discovery high ratings, its best in three years.
  • Dirty Jobs and Top Shot producers Pilgrim Studios are casting real people for Busch beer ad campaign, for which they’ll film people “doing a real, honest day’s work to be featured in our new national ad campaign.”
  • Complex offers a list of 25 Reality TV Stars Who Need to Make a Comeback.
  • The Amazing Race winners and Fabulous Beekman Boys stars Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Brent Ridge got married last week.
  • NeNe Leakes got married, or re-married, to her ex-husband Gregg.
  • Teen Mom star Farrah Abraham is in rehab after a DUI.
  • Jersey Shore‘s Mike Sorrentino lost his lawsuit against Abercrombie & Fitch over a shirt that said “The Fitchuation” and the company’s offer to pay him $10,000 to not wear its clothes.
  • Jon & Kate Plus Eight star Jon Gosselin now lives in the woods off the grid, though he can still call in to gossip shows, while Ed Hardy says Gosselin “tanked” sales of his clothes.
  • Ryan Seacrest is dating a Sports Illustrated model.
  • Calvin Klein’s ex–and ex-porn star–Nick Gruber is filming a reality show which he says “is basically about me being in a relationship with Calvin.” Not quite sure how that’ll work, since he’s dating someone else now, and the show won’t film until January.
  • In two years, Discovery may launch a way for you to pay to see Discovery, TLC, and Animal Planet reality shows that are between three and 18 months old.
  • Swamp People now has a web series called After the Hunt that follows that cast after alligator season ends.
  • If you want to eat at Hell’s Kitchen, enter Fox’s contest to win a trip to L.A. including a dinner taping, plus a lot of swag from the show.
  • Review: Married at First Sight

    Marriage At First Sight

    In an era of Tinder and Grindr, instant acceptance or dismissal of a potential partner, or instant sex with another body, Married at First Sight offers the thrill of watching strangers deal with the very basics of relationships.

    Beyond the headline-grabbing premise, the series has turned out to be a stripped-down, authentic exploration of something very interesting. Read the full review.

    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.