French Survivor will be back; Masterchef posessed by Gordon Ramsay; 132-pound testicles; Mike Rowe’s voiceover secret

  • France’s version of Survivor, Koh-Lanta, will return in 2014 after a contestant died and production on its 16th season was cancelled. The return will be an all-star season.
  • Masterchef finalist Josh Marks is being evaluated by doctors after a violent arrest, during which he said Gordon Ramsay possessed him and turned him into God. His lawyer told TMZ that “We are working closely with medical professionals to determine if Josh’s behavior could be related to mental health symptoms.”
  • The Taste judge Nigella Lawson was granted a divorce less than two months after her husband was photographed grabbing her neck.
  • CNBC announced a new show called Money Talks and it turns out its star Steve Stevens is a convicted con artist.
  • Showtime will air a series following people who are dying. Time of Death is produced by Magical Elves’ Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, and in the press release, Lipsitz says, “Producing Time of Death has been one of the most intense and thought- provoking experiences of our careers. Nobody ever talked about death in our halls before — but now there is a much more open dialogue and its healthy and meaningful and we hope we can pass that experience on to the viewer.”
  • The History channel’s new reality series Hatfield and McCoys: White Lightning was pitched long before the scripted version, and emerged from conversations between its producer and the author of a book about the real-life conflict. Networks weren’t interested in part because they weren’t familiar with the families; later, History picked up the reality show after the show added an “aspirational” element.
  • TLC will air a special called “The Man With The 132 Lb. Scrotum” on Aug. 19. (Of course it’s TLC.) The film originally aired in the UK produced on Channel 4, where it was called “10 Stone Testicles.” If you want to know what a 132-pound scrotum looks like, watch the trailer.
  • Radar examines the success rate of restaurants on Kitchen Nightmares, and finds that restaurants helped most recently are more likely to be open: 9.5 percent of seasons 1 and 2 restaurants are still open, 43.5 percent of seasons 3 and 4 restaurants are still in business, and 77 percent of those featured on seasons 5 and 6 are still open.
  • A female pop singer in Greece appeared in blackface as Stevie Wonder on a singing competition called Your Face Sounds Familiar. She won that week’s episode.
  • Read this great oral history (ahem) of HBO’s documentary series Real Sex, which was groundbreaking in many ways.
  • EW talks to Sara Reddy, the executive producer of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, about her job translating the cast and writing the show’s subtitles.
  • Watch Deadliest Catch narrator Mike Rowe record a voice over track, and learn his insane time-saving secret. Instead of reading a script, he does something that’s very impressive:
  • 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.