U.S. Senate now has a former reality TV cast member: Cory Booker

Newark mayor Cory Booker was elected to the United States Senate yesterday, which The Star-Ledger reports “makes history” because he’s “the first African-American to represent New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.” He is also the first former reality TV show cast member to become a senator.

Booker’s rise from mayor to senator is somewhat different than former Real World cast member Sean Duffy’s rise to Tea Party congressman. Both were followed by cameras for documentary-style series, but Booker was followed while he was mayor by filmmakers who produced the great 2009 Sundance reality series Brick City, which won a Peabody Award.

The series is now on DVD, and three of its cast members are now being followed for a new series, Pivot’s Jersey Strong. It follows Jessica “Jayda” Jacques and her fiance Darel “Creep” Evans, members of the Bloods and Crip gangs, and also Brooke Barnett, an attorney who once defended Jayda, and her partner Maggie. The first episode is online.

Here’s an excerpt from Brick City that introduces Cory Booker and Jayda:

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

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.