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:

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.