New reality competition will let you put the winner in your mouth

TNT has ordered an interesting new food competition series from Mark Burnett’s One Three Media called On the Menu: each episode’s winning dish will go on the menu at the next day. Here’s how TNT describes the show:

“Each episode of On the Menu will center on a different American food business — ranging from restaurant chains and stadium concession stands to amusement parks and cruise lines. Passionate home cooks, working in conjunction with professional chefs, will be challenged to create the business’ next signature menu item. The winning dish will immediately go on the menu, giving viewers at home the chance to go try the dish the very next day.”

There’s no way this show won’t feature heavy product integration via the “food business” being featured, and that can work (The Pitch) or be overwrought and annoying (Undercover Boss), so I hope that the sell to viewers is not too heavy handed.

But it’s a smart way to produce a show and provide something of value for both a sponsor and for viewers, kind of like what Fashion Star attempted, though it seems more difficult to convince viewers to buy clothes than to try a menu item. I like the concept a lot, so I hope the execution is as great.

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.