Shipping Wars death; Whodunnit’s future; Penn & Teller competition; Hoop Dreams’ 20th

  • The star of A&E’s Shipping Wars, Roy Garber, died Friday, two days after the show’s fifth season finished airing. His cat is okay. The cause of death was a heart attack, according to Variety.
  • The documentary feature films nominated for an Oscar are The Act of Killing, Cutie and the Boxer, The Square, Dirty Wars, and 20 Feet from Stardom. The short subject documentary films nominated were CaveDigger, Facing Fear, Karama Has No Walls, The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, and Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall. The Academy’s web site has information and trailers for each. The most high-profile snub was Blackfish, which led to some hilarious responses.
  • ABC’s president said at ABC’s TCA session that there is no decision yet about Whodunnit‘s possible second season.
  • Duck Dynasty‘s return had much lower ratings when compared to its previous season debut last summer: 3.3 million fewer viewers. However, it had just 400,000 fewer viewers from its December Christmas special, so it really was losing viewers all fall before the controversy.
  • American Idol‘s return for its 13th, somewhat rebooted season earned its lowest premiere rating since season one, though it still had 15 million viewers and a 4.7 rating in 18 to 49. However, it didn’t keep all of that audience Thursday night, dropping 12 percent of its viewers (and 30 percent of its young viewers compared to last year), but it was still the number one broadcast show.
  • The CW has ordered two new reality competitions, in addition to renewing America’s Next Top Model, which its president told TV critics “will come back on sometime during the summer.” Barber Battle is a competition that will visit different cities for each battle between those who create “artistic designs” on people’s heads; Cedric the Entertainer will host. Even more interesting, however, is that The CW has ordered its own version of ITV’s cancelled 2011 series Penn & Teller: Fool Us, on which The CW says “aspiring magicians are invited to perform their best trick to try and fool the world-famous team of Penn & Teller. Anyone who succeeds wins the right to perform with Penn & Teller in their celebrated show at the Rio Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.” That sounds awesome.
  • A new RuPaul’s Drag Race poster references Duck Dynasty and its star’s homophobic comments: “We don’t give a duck.”
  • Celebrity Apprentice winner Trace Adkins is in rehab to deal with alcoholism after he reportedly got into a fight with a Trace Adkins impersinator on a cruise ship.
  • American Idol 2‘s Corey Clark attempted suicide and was homeless after being disqualified from the show; he’s now 33 and married with three kids.
  • A 34-year-old cast member on Cheer Perfection, Andrea Clevenger, was charged with rape for having sex with a 13-year-old male. TLC’s comment: “TLC doesn’t have a comment; Regarding the series, the network made the decision a few months ago not to order more episodes, and we do not air the show in repeats.”
  • An oral history of the great documentary Hoop Dreams, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. It debuted 20 years ago at Sundance and then had a wider release later in the year. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must-watch documentary (and is free on Hulu–watch now!):
  • 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.