New Biggest Loser trainers; Gold Rush star dies; Kitchen Nightmares’ success rate; CW show cancels itself

Recent reality TV news

  • Gold Rush star James Harness died at age 57, Discovery Channel confirmed to THR. He left the show after its second season because of pain related to a car accident.
  • There will be four trainers on the next season of The Biggest Loser, as the show is replacing Jillian Michaels, who quit for a third time with two trainers: Jennifer Widerstrom and Jessie Pavelka, the cousin of former Bachelor Jake Pavelka. NBC describes the former DietTribe trainer as “an internationally recognized fitness expert known for helping others develop practical solutions to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle,” and describes Winderstrom, who was an American Gladiators star, as “a top fitness expert committed to helping people live their best lives through health and fitness.”
  • Cee Lo Green quit The Voice because “It easily and quickly became a job. [...] Very, very obligating … Taxing and tiring … I still tip my hat to Adam and Blake and those guys who continuously do it, but I think I ran my course there just naturally,” he told Us Weekly.
  • The CW’s Famous in 12, the real-time reality series that promised to make a family famous in 12 weeks while being “guided by Harvey Levin and the TMZ machine,” cancelled itself after five weeks during Tuesday’s episode. Zap2it notes that “hardly anyone watched the show,” which ” averaged 641,000 viewers and a 0.2 rating among adults 18-49, which even for the summer on The CW are weak numbers.” I hope this also illustrates TMZ’s declining power, and hope TMZ cancels itself next.
  • HGTV’s Rehab Addict has partnered with Lebron James‘ the LeBron James Family Foundation to renovate homes for 10 families in Akron.
  • A Swiss reality show called Job Tausch (“Job Swap”) is filming in Southwest Florida, where two firefighters from Switzerland are training with the Cape Coral Fire Department, which sent two firefighters to Switzerland.
  • Is a One Direction reality show filming?
  • Johnny Depp judged the finale of a reality competition series in China, Chinese Dream.
  • Heidi Montag says her appearance on Celebrity Wife Swap “was really fun to just be more authentic and be in a situation and see what happens. I’m shocked at how amazing it was.” Amazing how that whole non-scripted reality TV thing can work.
  • Several reality TV production companies have created the Nonfiction Producers Association, which they say will be “a non-profit trade group dedicated to maintaining, growing and nurturing the documentary and nonfiction TV production industry.” A press release said it will “provide industry information, training and assistance to production companies, their staffs, and production employees, and promote ‘best practices’ that ensure production employees, independent contractors, vendors and other stakeholders have a voice and platform for meaningful discourse that can encourage and contribute to the continued success and welfare of all parties within the nonfiction television industry.” Among the companies that are on board: Atlas Media, Original Media, Big Fish Entertainment, Leftfield Pictures, and True Entertainment.

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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.