CBS expands Big Brother finale, Survivor debut

CBS has expanded the Sept. 24 finale of Big Brother 16 and the premiere of Survivor San Juan Del Sur to 90 minutes each. It’s a change that returns the shows to their typical premiere/finale night, with Survivor kicking off the three-hour evening.

The change comes because the network is moving the finale of Extant, the poorly rated Halle Berry series, away from premiere week. Variety notes that “sluggish ratings for Extant suggest it wouldn’t have held up well opposite season premieres of shows like Modern Family and Law & Order: SVU.”

In other words, CBS has more confidence in its two oldest reality series than in its flashy new star-vehicle drama.

The network praised the shows in a press release, noting the spring “Survivor consistently won its 8:00-9:00 PM time period in all key ratings measures,” while “Big Brother has been one of the summer’s dominant programs, winning its three weekly time periods in key demographics.”

The Sing-Off loses its star

Ben Folds

NBC's super-fun December a capella singing competition The Sing-Off is returning, but without its star judge, Ben Folds, and only as a two-hour special. Those are really depressing changes for a series that proved itself to be a super-fun show when it returned last December.


A film director talks about becoming a reality TV character

Anna Martemucci

What is it like to have your life turned into reality TV? Director Anna Martemucci, one of the two directors featured on Starz' exceptional reality series, talks about that, the competition, and her collaboration with her husband and brother-in-law.

Plus: How the show's producers tried to keep the $250,000 competition fair.

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.