Joan Rivers, Celebrity Apprentice winner, has died

Celebrity Apprentice winner and Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? star Joan Rivers has died at age 81. Her daughter and fellow Apprentice reality star Melissa Rivers announced her death today, saying that “She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends.”

Her death comes one week after Joan stopped breathing and suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest during throat surgery; the clinic is now under investigation. After being brought out of a medically induced coma earlier this week, Melissa said Joan was “moved out of intensive care and into a private room where she is being kept comfortable.”

The groundbreaking, often acerbic, unapologetically offensive comedian easily won the second season of Celebrity Apprentice, which broke the fourth wall when Melissa was fired because of their reaction:

Joan later appeared on the show multiple times, in addition to reality appearances such as on the UK’s Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack, where she took over the house for a day.

Four years ago, a fantastic documentary titled Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work revealed more of Joan than her reality show appearances ever did. (Watch it.) This clip is the film’s opening sequence, showing Joan putting on her makeup and highlighting her vast career:

The Quest ends its journey stronger than it began

Verlox from The Quest

A review of the finale of summer's best reality series, which wasn't always perfect but was thoroughly entertaining right down to the finish, which included phenomenal challenges and special effects. Will ABC give it a second season?

Plus: an interview with the actor who played Verlox and the ogre.

Shark Tank is getting a spin-off

Shark Tank

Companies that get deals on the show will be followed for this new spin-off.

Also: Before the show began, Shark Barbara Corcoran was cast and then replaced--but then she sent this amazing e-mail and won the job.

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.