News from the week:
- Fox’s entertainment chair, Kevin Reilly, is stepping down/has been fired after a season of disappointing ratings and shows, such as I Wanna Marry “Harry”. He recently said American Idol might reunite its original judges someday.
- I Wanna Marry “Harry”, which was basically Joe Millionaire all over again (and “practically a shot-for-shot remake”), lost more than 40 percent of its viewers week to week from an already dismally low premiere. Just 1.9 million people watched the debut, while 1.1 million people watched episode two.
- Research shows that there will be about 20 percent more prime-time scripted series next season, which of course prompts people to ask if reality TV is dying. Of course not, just as scripted shows didn’t die when reality TV hits emerged. Why must we always be so reductive and simplistic?
- Michael Arceneaux argues that “Reality TV Saved The R&B Star” because it has “been damn good overall to R&B singers for several years now.”
- In a story about the trend of acquisitions of reality TV production companies, one anonymous network executive calls it “a giant Ponzi scheme.”
- The exit of Caroline Manzo and Jacqueline Laurita from The Real Housewives of New Jersey means the addition of three new cast members: Amber Marchese, Nicole Napolitano, and Teresa Aprea, who will be joining Teresa Giudice, Melissa Gorga, and Dina Manzo.
- Radar claims that Kanye West doesn’t want Kim Kardashian to appear on Kourtney & Khloe Take The Hamptons.
- Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch winner Rubi Pazmino was arrested for allegedly stabbing her boyfriend
- Juan Pablo Galavis has reportedly been cast on VH1’s Couples Therapy with Nikki Ferrell. Having watched his season of The Bachelor, you’d think he’d have learned his lesson about being on drama-fueled relationship-driven series.
- Season 19 of The Bachelor is holding several casting calls; be prepared to be asked these seven questions.
- WEtv used a fake campaign for the fake Society for the Prevention of Celebrity Divorce to promote its new show Marriage Boot Camp: Reality Stars.
Jeopardy! contestant Arthur Chu reveals in a Daily Beast essay that he auditioned for TBS’ King of the Nerds, and offers “a nerdy thought” that, because both winners were female, it should be retitled. More interestingly, however, in the wake of last weekend’s shooting in Southern California, he presents an argument titled Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds. It’s a compelling argument:
“But the overall problem is one of a culture where instead of seeing women as, you know, people, protagonists of their own stories just like we are of ours, men are taught that women are things to ‘earn,’ to ‘win.’ That if we try hard enough and persist long enough, we’ll get the girl in the end. Like life is a video game and women, like money and status, are just part of the reward we get for doing well.”
Something to watch
It’s not quite reality television, but this NBC News special was the most sustained and insightful look at a person who’s been in the news for a year now: Edward Snowden. Whatever you think of what he’s done (TRAITOR! PATRIOT! Ugh, NBC.), it’s fascinating to actually hear and see him, rather than letting others characterize who he is or what he’s done.