At long last, a show has succeeded in finding the right balance in combining fiction and reality TV.
Archives for July 2014
For the second time in less than one week, Big Brother 16 informed a contestant about the death of a family member and later broadcast that tragic news. Both times, that death was of a grandfather: first Frankie Grande’s grandfather died, which he learned of last Wednesday, and then on Friday, Derrick Lavasseur was told… continue reading
Reality TV is dominating on broadcast networks this summer, despite the presence of several high-profile scripted series. Last week, nine of the 10 most highly rated broadcast network telecasts among adults 18 to 49 were reality TV shows, which also comprised 13 of the top 25 programs for the week. Looking at overall ratings, four of the top… continue reading
Last summer’s social media phenomenon returns tonight when Syfy debuts Sharknado 2: The Second One at 9. The viewer-chosen subtitle tells you everything you need to know about its approach and seriousness. There is not a single thing in the movie that makes any sense, and any attempt to think about it critically will likely fail. That makes it fun, though:… continue reading
What happens when a real restaurant becomes the set of a reality TV cooking competition.
Thanks for all your feedback about the redesign. I’m thrilled that it was received so positively, and understand and appreciate the feedback from those of you who weren’t thrilled with all the changes. It’s significant change! I’m also very sorry that the site hasn’t worked perfectly these past few days, and hope you’ll forgive any issues. Two… continue reading
Appearing on Oprah’s Master Class Sunday night, actor Billy Bob Thornton issued a devastating critique not only of reality TV’s obsession with competitions and similarly themed shows, but of viewers’ desire to see others fail instead of experiencing the “magic” in life. “We’re just living in a time that’s just become judgmental and everybody wants to see… continue reading
A Congressional candidate running as a Republican in New York City was approached about being filmed for an Esquire reality series, and asked the Federal Election Commission if he and his staff could appear and be paid for their appearances. The answer, in short, was yes and no, respectively. Nick Di Iorio’s campaign manager made… continue reading
News and links from the past few weeks, when I was busy finishing the redesign and reporting from the summer Television Critics Association press tour (a lot of terrific interviews and information coming from that soon). And thanks for both your feedback and for bearing with me during this initial period as I solve some lingering problems (surveys… continue reading
Fifteen years ago, just before Survivor forever changed reality television, The Blair Witch Project blurred reality and fiction and spawned a new trend in horror films. It wasn’t just that the film presented itself as found footage, but there was an entire mythology presented in a documentary and online materials that suggested the events of the series were real and part… continue reading
During a fight on Tuesday’s Real Housewives of New York City finale set at chic New York restaurant Le Cirque, cast member Aviva Drescher said, “The only thing that is artificial or fake about me, is this,” and produced her leg from under the table with the same effortlessness and casualness as one might pull out a receipt from Chipotle… continue reading
Fox Networks chair and CEO Peter Rice was very candid with TV critics about the American Idol, the broadcast network’s former crown jewel, and its strengths and weaknesses. He said the network is happy with the ratings (“it’s still a very strong show for us”) and its new creative direction (“we felt really good about the production”), but admitted it is… continue reading
Welcome to the new reality blurred, the culmination of two years of on-and-off work, and a summer’s worth of non-stop work. The goal was simple: To have a more functional, attractive home for 14 years worth of reality TV news, analysis, criticism, and reporting–and one that can hopefully power another 14+ years of even better coverage. I welcome your feedback… continue reading
Logo’s RuPaul’s Drag Race and Fox/NatGeo’s COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey won the Television Critics Association’s nonfiction television awards, which will be presented tonight. Drag Race became the fourth winner of the Outstanding Achievement in Reality Programming award, following Shark Tank last year. As it turned out, all five nominees were competition series, two of which… continue reading
I asked Big Brother’s executive producers, Allison Grodner and Rich Meehan, about both the interaction between them, if they had any concerns about Amber’s safety, and how this has been presented on television