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Utopia populated by unpleasant people who behave badly

Reality shows live and die based on their casting, and right now, Utopia is on life support. Earlier this summer, Utopia executive producer Conrad Green told me, “The intention of this clearly isn’t to make it into some big shoutfest of oppositional views.” Alas, episode one was mostly a shoutfest, heightened by alcohol but fueled by people …

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Discovery Channel “big fans” of Mythbusters it fired

The Discovery Channel has responded to a petition signed by more than 34,000 people that asks for the return of fired Mythbusters Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara. The petition calls their departure “a huge step backward for Discovery” noting that “as the main female Mythbuster, Kari inspired a generation of girls and showed …

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Big Brother needs a button to reset this whole season

The big surprise on Big Brother last night was not a result of the eliminations, but the revelation that its houseguests now have access to a button that will reset the next week of game play. Making a whole week completely irrelevant apparently qualifies as a twist in “the most twisted summer ever,” even though there have been no twists since the start …

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Will ABC defy the fates and renew The Quest?

In an article for HitFix, I explore ABC’s string of summer reality gambles–The Glass House, Whodunnit?, and now The Quest–and the network’s weird failure to give the shows support to grow. For The Quest, that meant ABC president Paul Lee greenlighting the show and telling critics this summer, “I loved taking those sort of risks,” but then allowing his …

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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 …

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