Jeff Probst revealed that he quit Survivor sometime in 2009, calling the 17th season, Survivor Gabon, the show’s low point. But that wasn’t the reason why he quit—before, of course, coming back. This revelation comes in a New York Times article about the show’s longevity and consistency in ratings: it always wins the 8 to… continue reading
Archives for September 2015
Hotel Impossible‘s biggest challenge on Tuesday’s episode, “Hershey Addiction,” was not bed bugs, mold, or a decaying property. Instead, it was alcoholism. A general manager’s addiction found its way into online reviews and was clearly affecting both his 91-year-old mother, who founded The Simmons Motel in Hershey, Penn., and his son. The star of the… continue reading
One man has worked on hundreds of reality shows. His name doesn’t always appear in the credits, but his work is more immediately noticeable than many of the other people whose names fly by. It sets the mood, highlights a moment, and often helps to establish the voice of a show. He’s also no longer… continue reading
There are protests planned for the Oct. 13 live Ink Master season six finale in New York City as part of the ongoing quest to unionize reality show television workers. The Writers Guild of America, East, has taken its complaints with Ink Master producer Original Media to the show’s network. Today, the union announced that… continue reading
Hera McLeod and her father Gus were the fifth team eliminated on The Amazing Race 6 in 2004. In 2012, her 15-month-old died during visitation with his father, who was charged with first-degree murder and faces trial for the child’s murder Jan. 11. His father had taken out more than $500,000 in life insurance policies… continue reading
In one of the most infamous accusations in Survivor history, Jeff Probst said Richard Hatch smuggled matches in his anus during Survivor All-Stars, which Hatch denied when I asked him about it. Probst said that incident led to pre-game strip searches of the cast. Whatever kind of searches take place now—and production does search the… continue reading
Though the motto of Big Brother is to “expect the unexpected,” throughout its 17 seasons on the air, one thing remains resoundingly constant. That is, when a man and a woman are the remaining final two houseguests and have to face off in front of the jury, the man always wins the money. Like its… continue reading
No show starts a new season better than Survivor, and everything there is to love about the CBS show, 15 years and 31 seasons later, was there during Survivor Cambodia: Second Chance‘s premiere. From a lack of self-awareness to insanely cute baby animal b-roll, it delivered. With 90 minutes and only one true challenge (though,… continue reading
A couple who appeared as regulars on Travel Channel’s Ghost Adventures, Mark and Debby Constantino, were found dead yesterday in a Nevada apartment after what appears to be a murder-suicide. Police are investigating another man’s death that may be related. The AP reports that “Mark Constantino fired at officers who approached the door” and “A… continue reading
The man responsible for one of the most iconic theme songs on television—and really in television history—stopped writing music and took to the skies instead. Yes, instead of writing music for seasons 28, 29, or 30 of Survivor, Russ Landau learned to fly planes. Why did he leave the CBS show? To find out, I interviewed… continue reading
MTV has not publicly renewed its ratings-challenged and creatively declining flagship reality show The Real World, but reports indicate that it is getting ready to film its 31st season in Las Vegas at the Gold Spike Hotel and Casino. Vital Vegas reported the location after DTLV teased that the show would be filmed downtown starting… continue reading
In this edition of The Confessional, an argument for how Big Brother could change everything but keep the same elements. Big Brother is a dynamic reality game show. With the weekly show, After Dark, and the online feeds, it brings countless hours of entertainment into our homes and can be enjoyed by the audience on… continue reading
The day before its ninth season premiere, The Voice won its second Emmy, meaning The Amazing Race did not win its 11th Emmy. The outstanding reality competition Emmy was the only unscripted category presented at the prime-time Emmy telecast, because Hollywood fails to see a significant portion of television as deserving of its time (and, yes,… continue reading
Matt Damon has apologized and blamed the editing for comments he made during the first episode of Project Greenlight‘s fourth season, in which he rejected another producer’s concern about diversity. The season premiere include the producers of Project Greenlight deliberating about which director to hire, and during that, Effie Brown—a successful film producer who will… continue reading
Since Survivor first aired 15 years ago, summertime has been reality television’s territory—especially on broadcast networks, which have more real estate in summer for unscripted shows. With the end of America’s Got Talent and Big Brother, and the return of Survivor, summer reality TV is handing the baton off to fall reality television. This summer’s… continue reading
Face Off has been introducing new challenges this season, its ninth, and they’ve improved the Syfy reality competition significantly.
Professional talent competitions like this live and die by their challenges, and the challenges have had more of a spark all season: engaged couples transformed into zombies who were then married by host McKenzie Westmore; two models merged into one creature; Rorschach ink blobs as inspiration for characters.
There’s a lot of variety that has nudged the show out of the rut it’s been in recently; the episodes don’t feel as interchangeable with other seasons, and the variation has resulted in some contestants excelling one week and failing the next.
After 10 seasons, America’s Got Talent ended up where it has been before: with a ventriloquist winner. But it has also been places it has never been before, thanks to excellent casting, production design, and judging by Howard Stern, who’s leaving the show. British ventriloquist Paul Zerdin won the $1 million and Las Vegas show,… continue reading
Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old who was arrested and suspended from school because his homemade clock was viewed as a threat, will visit The White House at the invitation of President Obama in October, and he also wants to go on Shark Tank. A clock he built to show his engineering teacher freaked out another teacher, who… continue reading
CBS’ new entertainment president, Glenn Geller, is a fan of reality television—and not just CBS’ marquee shows—who wants to find the network a new reality hit. Geller replaces longtime executive Nina Tassler, who announced her exit yesterday and who previously praised Survivor and defended Big Brother. Geller told Variety: “I want to find the next… continue reading
NBC’s three hours of reality television last night—two hours of live performances by America’s Got Talent‘s finalists, the one-hour premiere of Neil Patrick Harris’ Best Time Ever—offered a lot of surprise, but mostly that was disappointment. So much potential, so little delivery. AGT’s finalists stumble in the finale Nearly all of the all-male finalists on… continue reading