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Big Brother’s banner history, Trebek’s Jeopardy 24/7, more reality TV news

Big Brother’s banner history, Trebek’s Jeopardy 24/7, more reality TV news
Messages on banners flown over the Big Brother compound, as included in a brilliant video by a YouTube creator called "Barfbag."

We’re halfway through August, so it’s time to share reality TV news I’ve been gathering (and sometimes sharing in my newsletter).

I will update this story throughout the rest of the month with reality show news highlights., so check back frequently!

The links below highlight what’s happening in the world of reality TV, and give special attention to must-read pieces that I loved—along with plenty of sarcasm, skepticism, and/or snark when appropriate.

This isn’t every story, and certainly not all the celebrity gossip, but highlights what I find to be the most notable, important, and interesting, which is what I’ve done throughout reality blurred‘s 22-year life. (Read more about this feature.)

As always, I welcome links or suggestions; just send me an e-mail message!

August must-reads

Aparna on a date in Indian Matchmaking season 2
Aparna on a date in Indian Matchmaking season 2 (Image via Netflix)

The first must-read is a must-watch, especially for fans of Big Brother, and especially for those of you who, like me, remember the banner plane era. I recommend this despite its creator, Barfbag, briefly citing my work, though I very much appreciate that, too (thanks to Hamsterwatch for the tip!):

This behind-the-scenes look at the 1980s version of Hollywood Squares:

Meha Razdan on Indian Matchmaking evolution into “a generic tale of how people date”:

A true-crime series about the murder of a 12-year-old girl, Shadow of Truth, led to a new trial—and claims that shows like it are an “imminent danger to democracy”:

This different perspective about two popular Netflix documentaries:

August 2022 reality TV news

Alex Trebec, host of Jeopardy! and its special ABC tournament, The Greatest of All Time
Alex Trebec, host of Jeopardy! and its special ABC tournament, The Greatest of All Time (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC)

Cirie, Stephanie, Janelle, and Rachel talked to EW about being on Snake in the Grass, which was perhaps the show’s best episode because it told us who the snake was early on and let us see her actions. But behind the scenes, it seems like the show was even more of the mess than it is on screen! [EW, 8.30.22]

A&E is suing Reelz over Live PD, which Reelz recently relaunched, calling it On Patrol: Live. The lawsuit says people associated with the show “openly and repeatedly have referred to Live PD as ‘returning’ and ‘coming back’ on REELZ.” [Hollywood Reporter, 8.30.22]

“What It’s Like to Appear on a Golf Channel Reality Show”? Two Altered Course contestants discuss in an SI podcast. [Sports Illustrated, 8.29.22]

Floribama Shore has effectively been cancelled. Deadline says “MTV has opted not to move forward with a fifth season of the reality series, at least for now.” [Deadline, 8.26.22]

TV critic Mark Blankenship reviewed Netflix’s Running With the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee for Primetimer, saying it “proves that McAfee was a master manipulator whose marks included many seasoned journalists and, quite possibly, the filmmakers themselves.” Then he heard from two of those journalists, who objected to the characterization. [Primetimer, 8.26.22]

Texas Monthly’s deep-dive into the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders past and present has a bit about the now-cancelled CMT reality show, including this: “No reason was given, but it was hard not to speculate either that the scandals had given CMT cold feet or that the cheerleaders, scrambling to control the narrative, felt that reality cameras came with too much risk.” [Texas Monthly, 9.22]

The Amazing Race 34 announced its 12 new teams, which include Big Brother’s Derek Xiao and Claire Rehfuss. The season traveled around Europe, and will be paired with Survivor on Wednesdays this fall. [CBS, 8.24.22]

This fall, NBC and Bravo shows—including reality TV—will be on Peacock the next day. Finally. That starts Sept. 19. [NBCUniversal, 8.24.22]

Trista Sutter talks about the franchise that made her a star and introduced her to her partner: “I can’t give the show credit for the fact that we’ve been able to stay married for 20 years; The Bachelorette introduced us, but after that was our doing.” [Vulture, 8.23.22]

Love Island UK host Laura Whitmore has quit after three seasons, writing on Instagram that “There are certain elements of the show I’ve found very difficult that cannot be changed some due to the format, including the flying back and forth to South Africa.” The UK show will have two seasons this year, including one filmed in South Africa. Whitmore also wrote, “I was only planning to fill in for Caroline for a series and it turned into 3 series. I hope I did you proud Caroline.” [Variety, 8.22.22]

Love is Blind season 2’s Danielle Ruhl and Nick Thompson are getting divorced, too. LOVE IS COMPLETELY DEAD. [E! News, 8.21.22]

Like reality TV and fantasy novels? There’s a new book out next week that combines the two: Tune in Tomorrow: The Curious, Calamitous, Cockamamie Story of Starr Weatherby and the Greatest Mythic Reality Show Ever by Randee Dawn

Selling Sunset star Christine Quinn won’t be on seasons six and seven, which are now filming. [TMZ, 8.17.22]

Love Is Blind’s Iyanna McNeely and Jarrette Jones are getting divorced. LOVE IS DEAD. [NBC News, 8.17.22]

Love Island U.K. star Ekin-Su Cülcüloğlu won because she “didn’t spend her time in the villa carefully curating her Instagram marketability” and instead had “a messy, real romance with Davide,” Katja Vujić argues. [The Cut, 8.16.22]

HBO’s documentary executives were not laid off as part of Warner Bros. Discovery’s cost-saving, human-cutting. [RealScreen, 8.16.22]

PBS renewed The Great American Recipe for season 2, which will air next summer, saying that season one attracted younger, diverse new viewers for PBS.” Judges Leah Cohen, Tiffany Derry, and Graham Elliot will return, as will host Alejandra Ramos. [PBS, 8.15.22]

Press Your Luck is defying the odds and general trends by growing its audience: it “grew over the prior week by 5% in Total Viewers (4.0 million vs. 3.8 million)” and had “its most-watched original telecast since July 2020 – since 7/12/20. [ABC, 8.15.22]

Warner Bros. Discovery is purging HBO Max’s reality TV team, among others, to help the newly merged company save money, because money matters more than people. Variety says “Existing shows like FBoy Island will continue to run” but otherwise HBO Max won’t be making new reality TV. Deadline’s story has this amazing anecdote: “HBO Max was known to pay between $1.5 million-$2 million per episode of some of its unscripted shows, well above Discovery’s usual tariffs, which generally go as high as around $500,000 per hour.” [Variety, 8.15.22]

R. Kelly’s trial has begun, and during jury selection, the judge “denied a defense request to reject any jurors who had seen any part of Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly docuseries,” according to the Chicago Tribune. “Kelly’s attorneys had argued that anyone who had seen any part of the series could not be fair.” [Chicago Tribune, 8.15.22]

Messyness co-host and comedian Teddy Ray died Friday, having apparently drowned. [Hollywood Reporter, 8.13.22]

MTV is combining Teen Mom OG and Teen Mom 2 into a new show, Teen Mom: The Next Chapter, which I assume is to make room for thousands of new cast members produced by the Supreme Court. (Find or donate to local abortion organizations.) The new show will star Amber, Ashley, Briana, Catelynn, Cheyenne, Jade, Leah, and Maci. [MTV, 8.12.22]

Survivor casting director Jesse Tannenbaum posted on Instagram, asking applicants to “please stop submitting a TikTok vide of you dancing” as an audition and added, “make an effort please.” [8.11.22]

The Television Academy is moving game shows to the prime-time Emmys and adding an award for Outstanding Host for a Game Show. Game shows are defined as “programs with game elements that primarily take place in-studio and involve mental challenges” with one-off episodes. As part of the change, so there’s no confusion, it’s renaming the “Outstanding Competition Program” Emmy to “Outstanding Reality Competition Program” [Television Academy, 8.10.22]

TCA lifetime achievement award winner Steve Martin will be the subject of a Morgan Nevile-directed documentary for Apple TV+. [RealScreen, 8.10.22]

Two women said The Bachelorette’s Nate Mitchell cheated on them by dating them at the same time; Nate’s response was “Two sides to every story.” [Us Weekly, 8.9.22]

American Idol runner-up and noted Republican donor Katharine McPhee, ranted on Instagram about crime in Beverly Hills, saying, “I blame every single one of you woke voters.” [Fox News, 8.5.22]

While “walking into scene at a freaking strip club of all places,” Siesta Key cast member Kelsey Owens said she was “cut moving forward on Siesta Key with absolutely no warning.” [Instagram, 8.5.22]

Joel Madden is replacing Dave Navarro as host of Ink Master when it returns later this month, though Navarro will have the new role of “Master of Chaos.” [Paramount+, 8.5.22]

Fixer Upper: The Castle and other Magnolia Network shows will be on HBO Max, while a bunch of CNN unscripted shows—Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell, and This is Life with Lisa Ling—will be on Discovery+. [Warner Bros. Discovery, 8.4.22]

Warner Bros. Discovery’s networks (HGTV, Food, Discovery, TLC, TBS, TNT, CNN, TVN, and Eurosport) made $5.742 billion last quarter. [Warner Bros. Discovery, 8.4.22]

Shea Couleé will be a cast member in the Disney+ series Ironheart. [Variety, 8.3.22]

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Taylor Armstrong is joining The Real Housewives of Orange County, which makes her “the first Housewife ever to make the jump across franchises since it premiered back in 2006,” People reported. [People, 8.1.22]

The Weakest Link was renewed for a 20-episode third season, with Jane Lynch hosting. [NBC, 8.1.22]

Pluto TV’s Jeopardy! channel is live, and will cycle through “250 episodes from the past 33 seasons, while its new Wheel of Fortune channel has “over 250 episodes from the past five years.” [PlutoTV, Aug. 1]

Highly respected unscripted executive Corie Henson, who ran reality TV at TNT, TBS, and truTV before the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger, has been hired as NBCUniversal’s “Executive Vice President, Entertainment Unscripted Content, overseeing reality competition, talent competition and game show formats.” [NBC, 7.29.22]

All reality blurred content is independently selected, including links to products or services. However, if you buy something after clicking an affiliate link, I may earn a commission, which helps support reality blurred. Learn more.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart

    Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means.

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Monday 15th of August 2022

Ooh, I love The Weakest Link; glad it's been renewed.