Skip to Content
reality TV reviews, news, and analysis since 2000

4 reality star deaths, Seacrest’s new gig, more Big Brother, and other June news

4 reality star deaths, Seacrest’s new gig, more Big Brother, and other June news
Ryan Seacrest, photographed for American Idol 16, in front of a circle, which is reminiscent of his new gig: hosting Wheel of Fortune (Photo by Gavin Bond/ABC)

It’s the last week of another month, and we’re already halfway through 2023 somehow. That means it’s time for another news round-up! Cue the confetti!

I’ve curated the links below, gathering what I think is important, insightful, or just interesting reality show-related news and perspectives, and added some of my own snark.

And as always, I welcome links and recommendations. Just e-mail me!

I’ve shared some of these links as I find them during the month on reality blurred’s front page, and also in my weekly newsletter. If you don’t yet get it, sign up right now:


A large group of people behind a banner that says Writers Guild On Strike!; many are holding signs or wearing similar t-shirts
Members of the WGA strike on June 21, 2023, in Los Angeles. (Photo by ufcw770 on Flickr)

If you haven’t read anything about the writer’s strike, or wonder why it’s happening, I highly recommend reading this Defector piece by Katharine Trendacosta:

I have not yet watched Amazon’s documentary about the Duggars, Shiny Happy People, but I have read Eve Batey’s review of it, and I can recommend the review and also will watch soon as a result of reading it:

June 2023 reality TV news

Five people in a jury box; one is clapping
The jury of (almost entirely) actors hears the fake case on Freevee’s Jury Duty (Photo by Amazon Studios)
  • Dance Moms cast member Maddie Ziegler said on a podcast that her mom apologized to her for putting her own the show, and said producers turned her into a “little brat”: “in the first season I was seven, there were male producers saying, ‘This is what you have to say.’ My mom wasn’t in the room, so I was like, ‘OK, I just have to do whatever I’m being told.’ They would say, ‘Say you’re the best, say you’re better than everyone else.'” Coaching a seven year-old into being hated: there’s something for those producers be proud of. [InTouch Weekly, 6.28.23]
  • Vanderpump Rules is still surfing the wake of Scandoval, but will start filming season 11 today. [Us Weekly, 6.28.23]
  • American Idol host Ryan Seacrest left Live with Kelly and Ryan this spring, and now has a new gig: He’s been hired as host of Wheel of Fortune, replacing Pat Sajak in 2024. [6.27.23]
  • GALECA: The Society of LGBTQ Entertainment Critics (of which I’m a member) announced its TV award winners, including reality TV show, Freevee’s Jury Duty, and doc series, Shudder’s Queer for Fear: The History of Queer Horror. [GALECA, 6.26.23]
  • Rick Ellis runs down Warner Bros. Discovery’s six zombie cable channels, those that have basically been abandoned. [Too Much TV, 6.26.23]
  • Paramount+ cancelled Queen of the Universe—and will delete it from the service on June 30, so watch the final four episodes of season two before then! [Hollywood Reporter, 6.23.23]
  • The Voice announced its new coaches for spring 2024: Reba McEntire, John Legend, Chance the Rapper, and duo Dan + Shay sharing a “red double chair,” though I think sharing one chair would be more fun. [6.22.23]
  • Flying Wild Alaska star Jim Tweto died in a plane crash last Friday. Hundreds of people attended his memorial service Tuesday. [Anchorage Daily News, 6.22.23]
  • My 600-Lb. Life star Larry Myers Jr., aka “Mr. Buttermilk Biscuits,” died at age 49. [People, 6.21.23]
  • Drag Race winner The Vivienne was punched in a McDonald’s by a man making homophobic comments. The man was arrested. [The Advocate, 6.16.23]
  • If you’ve always dreamed of being on Vanderpump Rules, the new Hulu show Vanderpump Villa is now casting for staff/stars for the French villa. [Variety, 6.16.23]
  • The Real World Seattle premiered 25 years ago today, and Joe Reid writes about the season and how it “is practically begging for reevaluation with 25 years of hindsight,” though that’s unlikely now that Paramount+ cancelled Real World: Homecoming [Primetimer, 6.15.23]
  • NeNe Leakes was edited out of The Real Housewives of Atlanta credits on the Peacock version, which later restored the original as it aired on Bravo. [Deadline, 6.13.23]
  • America’s Got Talent winner Michael Grimm was hospitalized with an unknown illness, and was “struggling with his health and lacking energy.” Thankfully, he was “taken off a ventilator after being hospitalized in intensive care for at least two weeks.” [USA Today, 6.13.23]
  • Big Brother’s late start means it will continue “into November,” according to CBS exec George Cheeks. August to November?! That seems like just too much Big Brother. [Deadline, 6.13.23]
  • 90 Day Fiance: Before the 90 Days had a catfish scenario, as Tyray learned the person who he’d sent money to was not who they said they were. [ET, 6.11.23]
  • Padma Lakshmi discussed her decision to leave Top Chef, saying “I was exhausted. I just want to enjoy my life a little bit.” She also says she didn’t know she was leaving while season 20 was being filmed. [Los Angeles Times, 6.9.23]
  • I love this behind-the-scenes-of-Top Chef video Padma posted to social media! [6.9.23]
  • Food Network renewed Ciao House, saying the show “reached more than 13.7M total viewers (across Food Network/Max/discovery+) and averaged .73 P18+ and .96 W18+ L+3 rating, up 62% and 71% respectively from Food Network’s year-to-date prime average.” But will they fix this problem? [6.9.23]
  • Sony Pictures Television “is in early talks” about kid versions of Shark Tank and Wheel of Fortune. [Hollywood Reporter, 6.8.23]
  • Big Brother Canada was, surprisingly, renewed for 12th season. [Global, 6.6.23]
  • Bling Empire star Anna Shay died after a stroke. She was 62. [People, 6.5.23]
  • Daymond John got a restraining order against The Baker family, of Bubba’s Q., which got an investment from Daymond John during Shark Tank season 5, told the L.A. Times the experience since “has been a nightmare. The newspaper reported that the family says he’s been “misleading them, trying to take over their business and depriving them of the profits from potentially lucrative partnerships.” In response, Daymond John filed for a temporary restraining order; his spokesperson told Fox Business, “This temporary restraining order is due to the Baker’s blatant actions to undermine a business partnership and the legal parameters they agreed to 4 years ago.” [6.3.23]
  • Showtime pulled an episode of Vice titled “The Gitmo Candidate & Chipping Away” that focused on Florida’s fascist governor Ron DeSantis and his time working at Guantanamo Bay. A Vice spokesperson said, implausibly, that “As with all current affairs programming there can be scheduling changes, and we are very much still in discussion about the scheduling of this episode.” [Hollywood Reporter, 6.4.23]
  • Former Wild ‘n Out star Jacky Oh died at age 32. She was in Miami for “a mommy makeover surgery.” [Los Angeles Times, 6.2.23]
  • Survivor cast members Brice Izyah and Ozzy Lusth celebrated Pride with a sexy video and a caption that said, “We refuse to remain hidden in closets! Embrace your true self and live life on your own terms! Embrace your freedom to be authentically you and love whomever you choose! Wishing you a joyful and empowering Pride Month.” [6.1.23]
  • Samantha Brown told the story of getting to her audition for her first Travel Channel show, and it’s hilarious/amazing. [5.21.23]

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.

More from reality blurred

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.

Discussion: your turn

I think of writing about television as the start of a conversation, and I value your contributions to that conversation. We’ve created a community that connects people through open and thoughtful conversations about the TV we’re watching and the stories about it.

To share our perspectives and exchange ideas in a welcoming, supportive space, I’ve created these rules for commenting here. By commenting below, you confirm that you’ve read and agree to those rules.

Happy discussing!


Wednesday 28th of June 2023

The Padma video made my day, especially with Kristin Kish looking awkward and like she might want to dance but she just can't be sure. Oh, and Amar eating.