Drag queens give up everything from rights to revenue in order to appear on RuPaul’s Drag Race, and everything from per-episode compensation to Drag Race’s rules are covered in this 51-page participant agreement that contestants sign during the casting process.
Exclusive reports, interviews, details, and observations from behind the scenes of reality TV productions, from soundstages to islands, Trading Spaces to Survivor.
I went behind the scenes with new Mythbusters Jon Lung and Brian Louden during filming of part of their “Rock ‘n’ Roll Road Rage” episode.
Behind-the-scenes details about American Ninja Warrior’s city qualifiers and city finals production: How it’s filmed, how locations are chosen, and more.
I stood on a bridge, swatting mosquitos so frequently my hands were just a blur, and shook American Grit executive producer Jon Kroll’s hand. “Let’s try right here until we start getting devoured,” he said. We were above a lake, water that was now swarming with bugs, bugs indifferent to insect repellant, natural or chemical, and… continue reading
Last November, in a rural Georgia park, I interviewed several contestants for American Grit season two. It was the first thing a tiny contingent of press—two Fox TV station crew, and another print reporter and I—did before traveling to the actual set, where the contestants would be mentored by military elites and test their own endurance in the John… continue reading
A behind-the-scenes report from day 29’s episode two of The Runner, go90’s cross-country chase reality competition produced by Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Since 2004, Project Runway‘s home and filming location has been the Parsons School of Design in New York City. It’s where the workroom and the runway were located, and it was a five-minutes, 0.2 mile walk from Mood. Parsons also gave us Tim Gunn, who taught there and was supposed to just be an off-camera… continue reading
Oh hell yes: Sharknado is back on Syfy tonight, and the third installment brings with it more ridiculous mayhem and another slew of reality TV cameos. Shark Tank‘s Mark Cuban as the actual president, and, of course, the ever-serious Ian “EYE-an” Ziering from Celebrity Apprentice is the franchise’s star, Fin Shepard. The third installment brings… continue reading
“It was a big risk for us. We just had to hope, but we really wanted to try to tell authentic stories.” That’s Animal Planet Media executive Keith Hoffman, talking about the network’s series The Last Alaskans, which is the most surprising and most spectacular reality television show I’ve seen in quite some time. It’s… continue reading
Ultimate Survival Alaska, which is now in its third season, sends four teams of three on a 13-leg race through Alaskan wilderness. It is dramatic and thrilling, and features moments of great danger. It has also been accused of staging moments and not authentic. Is Ultimate Survival Alaska fake? “Nothing is staged. Everything you see those people do… continue reading
The set of Esquire Network’s Knife Fight was chaotic: people moving everywhere, chefs moving around in the small open kitchen, conversation plus cooking so loud you cannot hear the chefs or the judges. Once the setting for late-night cook-offs, Top Chef 2 winner Ilan Hall’s downtown Los Angeles restaurant now also hosts a TV show that is… continue reading
The secrets of Villa De La Vina, the candle wax-scented mansion where The Bachelor and Bachelorette are filmed.
Most of my interview with executive producer Kenny Rosen was conducted from behind one of the mirrored walls that make up The Glass House. We were standing behind the tubes from which players enter and exit, watching the players blow bubbles and answer viewer questions in the living room during the July 31 3 p.m…. continue reading
The spin-off of Whale Wars that follows Sea Shepherd’s actions last summer in the Faroe Islands will debut next month, and has been given the subtitle “Viking Shores,” perhaps because the name of its setting, the Faroe Islands, isn’t as sexy or well-known as Vikings are. (Vikings once colonized the 18-island nation, which is between… continue reading