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Are we tired of reality TV?

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Maybe it was DC Cupcakes, because we didn’t need another cable reality show about cake bosses. Or perhaps it was the latest chronicling of blue-collar workers in Alaska or Louisiana. (Doesn’t Crawfish Catchers look tedious? And we bet you can’t even tell whether that title is real or not).

Or it could have been Bravo’s seventh Real Housewives series.

Or E!’s fourth Kardashians title.

Whatever marked the official tipping point, it all feels familiar now: the master chefs, treasure seekers, tattoo artists, makeover experts, ghost hunters, dirty jobbers, untrained pets, C-list celebrity families, and glow-tanned bickering glambots overturning restaurant tables. We’ve been Flipping Out for years, and don’t necessarily want to flip out anymore. Even VH1’s Dating Naked, a series that got more buzz than any other new reality show in 2014, disappointed in the ratings (it debuted to just 826,000 viewers). You know a genre’s in trouble when hot naked singles rubbing body paint on one another can’t draw a crowd.

The diminishing returns of cable TV’s sea of reality sameness—ratings for 14 of the top 20 major cable channels declined in 2014—is one of the reasons networks that have devoted decades to producing unscripted shows are suddenly making dramas too. Bravo, E!, WGN, Pivot, WEtv, and even Animal Planet have all either recently launched, or are readying to launch, their first scripted shows.

“Every year the number of shows that premiere increases exponentially while the number that hit decreases exponentially,” says Lara Spotts, Bravo’s senior VP of development. “It’s the most Hunger Games-ian environment we’ve ever seen as programmers. We’re all trying as many strategic moves as we can.” READ FULL STORY

Dale from 'Survivor' on the 'vultures' that ate all the rice and voted him out

It was bad enough that Missy, John, and Keith ate all the rice at their previous tribe. But then they came over to Coyopa and started also helping themselves to that supply, well, Dale Wentworth was none too happy about that, so what did they do? They voted both him and his daughter out of the game!

Dale called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) to discuss where it all went wrong, whether he thought his fake idol play would work, and how he feels about daughter Kelley last week saying she wishes she hadn’t played alongside him. Not only that, but Dale has some strong feelings about Jeff Probst bailing out Hunahpu last night with a trade for more rice. Find out why he thinks even his former Coyopa tribemates should have had to deal with the consequences of the over-consumption. You can now listen to the whole thing right here on the InsideTV Podcast by clicking on the audio player below. (The ‘Survivor’ interview with Dale begins 19 minutes in.) READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on that controversial rice trade

Every week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: This is kind of a new one for you guys in terms of a tribe recklessly devouring all of their food supply. Tell us about how you came up with the decision to take all the comfort items back from Hunahpu for more rice. Are there any other options you and the producers discussed before settling on that?
JEFF PROBST: Having a tribe eat through or lose their entire staple of rice is one of the greatest gifts the reality gods can bestow upon a show like Survivor because it creates story. Big story. Once I heard they were low on rice and we were still very early in the game there really wasn’t any other consideration than to take every single thing at camp — other than the most bare essentials. In this case, it was easily justified because there were no mitigating circumstances — they simply ate it all. There has to be a big check for that kind of indulgence. But the big idea I am still circling is this: If you make the assumption that you can always trade for more rice (even if it’s your entire shelter) is eating all your rice so you can stay strong for challenges actually a decent strategy? I would not be surprised to see another tribe take the risk and employ this strategy in future seasons. So in my subconscious I am already thinking of how we might handle this same situation if a tribe didn’t have enough supplies to make a fair trade. Say for instance a tribe that had won no rewards, had only the barest of shelter, but like Hunahpu, also ate all their rice. What is the appropriate invoice at that point?  READ FULL STORY

'Survivor': Did Jeff Probst demand too much or not enough for more rice?

Someone got voted out on tonight’s Survivor, but most of the debate and discussion will center around the trade Jeff Probst offered to the Hunahpu tribe for more rice (since they had gorged themselves on their entire supply already). My full recap will be up later [UPDATE: Dalton's recap is now live], but read on to find out or sound off on what happened. [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched tonight’s episode of Survivor: San Juan del Sur.] READ FULL STORY

Kelley from 'Survivor' reveals who cooked all the rice

No wonder Hunahpu has won every single Survivor immunity challenge they have tried to win this season (Drew intentionally lost one because he is a moron) — it’s because they were eating twice as much rice as the other tribe. As a result, the folks stuck on Hunahpu will have to strike some sort of bargain with Jeff Probst next week to replenish their practically non-existent food supply. What will it cost them? We’ll find out next Wednesday. But whose fault is it? Who kept insisting on cooking all of that rice? We asked the latest person voted out (and a former Hunahpuian), Kelley Wentworth, to reveal who exactly was responsible when she called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning, and she was more than willing to give up the goods. We also asked her whether her dad helped or hurt her in the game, why Drew was so obsessed with getting her out, and to tell us all about her reunion with Drew at Ponderosa after being voted out. You can now hear the entire interview right here by clicking on the audio player below for the latest InsideTV Podcast. (The Kelley interview starts at 39:30.)
READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst explains how Keith got his immunity idol back

Every week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: As viewers, we all make immediate judgments after a tribe swap in terms of which tribe got the upper hand. What was your immediate impression once we had our new Hunahpu and Coyopa tribes? And who individually was helped and hurt the most by the switch?
JEFF PROBST: Well, the great thing about a switch is it almost always guarantees some level of chaos because all you need is for one person to switch tribes and you have a new dynamic within that group. The big story this switch was the division of loved ones and singles. My immediate reaction was “this is going to force the game into a new direction” because now you have to make a big decision. Do you hold on and hope a merge is coming and try to wait it out to get back with your old alliances, or do you jump ship right now and play the hand in front of you? Jeremy is clearly in a bit of trouble because of the Josh and Reed partnership. But… anything can happen in this game. It’s amazing to me how many times the writing is on the wall and then gets erased and replaced with something new. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor': And the eliminated contestant is...

There was both a tribe swap and an attempted food swap in tonight’s episode of Survivor: San Juan del Sur. But when all was said and done, another contestant’s million-dollar-dream came to end. What happened and who went home as a result? My full recap will be up later [UPDATE: Dalton's recap is now live], but to find out and sound off on what happened, read on for more. [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Wednesday’s episode of Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.] READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on that weird Tribal Council voting

Every week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What, you didn’t want to take back that flint and give them some fishing gear? I can’t for the life of me figure out why, Jeff! Your thoughts on the proposed re-swap of fishing gear for flint?
JEFF PROBST: Well, first of all, I loved it! I was so happy that Drew felt comfortable enough to go for it because it was a fun moment. I really think he thought I might be swayed, but let’s be clear: There was zero chance of that trade happening. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor': Well, that sure was stupid

Someone made the ultimate Survivor blunder tonight, and then paid the price for that blunder. What happened and who went home? My full recap will be up later, but to find out and sound off on what happened, read on for more. [SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Wednesday’s episode of Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.] READ FULL STORY

A Lego reality show? It could actually happen (Updated)

UPDATE: A representative from Lego said “We currently are [in] consideration several television formats, including reality TV competition,” but that there were no other details to share at this time.

ORIGINAL STORYAfter leaving its mark on the box officeand making plans to continue its ruleLego may be trying to build up its presence on television.

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AMC cancels all reality shows except 'Talking Dead,' 'Comic Book Men'

AMC is refocusing on scripted content, thereby canceling nearly all of its reality shows. Specifically, the network will continue to air Talking Dead, the promotional companion to The Walking Dead, and Comic Book Men, with all other unscripted projects coming to an end.

“Scripted originals are at the core of the AMC brand,” AMC said in a statement. “Iconic shows like Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead have driven AMC’s evolution into a must-have television network. We are proud of our efforts in unscripted programming and the unique worlds we have been able to introduce, but in an environment of exploding content options for viewers, we have decided to make scripted programming our priority.”

In terms of scripted shows, AMC has multiple upcoming projects to fill its time, from Badlands to Better Call Saul, and a potential companion series to The Walking Dead, among others. And given the success of its scripted work and the solid performance of AMC movies, the network has decided to cut the least valuable player from its lineup.

John Rocker talks about that big 'Survivor' blowup

Even the smallest thing on Survivor can completely set you on the path towards elimination. John Rocker learned that the hard way after making a deal with Jeremy at Exile Island to help protect his wife. Once she was voted out by the tribe, Jeremy sought his revenge by revealing Rocker’s controversial past to his tribe. Then Natalie — whose twin sister Nadiya was also voted out by Rocker — let fly at the former pitcher after the immunity contest for both his performance in the challenges and his past comments in a 1999 Sports Illustrated article. And that was pretty much it for John Rocker. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on that 'ugly' confrontation

Every week, host Jeff Probst will answer a few questions about the latest episode of ‘Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water.’

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Well, Jeff, this seems pretty clearly to be a case of John Rocker’s past coming back to haunt him. Once Jeremy decided to use that as a weapon against him and Natalie seized upon it, was that pretty much it for him?
JEFF PROBST: I think the incident at the challenge was probably a big impetus for voting out Rocker. I remember that challenge pretty clearly and I remember feeling “this is ugly.” All of it. Those are not the kind of moments I want for Survivor but when you take a group of strangers and let them build their own society you can’t control how they will behave or the decisions they will make. I think Rocker’s actions speak pretty clearly.  He was baited by Natalie and he took the bait. Hard to recover from some of the things he said. From Natalie’s point of view, who knows if she meant it or was just playing the game, but either way, it was effective. READ FULL STORY

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