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'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on importing other reality stars

Something weird happened last year on Survivor. A contestant from another CBS reality show appeared on the program. Previously, CBS had imported stars from Survivor and Big Brother onto The Amazing Race. And it also cast Willie Hantz — brother of Survivor’s Russell and uncle of Survivor’s Brandon — on Big Brother. But Survivor — which is still considered the granddaddy and gold star of reality television, even if it doesn’t have the Emmy awards (or nominations, for that matter) to prove it — had never accepted sloppy seconds from another CBS show.

That all changed when Big Brother 12 champion Hayden Moss showed up on Survivor: Blood vs. Water. But that casting at least made a little sense. Hayden had actually originally auditioned for Survivor instead of Big Brother, and the fact that he was dating Survivor contestant Kat Edorsson allowed him to tag along as her loved one for that Blood vs. Water season. But would that be an isolated incident?

The answer is no. For the second Blood vs. Water go round on Survivor: San Juan del Sur (premiering Sept. 24 on CBS), the show has now gone and imported an Amazing Race duo: twins Nadiya and Natalie Anderson. The “Twinnies” — who appeared on seasons 21 and 24 of Race — are a love it or loathe it duo for fans, and I was curious as to Probst’s thoughts on bringing aboard more contestants from another show. I spoke with the host out on location in Nicaragua on day one of filming to ask him about it, and now you can see his response in the video player below. READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst defends the casting of John Rocker

Survivor has had its fair share of villains over the years. But it has also had a few people that have gone past that line of villainous play into something far more distasteful. There have been productive conversations about race relations —like when Jeff Probst (in one of his finest moments) mediated a dispute between Phillip and Steve on the Redemption Island season — but there have also been insensitive remarks hurled that have made viewers as uncomfortable as the contestants.

Keeping that in mind, I asked Probst if he was concerned that bringing in baseball pitcher John Rocker — who made controversial remarks in the past — might lead to more of that type of behavior. I had already asked Rocker himself if he thought that infamous Sports Illustrated article would follow him into the game, and now I wanted to see the host’s logic for casting someone with such a background. Probst was resolute in his support for bringing in the former Atlanta Braves closer, and you can now see and hear his complete thoughts by clicking on the video interview below. READ FULL STORY

'The Biggest Loser' premiere: Former athletes fight for a return to their glory days

[This post contains details from The Biggest Loser episode that aired Sept. 11]

After Rachel Frederickson’s controversial victory last season, the producers are giving themselves a second chance with The Biggest Loser: Glory Days. All 20 contestants this year are former athletes, which theoretically should mean their minds and bodies are better suited for the intense regime expected of this competition. These former champions already know what it takes to be a winner but also understand the concept of limits and discipline, something Frederickson was criticized for lacking. Though it gets a little annoying how many times the trainers say it, this does have the potential to be the best season yet. READ FULL STORY

See 'Survivor' contestant get 'Naked and 'Afraid'

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Apparently deciding that one stint out in the wild was not enough, a former Survivor contestant has returned to rough it out in the elements, but he forgot one thing: his clothes. That’s right, a former Survivor player will be appearing on this Sunday’s episode of Naked & Afraid on Discovery at 10pm. Who’s the adventurous chap of which we speak? READ FULL STORY

'Ultimate Fighter' coach Anthony Pettis on the premiere and what's next

Last night saw the excellent two-hour premiere of the new season of The Ultimate Fighter. Subtitled A Champion Will Be Crowned, this new season pits 16 of the best 115-pound women in the world in a tournament, with the winner becoming the first ever UFC women’s strawweight champion. Last night’s premiere featured one of the best fights the show has ever seen, a three-round tilt between Randa Markos and Tecia Torres. Despite being seeded well above her opponent, Torres fell to Markos’ crafty striking and superior grappling, giving the show the first of what will probably be many upsets and classic moments.  READ FULL STORY

'Big Brother' host Julie Chen on who was helped and hurt by the Rewind button

Each week after every eviction, host Julie Chen will answer a few of EW’s burning questions about the latest episode of Big Brother.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Julie, did you think there was any possible chance whatsoever that one of these people was not going to press the BB Rewind button?
JULIE CHEN: There was no chance in “you know where” that these houseguests were NOT pressing the button. These are hard core die hard fans! If they didn’t press the button, they wouldn’t deserve to be there.  READ FULL STORY

The new 'Survivor' players reveal if they would vote out their own loved ones

One of the most dramatic moments of last year’s Survivor: Blood vs. Water season was when Ciera Eastin voted her own mother, Laura Morett, out of the game. (Awkward Thanksgiving dinner, anyone?) Now that Survivor is bringing back the Blood vs. Water twist of loved ones competing with and against each other for Survivor: San Juan del Sur, it got me wondering: Would any of the new players vote out their special someone? READ FULL STORY

Kelsey Grammer to produce reality show about Christina Milian

The last time Christina Milian made headlines, it was for competing on Dancing With the Stars in 2013. Meaning? She’s the perfect candidate for an E! reality series.

E! announced Tuesday that Frasier star Kelsey Grammer is on board to executive produce a show following Milian’s life. “We simply adore Christina,” Jeff Olde, E! programming and development executive vice president, said in a statement. “She’s young, vibrant and a highly accomplished artist who has a hectic life balancing the glitz and glamour of celebrity, and the rough and tumble world of hip-hop, with the more relatable moments of being a mom, newly back on the dating scene, and trying to make things better for her family.”
READ FULL STORY

'Survivor' host Jeff Probst on the pair that dropped out and a possible final two

There were supposed to be 10 pairs of loved ones competing on this season’s Survivor: San Juan del Sur — Blood vs. Water (which debuts Sept. 24 on CBS). But then, just days before filming began in Nicaragua, one of the couples was forced to bow out after a last minute-medical check turned up something that gave the Survivor medics pause. The same thing actually happened during the last Blood vs. Water season when RC Saint-Amour and her father had to drop out while on location due to medical reasons involving the dad. In that instance, Candice and John Cody were flown in at the last minute to replace them. (They arrived in the Philippines less than 24 hours before filming began.) READ FULL STORY

ABC orders second season of 'Bachelor in Paradise'

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Viewers enjoyed their summer romance with ABC’s Bachelor in Paradise so much that the network is renewing the reality TV spin-off for another season, which will premiere in summer 2015. The show, which follows former Bachelor and Bachelorette cast-offs as they look for “love” in a tropical setting, premiered August 4 and currently ranks as the No. 1 new summer series in the adults 18-49 demo. Bachelor in Paradise replaced Bachelor Pad, which ran for three debaucherous seasons on ABC before getting canceled. The BiP season 1 finale airs tonight at 8 p.m. on ABC.

Robert and Sarah enjoy an overnight date on 'Bachelor in Paradise'

On Bachelor in Paradise, love can change in an instant. But now that Sarah and Robert have officially survived her brief flirtation with the idea of Brooks, the couple is stronger than ever.

In an exclusive look at tonight’s episode, Robert and Sarah get to take their relationship to that “next step” that always stands for an overnight date. As Sarah puts it, “Tonight is his perfect opportunity to get to know me in every way possible that he can get to know me off-camera.” Hey, remember when these two were too nervous to even kiss? Good times.

READ FULL STORY

Watch a sneak peek of the 'Big Brother' Jeff and Jordan engagement

The ultimate Big Brother alliance was formed on Friday when former players Jeff Schroeder and Jordan Lloyd got engaged in the Big Brother backyard and then celebrated with this season’s current crop of contestants. (Sadly, neither the Zingbot nor Otev made an appearance. Nor was Mr. PEC-tacular around for this particular bit of Big Brother history. Still stuck in Pandora’s Box perhaps?)

The ultimate BB reality showmance moment — with apologies to Mike Boogie’s season finale proposal to Krista back in season 2 —will air on tonight’s episode (and will include country star Brett Eldredge performing for the happy couple. Take that, Sheryl Crow!) But you can get an exclusive sneak peek right here and right now. Watch Jeff trick Jordan into thinking she’s taking part in a competition. Watch Jeff tell Jordan, “Five years ago we met here, so I wanted to come full circle.” And then watch Jeff drop to one knee. READ FULL STORY

'The Chair' premieres as Starz' first original unscripted series

Whether it’s a small indie flick or a summer blockbuster, making a movie isn’t easy. First you need an idea, then a script, money, and lots and lots of people to fill all the roles—both on camera and off. In its first original unscripted series, Starz gives viewers a front-row seat to this complicated world in The Chair.

The premise is simple enough: Two aspiring filmmakers are given the chance to make their first feature film with the help of executive producer Chris Moore, who you might remember also produced the late Project Greenlight. What makes The Chair different is that both films have to be made from the same original screenplay (written by Dan Schoffer) and filmed entirely in and around Pittsburgh. Throughout the 10-part docuseries, the audience will watch the creation, marketing, and theatrical release of both films before voting on which director deserves the $250,000 prize at the end.

And it is a competition—although that competitive aspect is rarely talked about by the pair of directors—recent NYU film grad Anna Martemucci and YouTube sensation Shane Dawson. The two directors fall on different ends of the cinematic spectrum, which makes their personal interpretations of Schoffer’s coming-of-age dramedy much more distinct and interesting to watch. Dawson could probably find another way to make a movie if he really wanted to; his current videos are already seen by 10 million subscribers and have more than 1 billion views. Martemucci, on the other hand, is a writer trying her hand behind the camera, which of course means she has some trouble accepting that she can only adapt, not write, the screenplay that will eventually become her first film.

Of course, there are a lot more problems that occur in just the premiere than a little bruise of the ego. Most notably, Martemucci struggles with the decision to bring her husband along to Pennsylvania (or not) while Shane can’t determine how extreme (i.e. dumb) he wants his comedy to go just yet. The best part for the audience (though probably the worst part for the directors) is the gripping meta world created as the filmmakers are suddenly the ones being filmed. Both directors constantly break the fourth wall when they’re not supposed to and are open to talking about the challenges of not only creating your first movie, but having to do it with the added pressure of having each decision and step watched and critiqued before the actual work is even done.

In addition to Moore, Pittsburgh native Zachary Quinto serves as a mentor to both directors. First he must give full disclosure that he knew Martemucci prior through her husband and other work she had done—which basically resulted in this opportunity. Considering her competitor has a billion people watching him on YouTube, that small advantage still seems fair. And Quinto’s involvement isn’t just for added marquee value; through late night phone calls and emotional freak outs, Quinto is there for personal (and financial) support every step of the way. The premiere gives a preview at some of the other players likely to get involved in the unique chaos, including Dawson’s much more down-to-earth producer and the female director of photography Martemucci is desperate to have on her team.

Win or lose, both films will still air on Starz and be released in theaters in the fall. The Chair is the perfect show for any cinephile with a guilty pleasure for reality TV. Lights, camera… drama!

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