Saturday, December 1, 2007

Kid Nation amounts to nothing

Kid Nation didn't pan out as envisioned by the producers. According to the "Los Angeles Times," "The children of Bonanza City never came close to building a new town; the grown-ups who publicly stated they were investigating the production for possibly skirting child welfare and labor laws never got a probe off the ground; and CBS did not get the big hit it was hoping for." Since it premiered September 19, "critics have noted that Kid Nation doesn't live up to its hype because the children never built their own society. Instead, they followed instructions and suggestions by producers -- in the form of a mysterious journal -- at every turn." The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office began investigating CBS’ Kid Nation in late August, but after looking into the permit process and everything else, "officials now say they have dropped the matter." CBS and creator Tom Forman, who owns Good TV, have said all along that they did not break any laws during the production, which took place in April and May. This week, CBS issued the following statement: "Throughout the preseason controversy, we said the true story of 'Kid Nation' would be told through the episodes on the air and the voices of the 40 kids who participated. We remain confident that 'Kid Nation' was produced in a legal and ethical manner, and we stand behind the quality of what is on the screen." A second season for Kid Nation is questionable, although there has been casting and other preproduction activity. The show would be ready in the event of another pick-up.

The season finale is scheduled to air Dec. 12.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Assignment #6

I started this blog a few months ago and it's changed a lot throughout the time I was writing in it. I first started recapping a variety of shows, but as time went on I became busier and busier and it was harder for me to watch and write about so many shows. I started to write about important reality TV news stories that still had something to do with the shows, but it was no longer a recap of the shows, but just the important headlines. The only show I kept continuing to recap was America's Next Top Model. I also wrote and kept up with the writer's strike.

I really enjoyed writing in this blog and I will probably continue to write in it for the months to come, though I'll probably expand on it a little more. Looking back on it, I think I should have included more youtube videos, although it was hard to find videos on my topic. I also would have concentrated on more reality shows, rather than just concentrating on one and then writing only important news for the others. I would have liked it if more people commented on what they liked/didn't like about my blog to give me an idea of what other shows I may have been missing. The thing I enjoyed the most about writing a blog about reality TV was just having to read about a lot of the reality shows. I found it really interesting to read about all the shows, especially the behind the scenes stuff. There's a lot you can find about reality TV when you do the research.

I really enoyed reading the other reaity blogs out there. I got a lot of my ideas and inspiration from them. I also enjoyed reading quite a few of the other class blogs, including Matt's Laugh Tracker and Derek's Municipally Wasted.

I progressively started writing in my blog more and more as time went on. It can take a while to sit down and write a long post, let alone a few each week. Especially as a college student with a tough schedule, it's sometimes hard to keep up with blogging. I did manage to keep up and make quite a few posts a week though and that's mostly because I really liked writing my posts. It didn't feel like homework, in fact, I felt like it gave me a time-out on my homework, just to reflect and read about things I enjoy.

I only shared this blog with my parents and of course the people in my class. My parents really enjoyed reading it because they are huge reality fans, especially my dad. I'm pretty sure he's an even bigger fan than me!

The Hills Season Finale Spectacular

The third season finale of The Hills is scheduled to premiere on December 10, according to "People." MTV is planning a two-day long event for its popular TV series. On the big night, MTV and the cast will present Hills Finale: Live in Hollywood, which will broadcast live from L.A. hot spot Area. The actual finale will premiere at 10 p.m. ET, followed by a live after-show. Lauren Conrad, Whitney Port, and Audrina Patridge will answer questions then "make an announcement that will leave fans wanting more." The audience at the live show will include up to 40 winners of “The Hills Biggest Fan Contest,” which is accepting video submissions through Dec. 3 from fans explaining why they love the series.

The season finale celebration will begin December 9, when MTV airs a special called The Hills: Lauren Looks Back, beginning at 12 p.m. ET. This will be a “video scrapbook” of Lauren Conrad’s life from her time at Laguna Beach High to her life today. It will feature LC talking about past friendships and boyfriends.

Looks like Heidi won't be making an appearance on the after-show anytime soon.

This is one event not to be missed by The Hills fans!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Dramatic Finale for Dancing with the Stars

The premiere of Dancing with the Stars, which aired this week, left Helio Castroneves with the fifth-season title. This may have been the least interesting thing that happened that night though. We learned since that Helio Castroneves fiancee, Aliette Vazquez, has called off the couple's engagement, after six years as a couple. Elsewhere, Mark Ballas was actually rushed to the hospital after he injured his arm during the Cha Cha performance with partner/girlfriend Sabrina Bryan. At one point during the dance, you could see that he whispers something to Sabrina. We don't know if Maksim Chmerkovskiy was serious or not when he told Extra last night that he may be through with the show.
"If this is the limit of where I can get in a show, then let it be,” Maks said. “I’m satisfied and moving on."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

WGA surveys reality show writers

According to a survey of 303 reality TV story writers and producers “writing jobs in reality television are characterized by long hours, almost no benefits, inconsistent meal breaks and inaccurate record-keeping,” according to the WGAw, which commissioned the survey.

Goodwin Simon Victoria Research’s study [PDF] found that “91% of reality TV writers receive no overtime pay,” but “88% of reality TV writers work more than 40 hours a week." On average reality TV writers on broadcast networks work 60 hours per week, while reality TV writers on cable networks work about 55 hours per week. Of those surveyed, "86 percent don’t get health insurance from their respective networks or production companies, and 18 percent don’t have insurance.” Overall, “the average pay range for reality writers was $2,000 to $2,500 per week. Based on an average weekly rate of $2,000, writers are losing $1,200 per week in overtime pay."

Basic facts:
  • Only 3% of reality writers are given the job title of "writer." Others include story producer, story editor, segment producer, and others.
  • Reality TV writers "spend an average of 18 weeks working on a particular production." On average, they work 32 weeks in reality TV anually.
  • 70% of reality TV writers work on productions for cable networks, while the other 30% work for broadcast networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, etc.)
  • "Almost 70% of reality writers are under the age of 40."

Also, “reality production companies may be committing multiple violations of wage and hour law based on the pervasive employment practices” such as a lack of overtime and meal breaks,” the WGA said. The organization has been working to unionize reality show story writers.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dancing with the Stars 5 Finale

According to "The Washington Post," Dancing with the Stars has turned ballroom dancing into "can't-miss TV." The show has become one of the most popular reality shows in the country. Dancing with the Stars 5 ends its run within the next two nights. Tonight, the three remaining couples—Melanie Brown and Maksim Chmerkovskiy, Helio Castroneves and Julianne Hough, and Marie Osmond and Jonathan Roberts—dance at 8 p.m. ET for an hour. Tuesday, the show concludes with a two-hour finale at 9.

The show may be so popular, not just because of the dancing, but because of all the drama too. The non-dancing related stuff from Marie Osmond fainting to the death of two contestants' mothers also brings viewers back week after week. Clearly it's a combination of all of the above, the dancing and the drama.