reality blurred is 20! Plus: a Survivor 41 update, Phil Keoghan's great new show, TCA Award nominees, and more

Also: Big Brother's 20th, and potential Emmy nominees

Dear newsletter subscribers,

On July 7, 2000, I left my office (the tall, narrow black building in the photo above) and walked across the Chicago River*, between the Wrigley Building and the Tribune Tower.

During that walk, the name reality blurred popped into my head.

The next day, I registered the domain name, and made the site live to the world. That was 20 years ago Wednesday, July 8, 2000, and I don’t quite know where that time has gone. So, happy birthday, reality blurred! 🎂

I made a video looking back at reality blurred’s history, which highlights some of my poor design choices over the years (oh my gosh, that logo with static in the TV!).

Watch that here.

I don’t think I’d still be doing this if it wasn’t for you, reading my words, because this work has always been about sharing my perspective and information with others.

If you’re subscribed to this newsletter, you probably have a love for reality TV, too, and I appreciate you reading about it, and discussing it with me, and reading what I have to say.

So, thank you! Okay, on to actual news.

*You may also notice a building behind the bridge that was built with the help of the first Apprentice winner and bears the name of our current president. It wasn’t there when I created the site, but it’s somehow appropriate that it’s in this image.

CBS: Survivor’s future and past, BB’s 20th, Phil’s new show

Will we have a season of Survivor this fall? It’s not looking great. Here’s the latest Survivor 41 news from Jeff Probst.

My summer of re-watching Survivor: Borneo 20 years later continued with the episode that precedes “the merger,” as they called it back then. Here’s my Survivor Borneo episode 6 recap.

There is a new competition on CBS that premiered this week, and it’s produced and was co-created by Phil Keoghan, host of The Amazing Race.

Here’s my review of Tough as Nails, which is CBS’s best new reality competition in years.

The first two episodes, which aired back-to-back, repeat Sunday at 8 p.m. ET, if you missed it.

And finally, another CBS show celebrated a milestone last week, and I wrote about it: Big Brother premiered 20 years ago today, and is still garbage.

big brother GIF by Big Brother After Dark

Subtle judgement aside, that story includes links to 20 stories I’ve written about the show, from interviews with Allison Gronder to behind-the-scenes details.

Browse Big Brother’s past here.

TCA Awards and Emmy contenders

Here are the nominees for the Television Critics Association awards, which were announced late yesterday. The TCA Awards nominees include some truly excellent reality and documentary TV!

While TV critics vote in our awards, Emmy voters are voting to see who gets nominated. If you want to know which reality shows and hosts are eligible for Emmys, well, click that link!

Among this week’s reality TV premieres was the return of Dirty Jobs, though in a special pandemic version, since filming the real version isn’t yet possible. But it’s not a show that was filmed remotely.

Cannonball premiered last night on USA; here’s my review.

Okay, that’s everything I have for you this week. Thanks again for reading, and have a terrific weekend!


🌄 This is Reality in Focus issue 202, first sent 10 July 2020, and this newsletter is just one of the things that’s changed about reality blurred during its 20 years.

💻 This newsletter is hand-crafted in Florida by me, Andy Dehnart, and is supported by reality blurred patrons and paid subscribers to this newsletter. Please consider becoming a patron or upgrading your newsletter subscription!

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✅ Bookmark and visit daily for the latest of my reality TV news analysis, reviews, and commentary.

📷 Photo of the Chicago River by heather bozman