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The facts speak for themselves: in the ten years that an Emmy has been presented for a competitive reality series, CBS’s The Amazing Race has won eight times. (The only exception was in 2010 when the award went to Top Chef and this past year when it went to The Voice.

The way I see it, unless the producers of The Amazing Race decide to recuse themselves sometime soon (because their mantle is already full enough), I doubt, despite the two upsets, that any other reality show will be upending The Amazing Race‘s impressive domination of this category anytime in the near future.

Now well over ten years old as a major television genre (I chart as its origin the debut of Survivor on CBS in 2000), the fact that “reality TV” is now concentrating more and more on kids should not come as any great surprise. 

We have already had a decade of adults humiliating and demeaning themselves on reality TV for any number of things—for jobs, for love, for “glory”, even for food (Survivor, Big Brother).  So, after all that, where else was there to go?

The recent debut of the Esquire Channel’s controversial Friday Night Tykes and Lifetime’s unfortunately enduring Dance Moms series are answering the question above.

As I work for the Library of Congress, the recent government shutdown brought with it several days of imposed “vacation”. Along with a five-pound weight gain, the furlough (as we now like to call it) also allotted me time to reacquaint myself with daytime television. 

By and large, it was not a pleasant experience.

Self-anointed or not, TV “news junkies” are a unique breed. It’s the one way to watch endless hours of television and not be viewed as a total slacker. In fact, news junkies are usually celebrated for being the exact opposite of a couch potato: they are devoted and well-informed, relevant and unsuperficial. It’s a commendable, even encouraged, vice to have. 

I come from a family of news junkies. Growing up, it was not unusual for my Midwestern family to tune into the “early news” on at either 4:30 or 5:00, then, right after that, watch the network evening news (which my dad always called Walter, as in Cronkite, something he continued to do long after Cronkite retired) on at 5:30. Then we would watch another local news broadcast on immediately after that.

The major TV networks have mostly given up on the concept of original television during Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.

Fridays have gotten a lot more interesting this year, however. Three new shows will make their debuts on the night, with several old favorites moving right next to them. Its one of the most unique nights of the week, with a wide variety of different reality shows, sitcoms, and dramas.

//Blogs

Is Black Widow Still a Hero? Dissecting the Misogynistic Outrage Against the Avengers

// Short Ends and Leader

"Black Widow may very well be the pinnacle of the modern action heroine, so why is there so much backlash about her role in the new Avengers film?

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