Tag Archives: reality

Stupid Parents + Reality TV=Kids at Risk

Posted by Audiegrl

richard-heene-balloon_l

Richard Heene holding son Falcon

Entertainment Weekly—Is the Balloon Boy fiasco the latest example of parents putting their love of fame before their love of children? Should kids even be allowed on reality TV? And how much blame should go on the network executives behind such programs? These are a few of the questions that we look at in the new issue of Entertainment Weekly with a story focusing on how past and present shows like Jon & Kate Plus Eight, Supernanny, Kid Nation, and The Baby Borrowers could be putting young children at emotional and physical risk, all for a paycheck and 15 minutes of fame. “The entertainment executives very well know the risks that are facing these children,” says former child star Paul Petersen (The Donna Reed Show), who now serves as president of A Minor Consideration, an advocacy group for young performers. “They just turn a blind eye to it and climb in their Mercedes as if they’re blameless. I’m sorry, but you’re not blameless.”

balloon-boyballoonBut what about the parents who sign up their children for such shows? And what of Richard Heene, who has been accused of orchestrating the whole balloon hoax involving his 6-year-old son Falcon to get himself his own TV show? “This is what I’m really scared of,” says reality producer Tom Forman (Kid Nation), who says he heard and rejected Heene’s pitch for a storm-chasing series. “Parents get blinded by the lights, the fame, and the lure of Hollywood, and are willing to do anything to get themselves on television, including putting their children in harm’s way. This is what happens when a father tries to play television producer.”

To read more about fame-hungry parents, children on TV, and the possible future of the Heenes, check out the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands now.

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Filed under Children, Culture, Media and Entertainment, Television, True Crime, TV Shows

44-D True Crime: Former Reality Show Contestant Brian Lee Randone is Charged with Killing His Girlfriend

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Posted by Audiegrl

You all might remember us covering another reality show murder case last month. Ryan Jenkins a self-professed millionaire and contestant of VH1’s “Megan Wants A Millionaire” was accused of killing his wife, Jasmine Fiore in LA, and then fleeing to Canada where he committed suicide. My post “True Crime: Have Reality TV Shows Gone to Far?” suggested that reality shows needed to employ more thourogh vetting processes, before more people get hurt. Here we go again….

Brian Lee Randone

Brian Lee Randone

AP—A self-proclaimed preacher who was on the TV beauty pageant “The Sexiest Bachelor in America” will be arraigned next week for allegedly torturing and murdering his girlfriend, an ex-adult movie actress.

Brian Lee Randone, 45, was charged last week with one count of murder and one count of torture. He was scheduled for arraignment on Sept. 29 and faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Randone remained jailed Friday on $2 million bail. Robison did not know whether he had an attorney.

Randone was arrested on Sept. 11. Prosecutors said he beat and choked Felicia Lee during a domestic dispute at their apartment in the foothill community of Monrovia, northeast of Los Angeles.

He then dialed 911 to report she was unconscious, investigators said.

“It appeared to be torture prior to the murder,” Sgt. Brian Schoonmaker, a homicide detective working the case, said Friday. Lee apparently suffered dozens of injuries in the 24 hours before she died, Schoonmaker said, but he did not provide details.

More @ Associated Press

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Filed under Media and Entertainment, True Crime, TV Shows, Uncategorized

In Vanity Fair: Levi Johnson Dishes Some Serious Dirt on Sarah Palin

Ex. Gov Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston

Ex. Gov Sarah Palin and Levi Johnston


Posted by Audiegrl
From TPM: In the upcoming (and much-awaited) article in Vanity Fair, Levi Johnston dishes some serious dirt on Sarah Palin. In the excerpts that have been teased out this morning, Johnston, says that Palin didn’t like being governor, thinking that it was too hard, and immediately after the 2008 election she began to think about resigning in order to pursue something more lucrative:

Read the whole piece for the details. This is really turning into a political reality show.

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Filed under Media and Entertainment, News, Politics

44-D True Crime: Have Reality TV Shows Gone to Far?

TrueCrime-490X136
Posted by Audiegrl

I remember in 1992 when MTV’s “Real Word” series got started. It was fun to watch a group of young people try to get along with each other. Most of the shows contained at least two people that you just knew were going to clash. Great TV right? Well, nowadays you can pretty much count on in-house fighting, spitting, lots of cursing bleeps, contestants with criminal records, and lots and lots of hook-ups. The reality stars of the nineties, should be astounded at the so-called ‘Reality Stars’ that are being made in 2009. Many people who participate in one reality show, are often given the chance to participate in other reality shows on that network, or given their own shows ($$cha-ching$$). The new brand of reality star has their own agents, publicists, and fan clubs. They can be found on Facebook, YouTube, and if they do something really outrageous, they will be featured in a ‘Greatest Reality Star Moments’ type special. That was as far as they could go with their ’15 minutes of fame’. That is, until Ryan Jenkin’s came along.

Ryan Jenkins and Jasmine Fiore

Ryan Jenkins and Jasmine Fiore

Jenkins didn’t win is spot as reality TV’s most outrageous star by fighting or cussing, or spitting. He won that spot by killing his wife. (Or for legal reasons, I should say, allegedly killing his wife.) Ryan’s alleged actions have turned the world of reality TV on its ear. Ryan was involved in both VH1’s ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire” and “I Love Money 3“.

Police believe that Ms. Fiori was strangled in the early hours of August 14th. Security camera’s show Jenkins leaving the hotel later that morning by himself with a large suitcase. This is the same suitcase police would find in a dumpster containing the mutilated body of Ms. Fiore. Thinking that the removal of her fingers and teeth would deter investigators trying to identify the body, her killer forgot one important thing. Fiore was quickly identified by the serial numbers on her breast implants. At that point Jenkins became a person of interest and a suspect. Jenkins was a native of Canada, and many believed that he would flee there, because Canadian courts will not extradite people accused of capital crimes. After a week long international chase, Jenkins body was found hanging from a coat rack at a Canadian motel an apparent suicide.

It has been rumored that Jenkins used his marriage Fiore to gain US citizenship. But Jenkins was also going to be facing a judge for allegedly striking Fiore on the arm. It was discovered that Jenkins was convicted and did 16 months in Canada for beating another girlfriend. So he already had a record of domestic abuse when he was vetted for the two shows. That must have been some serious vetting, right? Not so much.

Cast of Megan Wants A Millionaire

Cast of Megan Wants A Millionaire

Right now VH1 and 51 Mind Entertainment, are trying their best to distance themselves from Jenkins and from each other. They immediately shelved the remaining ten episodes of ‘Megan Wants A Millionaire‘, word had it that Jenkins was one of the final two millionaire contestants. Which means that Jenkins would have been in every episode right to the end. When I said ‘shelved’ that is not giving them enough credit. They totally obliterated MWM from all commercials, their website, Itunes, ect. A week later they announced that they would also be shelving ‘I Love Money 3. Jenkins was featured in this series as well, and it was rumored that he actually WON. So once again, he would have been in every episode, right up to the end. So in this case, by shelving both shows, they get credit for doing the right thing.

What I really want ask is this? How can 51 Minds Entertainment (who produces the show for VH1), expect a different outcome when they don’t properly eliminate potential candidates who have a criminal record? In this country, most jobs are closed to you if you have a felony on your record. Why do they keep rewarding contestant’s bad behavior? Case in point, Megan Hauserman and Sharon Osborn got into a physical alteration on the reunion show of ‘Charm School 2“. Megan threatened to sue. So amazingly now she has her own ‘Megan Wants a Millionaire” show. Is that how you reward fighting on national TV? Giving the person their own show?

Yes, I know, in our culture outlandish behavior is always rewarded by 15 minutes of fame. And yes, I am guilty of watching them too. But America’s unhealthy addiction to watching damaged people make fools of themselves also has a price…

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Filed under Crime, Hollywood, Media and Entertainment, Police, Pop Culture, True Crime, TV Reality Shows, TV Shows, VH1, Violence, Women's Issues