Monthly Archives: August 2007

Ox Notes: August 27, 2007

The cast rumors for Dancing with the Stars 5 are coming fast and furious — and from increasingly reliable sources. Sports Illustrated has learned that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will take part in the show, and E! corroborates that rumor in an article about another likely participant: Jane Seymour. The MySpace page for the Disney show The Cheetah Girls mentions that Sabrina Bryan is also a part of this season’s cast.

Former DwtS pro Nick Kosovich posted at this MySpace page that Mark Cuban will be partnered with Kym Johnson and Jane Seymour with Tony Dovolani. Nick also mentions that Cheryl Burke will dance with Wayne Newton, and Maksim Chmerkovskiy will be paired with model Gisele Bundchen.

Reality TV Magazine gathered up the names of all of the rumored DwtS 5 celebrities and distilled a list of the most likely candidates based on the sources of the rumors. We’ll find out how many of their predictions come true on Good Morning America Wednesday morning.

In other reality show news, the host and judges for FOX’s The Next Great American Band have been announced. The show will be hosted by Dominic Bowden, who hosts New Zealand Idol, and the judges are Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls, musician Sheila E., and Ian "Dicko" Dickson, one of the judges on Australian Idol. Oh, how I’m looking forward to watching Johnny Rzeznik try to say the name "Dicko" with a straight face.

Ox Notes: August 24, 2007

Fox canceled its reality/scripted hybrid Anchorwoman after just one episode.

Slate explores the question: Are reality-TV actors professional? The simple answer is no.

Sunday night offers a couple of intriguing premieres. Countdown with Keith Olbermann leaves MSNBC for a temporary gig on NBC at 7 ET. And at 10 ET, the second season of Living with Ed debuts on HGTV, before moving to its permanent home Monday nights at 10:30 ET. The official Living with Ed website has great tips from HGTV on earth-friendly home decor and renovations — as well as a few suggestions from Ed Begley Jr. himself.

The writers on Lost and 24 are loving the fact that they don’t have to be ready for a September premiere.

I finally saw Chak De India last night, which was kind of like Hoosiers or Miracle — only about girls’ field hockey. It was fun fare with a great message for girls, and it showcased the diversity of people from the regions across India. Of all the Bollywood films I’ve seen, Chak De India may have been the most accessible to Western audiences, especially because it follows the underdog sports story formula that’s we’ve all seen a hundred times. It may not be new, but it’s still effective when done well, as it is in Chak De India.

Hollywood — which only represents 8% of the box office in India — has given up trying to force Western movies into the market and has instead paired with Bollywood production companies to make Hindi-language films. Sony, Viacom, and Warner all have deals in place, and Disney is working with Yash Raj films on CGI cartoons.

Kick off your weekend with a little "Rock and Roll," Bollywood style (from the film Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna):

Ox Notes: August 23, 2007

YES! NBC is bringing American Gladiators back! A revamped version of the nineties classic debuts midseason.

The contestants for Dancing with the Stars 5 will be announced on Good Morning America on Wednesday, August 29. One of the latest rumored stars is Wayne Newton, who is at the top of my list of old guys I’d want to see on the show (along with Robert Goulet and Tom Jones).

In an interview about a Hot Legs contest she was judging, Stacy Keibler confessed that she can’t dance without Tony Dovolani. And John O’Hurley’s $6.2 million house is for sale.

The New York Times has some of the unsavory details of the contract parents of the kids on Kid Nation had to sign. One clause states that CBS isn’t responsible if a kid becomes pregnant or contracts an STD, if the child "chooses to enter into an intimate relationship of any nature with another participant or any other person."

Who are these "any other persons" outlined in the contract? Does that include production staff members? And since all of the kids were 15 or younger, how could they be held responsible for that choice? This whole show is creeping me out more every day.

In lighter kid-related news, ABC Family has greenlit the series Samurai Girl, based on a young adult book series that I’m going to have to check out.

And finally, I’ve got a new favorite on Top Chef after last night’s Restaurant Wars redo. Sara, who’d done nothing of note on the show to this point, kicked butt running the kitchen for the restaurant formerly known as The Garage. She even got the cantankerous Howie to obey her every command. As of this week’s episode, she’d be my pick for head chef if I was opening a restaurant.

Anthony Bourdain has a blog at Bravo’s website, and he gave a great explanation of last night’s elimination — which he agreed with — and talked about the diverse skill set every chef needs to have to keep a kitchen running smoothly.

Ox Notes: August 22, 2007

Donald Trump isn’t the most reliable source for information, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise: Jeff Gordon’s spokesperson said that the race car driver hasn’t committed to being on Trump’s celebrity edition of The Apprentice. Now let’s see how many more people from the list I posted yesterday make similar announcements.

Cheryl Burke is looking forward to getting an "open-minded" partner for this season of Dancing with the Stars. And DwtS alum Willa Ford is looking forward to marrying Dallas Stars center Mike Modano on Saturday.

Two other DwtS alums, Joey Fatone and Lisa Rinna, are the TV Guide Channel’s official hosts for all red carpet events, including the September 16 Emmy telecast.

Before the new season begins, the cast of Heroes is going on a world tour, with stops at fan events in Munich, Paris, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, New York, and Toronto.

Finally, Reality Blurred has been following accusations that the upcoming CBS show Kid Nation violated a number of child labor laws and put the kids in danger during filming. At least one girl suffered burns from a grease fire, while several other children mistakenly drank bleach.

What could be more damaging for the show are the child labor allegations. CBS reportedly chose to film in New Mexico, where laws governing child actors aren’t as specific as they are in California or New York. And when labor officials showed up on set to investigate, the investigators were turned away.

I’m curious as to whether someone could get a judge to block the show from going to air until it’s determined whether CBS violated child labor laws. But if child labor concerns aren’t enough to change Americans’ shopping habits (who do you think makes all that imported Chinese stuff sold at Wal-Mart?), I doubt the accusations against CBS will keep viewers from tuning in.

Update: CBS issued a statement today, blaming the mother of the girl who was burned for stirring up controversy and disputing the claims of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions and the Attorney General’s office about the network’s contact with those offices. Even if the claims against CBS are unfounded, it’s crummy when a multimillion dollar corporation acts as if it’s being victimized by the mother of a young girl whose face was burned while she was in the care of CBS.

Pirate Master: Episode 13

With a sudden upsurge in the amount of airtime given to Louie, it wasn’t hard to guess who would be eliminated from the latest episode of Pirate Master.

Captain Christa and Jay made up this week’s Black Crew, vying for treasure against Ben and Louie. To make sure that Christa stayed in power, Ben was told to throw the challenge — which he did, without Louie ever suspecting a thing.

The captain claimed another $40,000 in treasure. Christa and Jay split $23,000, giving Ben $12,000 for his troubles and Louie $5,000 for being such a good dupe. Louie was so effusive in his thanks for the gold that Jay and Christa almost felt guilty.

Christa was left with probably the most difficult decision any captain has had to make. As in past weeks, she still had to assign two Black Spots. That meant leaving one pirate with the power to eliminate one of the Black Spotted pirates or mutiny against her.

She didn’t trust Ben, so it was all but assured that he’d get a Black Spot. Louie, while being completely trustworthy, wasn’t part of her original alliance.

That left Jay. On some level, Christa knew that Jay would just as soon mutiny against her if he thought it would put him in a better position to win. But she chose to rely on her friendship with him and the bond they shared as the only parents on the ship, and she gave Jay the power to determine everyone’s fates.

At Pirates Court, in a fit of guilt, Ben told Louie that he’d thrown the challenge the day before. Louie was so stunned that he couldn’t even speak.

Even if Ben made his declaration just to make himself feel better, it was a superb way to make sure he didn’t get voted off. How could Jay and Christa bear to look Louie in the eye knowing they’d convinced Ben to throw the challenge, and then sat there as Louie nearly wept with joy over being given a measly $5,000?

Jay gave a speech about how nobody — not even the captain — should trust him, but then he voted to give Louie the boot anyway. Thanks to footage of Louie standing in front of a rainbow and waxing nostalgic about his pirate life earlier in the show, I had a feeling that he was the one going home.

Next week on the Pirate Master finale, Jay, Ben, and Christa compete for the remaining $500,000 prize, and it looks like the ghosts of pirates past return to pass judgment. Of the final three, Ben’s been the best in challenges, and he probably has the fewest enemies of the eliminated pirates. If he doesn’t win, he’s an idiot.

Ox Notes: August 21, 2007

Every day, it becomes more apparent that Donald Trump’s celebrity edition of The Apprentice is really happening. He announced yesterday some of the celebrities who’ve already signed on to the show: Jim Cramer, Carmen Electra, Joan Rivers, Naomi Judd, George Foreman, Kimora Lee Simmons, Pete Rose, Dana Patrick, Tony Hawk, Jeff Gordon, and Trump’s own creation, Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth. I’m not sure if "Dana Patrick" was a misprint of Dan Patrick or Danica Patrick, though.

In more reality show casting news, three more names have surfaced as possible candidates for Dancing with the Stars 5: Richard Quest, Nia Peeples, and Patrick Swayze. ABC hasn’t announced when it will reveal the final cast, but TV spots the network is running for the show are available at ABC’s website.

TV Guide has an interview with Kristen Bell following the announcement that she’ll be joining the cast of Heroes — a gig which may have come about as she was riding the train with Hiro and Syler.

The TV mag also has an interview with Kenneth Branagh ahead of tonight’s HBO premiere of his updated version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It.

And if you’re a dominatrix or a rapper, Trading Spaces wants you. TLC is trying to branch out beyond neighbors in an effort to revive its flagging decorating staple. The casting notice also called for vegetarians, and I think I can speak on behalf of my people when I say that we don’t really have a uniform design aesthetic to which we subscribe. Just don’t decorate our homes with a meat motif, and we’ll be okay.

Ox Notes: August 20, 2007

High School Musical 2 premiered to the largest basic cable audience ever on Friday night — 17.2 million viewers. While Monique Coleman wasn’t able to win Dancing with the Stars 3, I’d bet that any of her HSM castmates could walk away with DwtS 5 — unless another rumored contestant, Lou Ferrigno, turns out to be much more nimble than he appears.

DwtS Musical Director Harold Wheeler calculated that, in four seasons, the house band has played 411 songs. I’m going to have no sympathy for the Season 5 celebrities when they start complaining about having to learn two routines each week.

Hooray! Veronica Mars’ Kristen Bell has been given a multiepisode story arc on Heroes.

Casting for Rob Mariano’s show Tontine isn’t going well. He got caught on tape punching a heckler in the head at the show’s San Diego casting call.

Finally, the cast for Survivor: China has been announced, and Jeff Probst gave his take on each of the contestants to TV Guide. The Fei Long (Flying Dragon) Tribe includes James the grave digger, while the Zhan Hu (Fighting Tiger) Tribe has its very own diva — WWE Smackdown Diva, Ashley Massaro.