Ox Notes: November 13, 2007

After taking a relative beating from the judges on last night’s Dancing with the Stars Performance Show, Marie Osmond told TV Guide she’s running out of gas: "My tank isn’t even empty. It’s fumes."

Jennie Garth, who also took some criticism from the judges, was upbeat in her latest blog post: "I can’t take that home with me, if you know what I mean."

Maksim Chmerkovskiy told People that his partner, Melanie Brown, is exhausted after trying to memorize 20 routines for the Spice Girls tour, in addition to the two new routines she has to learn each week for DwtS.

Don’t expect to see DwtS pro Karina Smirnoff dancing in tonight’s Results Show; she’s recovering from plastic surgery on her nose. And her boyfriend, former contestant Mario Lopez, doesn’t even watch DwtS anyway.

If you’re looking to wager on Dancing with the Stars, Helio Castroneves is the new favorite to win. Probably not a bad bet, considering the show’s history of male winners.

Some soap opera writers have crossed the picket line in order to save their jobs. Soap opera viewership is already so low that a prolonged delay could be the end of some daytime dramas.

CBS could be in for even more trouble if their news department decides to stage its own strike on Thursday. The threat of more empty time slots could be why the network is quickly trying to cast a new season of Big Brother.

Speaking of Big Brother, Reality Blurred has a somewhat graphic story about the newly crowned winner of Big Brother Africa 2. The married man who won had consensual sex with one female cast member and is accused of raping another. The show’s producers are denying that the rape occurred, even though the assault was caught on camera and broadcast live.

To fill its empty time slots, the CW is going to air a mother-daughter beauty pageant show, Crowned, three nights a week during December and January. DwtS 2 contestant Shanna Moakler is a judge on the show.

The only new shows of this season that I never miss are both on the CW. Since the season started, I’ve dropped — or at least skipped episodes of — Bionic Woman, Pushing Daisies, Samantha Who?, Kid Nation, Next Great American Band, and Moonlight.

Of this season’s new shows, Gossip Girl is easily my favorite. The writing is smart, the plot progresses each episode, and the acting is totally believable. Plus, it’s just fun.

I’m hanging on to Reaper as well, even though none of the subsequent episodes have lived up to the quality of the Kevin Smith-directed pilot. But the premise is clever, and Tyler Labine and Ray Wise still have moments of brilliance. Should the CW pick up the show for another season — or should the strike resolve itself soon enough for this season to be finished properly — the producers should consider Tim Goodman’s spot-on suggestions for how to improve Reaper.