Ox Notes: November 14, 2007

Writers Strike news leads off this edition of Ox Notes, thanks to a memorable quote from Seth MacFarlane. In response to Fox’s plan to air a new episode of Family Guy that was completed without his input, MacFarlane told Variety, "It would just be a colossal dick move if they did that."

Ellen DeGeneres canceled plans to film episodes of her talk show in New York next week, after striking writers vowed to disrupt filming.

And at a rally in L.A., Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Jeff Garlin distributed porn DVDs to boost the morale of those on strike.

TV Guide updates its Strike Chart daily, and it looks as if The Office will be the first scripted show to bow out with only one new episode left to air. A number of other shows have four or fewer episodes to go.

Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune’s The Watcher blog talked with some Chicago writers, including ex-Ghostbuster Harold Ramis, about striking without benefit of a picket line. The post addresses the myth of the wealthy Hollywood scribe and explains one of the WGA’s primary beefs: the writers’ need to be compensated for DVD and online episode sales.

One of the reasons Dancing with the Stars has been mostly unaffected by the strike is that they only have one writer. His job was to write Tom Bergeron’s intro material and descriptions of upcoming shows, a job now shared by Tom and the producers.

Jennie Garth & Derek Hough have already decided what they’ll dance for next week’s semi-finals: Tango and Rumba. And Mark Ballas’ dad, Corky, told TV Guide that his son’s DwtS tour preview dance with Sabrina Bryan at next week’s Results Show will be "a medley — a little bit of this, a little bit of that. And it’s going to be really edgy, because now, there are no rules."

There’s no end to the DwtS-related health scares. The day after he was eliminated from the show, Wayne Newton was diagnosed with pneumonia.

TV Guide has a preview of the new season of Project Runway, which begins tonight at 10 ET on Bravo.

Bravo is just one of the networks trotting out holiday specials this year. Contestants from past seasons of Top Chef — including Tre, reportedly — will compete in a charity cook-off.

Also in time for the holidays, if not actually Christmas-themed, ABC will debut a revamped version of the French game show, Duel. And NBC will premiere Clash of the Choirs, in which singers of varying fame and talent assemble choirs in their hometowns, and then bring them to New York to compete for charity. The celebrity choir directors are Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland, Michael Bolton and Blake Shelton. Oh, Patti, how did you get drawn into this?