Ox Notes: November 19, 2007

In preparation for tonight’s Dancing with the Stars 5 semifinals, the couples have had to work around the stars’ hectic schedules. Maksim Chmerkovskiy joked about his partner, Melanie Brown: "She’s generously given me 45 minutes to come up with (this week’s) choreography."

Tomorrow night, Sabrina Bryan & Mark Ballas return to DwtS to dance, as Avril Lavigne performs her hit "Complicated" at the Results Show.

Ox reader Miriam commented last week that it looked as if Larry King blindsided Marie Osmond with a question about her son entering rehab during a recent interview. People confirms that Larry was miffed with Marie for agreeing to host the Osmond reunion show on Oprah instead of Larry King Live, and he spilled the family secret out of revenge.

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of Heroes, TV Guide published a funny interview with Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere. I only wish it had been caught on video.

The official cast list for Donald Trump’s celebrity edition of The Apprentice has been released. The remarkably lame cast is composed primarily of veterans of other celebrity reality TV shows (Stephen Baldwin, Gene Simmons) and people who became famous by appearing on a reality show (Omarosa, Piers Morgan). Donald, when the celebrities on your show include the life coach from The Swan, it’s time to jump ship.

Producers and writers intend to resume negotiations on November 26. The WGA strike has inspired Italian writers to consider their own strike. Meanwhile, a strike by transportation workers is taking a toll on the French entertainment industry.

With work on Saturday Night Live at a halt, NBC fired approximately 50 of SNL’s supporting staff members on Friday. Saturday night, as a rerun of SNL aired on NBC, the cast of the show put on a live performance hosted by Michael Cera as a fundraiser for the fired staff members. Photos of the performance at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York City are available in the New York Times’ review.