Ox Notes: November 30, 2007

Julianne Hough is denying rumors of a romance with her Dancing with the Stars partner Helio Castroneves, telling People, "I love Helio like he is my brother." The two were spotted in New York, looking cozy together.

Julianne also just signed a deal with music label Univeral Music Group Nashville, as part of her budding country music career.

It’s no secret that celebrities appear on DwtS to land new jobs, and Jennie Garth is the latest to benefit from her increased visibility: she’s going to shill for Orville Redenbacher popcorn. I hope she won’t be forced to wear the creepy old man mask that the Faux-Orville has been sporting in recent commercials.

In other dance reality show news, Elizabeth Berkley’s role as a stripper in Showgirls gave her enough dance credibility to become the host of Bravo’s new show, Step It Up and Dance.

The latest couple eliminated from The Amazing Race, Jason & Lorena, offered future racers two keys to surviving the show’s grueling pace: yoga and reversible underpants.

NBC announced its revised schedule for winter, which includes nightly reality shows to ease the pressure of the writers strike. Reality Blurred has a complete schedule of reality shows debuting on the major networks and cable in the next few months.

Studios and writers continue to negotiate, but things aren’t going well. Worse, the strike could affect some networks’ holiday office party plans.

One person emerging from the gloom of the strike as a super guy is Conan O’Brien. Starting next week, O’Brien is going to use his own money to pay the salaries of the 80 people who work on his show, so they won’t be burdened during the holidays.