Ox Notes: December 3, 2007

Over the weekend, Jay Leno was shamed into paying the salaries of his non-writing staff, who were fired the same day that NBC fired Conan O’Brien’s staff. O’Brien said immediately that he’d pay his staff members’ salaries through the holidays, and staff members of CBS’s two late night talk shows are being paid by their production company, Worldwide Pants.

Leno will pay his staff on a week-to-week basis in the hopes that the strike will be resolved soon. But that seems pretty optimistic, given that some insiders are predicting that the strike will drag on until March.

Variety’s Scribe Vibe blog has a list of studios where the writers will be picketing this week.

With reality shows in vogue now thanks to the strike, NBC has ordered three new documentary-style reality shows from the company that produces Ice Road Truckers and The Deadliest Catch.

HBO announced that the final season of The Wire will debut on January 6 at 9 ET. I just hope they release it on DVD in a more timely fashion than they have previous seasons.

Reality Blurred checked up on three of the restaurants featured on Kitchen Nightmares to see how they’ve fared after their Gordon Ramsey makeovers.

TV Guide has an interview with Barry Manilow, who’s promoting a new PBS special which debuts tonight in some areas (Tuesday night on Chicago’s WTTW). I have a new respect for Barry because of the way he responds when he’s walking through the airport and is mistaken for Rod Stewart: "I talk in a gruff voice and sign his autograph."

The Spice Girls tour, which kicked off last night in Vancouver, is getting kudos for its entertainment value, if not for the quality of its singing.

For fantastic entertainment that’s cheaper than the cost of a Spice Girls ticket, go see the latest Bollywood release, Aaja Nachle. If you’ve watched Dirty Dancing, Strictly Ballroom, or any other dance movie more than once, you will love this film. NowRunning.com lists theaters in the US that show Bollywood films (thanks for the link, JennyK).