Monthly Archives: January 2008

Ox Notes: January 18, 2008

PBS.org has updated its America’s Ballroom Challenge page to feature information about the upcoming third season. The site has pictures of the couples competing in the first episode, as well as pics of the exhibition dancers. I’m a little creeped out by the kids in pirate costumes.

Pictures from the set of Survivor: Micronesia have also hit the Internet, and they are mercifully free of spoilers.

Along with America’s Ballroom Challenge and Survivor, there are a number of new shows debuting in the next few weeks. MSN has a rundown of scripted shows ready to air.

With the studios settling on new contract terms with the Directors Guild of America, could a new contract for writers be coming soon?

In case the writers strike persists, NBC has decided to borrow Nashville Star from the USA Network for a summer run. Last season’s hosts and judges won’t be making the journey, however.

Also in the works for the summer are several circus-themed celebrity competitions. This may not be such a good idea given that, in a recent survey in England, 100% of the kids interviewed said that they hate clowns.

When Knight Rider returns to the airwaves, K.I.T.T. won’t be a Trans Am. I just can’t get as excited about K.I.T.T. as a 2008 Mustang.

Sunday night is the finale of The Amazing Race 12, so here’s one last interview with 4th place finishers Nate & Jen. TV Guide called in TAR 5 star Mirna to assess each team’s chances, and she’s picking the hippie couple to win. I’m hoping Ron & Christina keep playing smart and pull off a upset victory.

Ox Notes: January 17, 2008

For a limited time, fans of The Colbert Report can see a portrait of Colbert hanging in the Smithsonian — right between the entrances to the bathrooms.

It’s all but certain that, unless the strike ends, writers will picket the Oscars.

As a way of punishing members of the strike-supporting Screen Actors Guild, NBC won’t provide publicists to help guide its stars through the media members positioned along the red carpet at the SAG Awards.

The WGA has given the Image Awards a pass, and they’ve no plans to picket the Costume Designers Guild Awards, who nominated Dancing with the Stars for best costumes in a contemporary TV series.

Speaking of DwtS, Derek Hough tells TV Guide that dancing with his best friend’s girlfriend, Sabrina Bryan, on the tour makes him feel like a "gigolo."

So You Think You Can Dance choreographer Dan Karaty shared with People his tips for dancers who plan to audition for SYTYCD.

Survivor villain Jonny Fairplay became a father to a little girl, Piper Addison, yesterday.

When the finalists of Project Runway hit the catwalk at Fashion Week, they’ll be showing alongside Lauren Conrad of The Hills. I’d love to hear Tim Gunn’s thoughts on her collection.

In the meantime, you can get Tim’s thoughts on last night’s episode of Project Runway at Bravo’s website, along with comments from several of the competing designers. I’m at a loss as to how Ricky is still on the show.

The TRESemme ad featuring the winning designs can be seen here. And you can support the losing designer by purchasing hair accessories and tees from her online store.

Ox Notes: January 16, 2008

A new season of American Idol premiered last night, and Reality Blurred discovered that the producers don’t care if the contestants already have tons of professional singing experience, as many of this season’s top 50 contestants do. So much for AI being a competition for amateurs.

It was only a matter of time, but Oprah Winfrey is getting her own cable network.

After the final four episodes of Supernatural air, fans can keep up with the series through a six-issue comic mini-series, Supernatural: Rising Son.

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of Project Runway, TV Guide posted an interview with auf’d designer, Kevin Christiana. Kevin’s on-show mentor, Tim Gunn, told People that there’s "no amount of money" that could entice him to makeover Britney Spears, describing the pop princess’s fashion choices as "a repugnant horror show."

Other recent reality show castoffs, Nate & Jen, told Reality TV World that their relationship survived their incessant bickering on The Amazing Race 12. Jen explained to MSN that part of what makes TAR difficult on dating couples is a show rule that teammates must stay within 20 feet of one another at all times.

Variety’s Brian Lowry warns networks that, if they think reality shows are serving them well enough that they don’t need to end the strike and get scripted shows back on the air, they could wind up the TV equivalents of the New York Knicks. Ouch.

Ox Notes: January 15, 2008

Studios continued cutting producers and writers on Monday. And they threatened that more folks could lose their jobs if the strike doesn’t end soon.

To fill their empty primetime schedules, CBS filmed a Celine Dion concert special, and NBC is importing a British reality show about cars.

Indy car racer Danica Patrick says there’s no way she’d follow in Helio Castroneves’ footsteps and join the cast of Dancing with the Stars, mostly because she’d be "too serious" and wouldn’t be fun to watch.

Former Borg drone Jeri Ryan and her French chef hubby spoke with TV Guide about how happy they are to be expecting their first child.

Presidential candidate Barack Obama and I share the same favorite character on The Wire.

Yesterday, a court ordered MSNBC to include Dennis Kucinich in tonight’s Democratic presidential debate. Now let’s see if the moderators actually ask him any questions, or if they spend the whole time encouraging Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to argue about race.

When Hillary Clinton stopped by the Tyra Banks Show recently, Tyra used the occasion to ask Clinton hard-hitting policy questions. Just kidding! Tyra asked Hillary about Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.

And Good Morning America is facing criticism for an interview Diane Sawyer conducted with Katie Holmes in which Sawyer failed to ask Holmes a single question about a recently-released, controversial biography of Tom Cruise.

I would’ve preferred it if Sawyer had asked Holmes how she can stand being married to someone as obviously insane as Tom Cruise is. People posted a story about a Scientology recruitment video that showed up on YouTube the same week that the Cruise biography was released. If, after watching the video, you still believe that Tom Cruise has all of his marbles, you might be an honorary Scientologist.

It looks like YouTube has pulled the video, due to a copyright claim from the Church of Scientology. But, as of this afternoon, it’s still available at this site.

Ox Notes: January 14, 2008

The Golden Globe Award winners were announced last night, and it sounds as though the press conference-style announcement was pretty painful to watch.

David Duchovny, who won for his role in Californication, was happy that he got to learn about his award while taking a bath.

Even though the nominees missed out on dinner and a party, the traditional "gifting suites" were open last week so that the stars could get free $1000 haircuts and $17,000 bracelets. Some of the suites took donations on behalf of the striking writers, which prompts the question: why not just give the free stuff to the writers?

With no end to the strike in sight, ABC Studios canned 25% of its producers.

Also prompted by the strike, NBC has picked up American Gladiators for a second season. And CBS has plans for three new reality series, all of which sound unwatchable.

Masterpiece Theater is highlighting the works of Jane Austen for the next few months, and Zap2It has the program schedule. You can find your local listings at PBS.org.

As I was watching PBS on Saturday, I caught a commercial for America’s Ballroom Challenge, which returns for a new season on January 30. There’s no information about ABC Season 3 at PBS’s website yet, but the ad revealed this season’s new host (Marilu Henner was busy filming Celebrity Apprentice when ABC taped). And that host is…Jasmine Guy?!

TAR 12: Episode 10

The three teams that made it to the finale of The Amazing Race 12 did so by not fighting, and the one team that couldn’t keep their emotions in check was eliminated.

Nate & Jen weren’t about to let a little thing like Jen’s birthday — or a chance to win $1 million — keep them from arguing their way out of the race.

It probably didn’t help Nate & Jen’s tenuous peace when, early in the leg, Christina was able to convince a ticket agent not to sell the dating couple tickets on the first flight out of Osaka, Japan to Taipei, Taiwan.

But it’s hard to have sympathy for a couple who said that all they knew about Taiwan was that "Thai food’s pretty good." Nate added, "I’ve got a couple Thai friends," who are no doubt teasing him mercilessly right now for not realizing that Thailand and Taiwan are different places.

Ron & Christina’s airport coup put them about 30 minutes ahead of the other teams, and they managed to keep that lead throughout the entire leg. They made it to the Pit Stop in first place and never saw another team along the way. And the best part was that they had fun the whole time.

Nick & Don had a good time as well, realizing that they could only go so fast with one team member who was nearly 70 years old. And TK & Rachel, who were already stoked to have avoided elimination last week, were even happier when they caught up with the pack in the immigration line at the Taipei airport.

Unlike all of the other teams, Nate & Jen let the pressure of the race get to them. The only fun they seemed to have was during the tasks. Nate giggled from the passenger seat as a stunt driver rolled a Jeep back-and-forth on a giant teeter-totter. And, despite their exclamations of pain as they ran along a path of sharp stones, Nate & Jen were upbeat during the Detour.

It was when they had to travel between tasks that Nate & Jen fell apart. On the way to the Detour, they argued about whether it was faster to get there by bus or by taxi. Jen thought the bus might be best, while Nate had a feeling that a taxi was the fastest way. Jen asked Nate to just make a decision on what to do. But Nate refused to assert himself, instead just arguing as they waited by a bus stop.

They got on the bus and kept arguing about who the worse teammate was, as well as a bunch of other stuff that had nothing to do with the race and everything to do with their dysfunctional relationship. It was hard to watch without feeling uncomfortable for the poor Taiwanese bus passengers who were subjected to the shouting match in real life.

Had they kept their relationship issues confined to a cab, they may have had a chance. All the other teams had taken taxis, and Jen & Nate bled time crossing town.

In the end, TK & Rachel reached the Pit Stop in second place, followed by Nick & Don. Nate & Jen were eliminated. After leaving the mat, the couple realized that they’d been so focused on the race that they’d forgotten that they originally wanted to do the show as a way to solve their relationship problems.

I think I’ve got a solution that will work for Nate & Jen: break up. Permanently.

Next week is the TAR 12 finale, and I avoided watching most of the preview, lest it contain any footage that could remotely be considered a spoiler. The only thing I did see was TK & Rachel being attacked by some crabs. Even shellfish hate hippies.

Ox Notes: January 11, 2008

According to a report at Yahoo! TV, the format for Sunday night’s Golden Globe Awards Announcement is still up in the air. The only thing that is certain is that the press conference will be immediately followed by an American Gladiators rerun.

As a cost-saving measure — or perhaps a little jab at the WGA strike-supporting Screen Actors Guild members — ABC has announced that it won’t pay for its nominees to get their hair and makeup done for the SAG awards ceremony, as the network has done in the past.

The lack of original scripted programming has also forced poor ABC to revive The Bachelorette for a summer run. I’m not sure whether to feel sorrier for the network or for us viewers.

Just in time for the return of Top Chef in March, Bravo will release a cookbook based on the series. But will it have CJ’s roasted broccolini?

Ousted Project Runway designer Kevin told People that Christian wasn’t exaggerating when he complained that his teenage client was hard to work with.

Ahead of Sunday night’s new episode of The Amazing Race, TV Guide interviewed the most recent team to be eliminated, Kynt & Vyxsin. I was not at all surprised to learn that, even with backpack space at a premium, Kynt packed a flatiron for his hair.

Finally, here’s a link to a TV Guide interview with Karl Urban, who plays the lead in the miniseries based on Larry McMurtry’s Comanche Moon. Karl, you’ll always be Eomer to me.

Ox Notes: January 10, 2008

At her 40th birthday bash, Carrie Ann Inaba said that she hopes gold medalist Nadia Comeneci will join the cast of Dancing with the Stars 6. Comeneci told E! that she’s "dying to do it," while another Olympic prospect, Michelle Kwan, says she’s too busy for DwtS right now.

Meanwhile, DwtS co-host Samantha Harris is publicly begging George Clooney to do the show, but we all know that’s never going to happen.

Former DwtS contestant Laila Ali is working to become the female Ryan Seacrest (who’s everywhere, all at the same time), adding Early Show correspondent to her ever-growing resume.

Another of Laila Ali’s projects, American Gladiators, has done so well in the timeslot once occupied by Chuck that NBC bumped the few remaining new episodes of the scripted comedy to Thursday nights.

Another new dance group competition show, Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew, premieres on MTV on February 7, with celebrity judges Mario Lopez, JC Chasez, and Shane Sparks. RJPABDC isn’t as catchy an acronym as SYTYCD.

Variety’s Brian Lowry writes that the cancellation of the Golden Globes presentation is a good thing because it prevents the award show burnout TV audiences has experienced in recent years as networks try to elevate every award to the same level of importance.

American Idol contestants Katherine McPhee, Ruben Studdard, and Taylor Hicks are further proof that network overexposure doesn’t always yield the anticipated rewards: they’ve all been dropped from their recording labels in recent weeks due to poor album sales.

I finally noticed all of the Project Runway extras featured at Bravo’s website, and they are a great way to kill time (obviously, don’t click on the links if you recorded last night’s episode and haven’t watched it yet). You can rate all of the outfits, and several of the designers dish about the challenge in the Burning Questions blog. Tim Gunn shares his thoughts on each designer’s work in his blog, and he admits that he didn’t agree with the judges’ choice for winning design this week. Did you?

Ox Notes: January 9, 2008

The People’s Choice Awards aired last night, because, as host Queen Latifah said, "you can’t disrespect the people who keep us working, and that’s the people."

Lisa Rinna and Joey Fatone have been given Sunday night off, as the Golden Globes won’t have any celebrity red carpet entrances for them to cover on behalf of the TV Guide Network.

Lisa’s former Dancing with the Stars partner, Louis van Amstel, has his hands full at the moment as choreographer of the DwtS Tour, although he did manage to find time for an interview with TV Guide.

Fellow DwtS pro Julianne Hough is currently recording a country music album, which is scheduled for release in late spring or early summer.

And DwtS judges Carrie Ann Inaba and Bruno Tonioli spoke with People about Dance War, as well as the trouble Bruno had learning how to use his iPod.

The A.V. Club has a lengthy interview with Anthony Bourdain, and TV Guide features a spoiler-laden interview with Gossip Girl’s Ed Westwick, ahead of tonight’s GG season finale.

And, just like the good old days, NBC will rerun episodes of American Gladiators during the afternoon on weekends. Now if they could just cast fellow weekend-day TV denizen Kevin Sorbo on Gladiators, the circle would be complete.

Ox Notes: January 8, 2008

The Golden Globes Award ceremony has officially been canceled. The gala show has been replaced by an hour-long press conference to announce the winners, broadcast exclusively on NBC on Sunday night. I’m not sure why anyone but the press would watch the press conference since there will be no stars in attendance, and the results will be available online as soon as the broadcast ends.

The Hulkster’s daughter, Brooke Hogan, has apparently auditioned for Dancing with the Stars producers.

Tennis player and star of the horrendous Age of Love, Mark Philippoussis, is also jockeying for a spot on DwtS. Mercifully, it’s just the Australian version of the show, and not the U.S. edition.

TV Guide’s Matt Roush posted his thoughts on the return of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report last night. Of the two shows, I thought The Colbert Report fared better without a script than The Daily Show did.

Another late night talk show, Real Time with Bill Maher, returns this weekend.

To fill the void left by the writers strike, CBS is editing the first season of the Showtime show Dexter for network primetime. The first episode of the series premieres on CBS on February 17.

After several seasons off the air, ABC plans to bring back reality competition show The Mole this summer. Unfortunately, the show’s original host, Anderson Cooper, won’t be back.

American Gladiators’ Sunday night ratings victory over a preview of new scripted series Cashmere Mafia prompted Variety’s Kathy Lyford to wonder what motivation the studios have to make a deal with writers when reality series do better in the ratings. She does have a point.