Monthly Archives: July 2008

Ox Notes: July 16, 2008

Us Weekly reports that Grey’s Anatomy‘s writers are considering giving Katherine Heigl’s character, Izzie, a brain tumor as a "way of screwing with [Heigl]."

Katie Holmes will make a guest appearance on ABC’s Eli Stone this fall.

John O’Hurley told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that he and Charlotte Jorgensen are planning a return to Dancing with the Stars.

NBC Universal is selling special merchandise from several of its most popular shows (e.g., The Office, Heroes, and Battlestar Galactica) at Comic-Con. Fortunately for those of us who won’t be attending Comic-Con, the items are available for purchase online.

Variety reports that original programming has given the networks a modest increase in viewers, compared to last summer.

Ahead of tonight’s Project Runway 5 premiere, Bravo seems to be trying to spoil the season, sending critics video of the complete first episode — including the elimination — for review, and announcing all of the challenges for the entire season. Guess Bravo execs took the show’s move to Lifetime for Season 6 a little personally.

Tonight’s episode of The Colbert Report will feature a performance by one of my favorite bands: Rush. Unfortunately, they’re scheduled to perform "Tom Sawyer," one of my least favorite songs. But it could’ve been worse. They could’ve played "Roll the Bones."

Ox Notes: July 15, 2008

An injury has forced So You Think You Can Dance contestant Jessica to withdraw from the competition. Comfort, who was eliminated last week, has taken over Jessica’s spot in the Top 10.

SYTYCD judge Mary Murphy spoke with TV Guide about Jessica’s departure, which may have been due to an injury the dancer had hidden from the producers until this weekend, according to a report at Zap2It.

In Jessica’s honor, EW posted a photo gallery of 20 Abrupt Reality TV Farewells.

Blog MeTalkinToYou posted spoilers about the identities of the new couples, and which dances the pairs will perform on tomorrow night’s episode of SYTYCD. On Wednesday’s show, each couple will perform two routines, and each contestant will dance a solo. Then on Thursday, every dancer will participate in two of three group numbers (one boys’ routine and one girls’ routine, in addition to the usual the whole cast routine). Maybe the producers are trying to injure every contestant so they can end the season early and go on vacation.

TV Guide has the scoop on the guest judges appearing on the fifth season of Project Runway, including LL Cool J and Apolo Anton Ohno. PR mentor Tim Gunn told People that fans will "get mad" at many of the judges’ decisions during the new season, which premieres Wednesday night.

Developmental psychologists at Illinois State University have determined that the type of television shows teens watch affects their dating lives and their perceptions of gender roles.

Actress Alyssa Milano, who must’ve watched a lot of baseball when she was a teen, has sworn off dating MLBers, calling them "childish."

Ox Notes: July 14, 2008

Of course, the biggest Dancing with the Stars news of the summer breaks as soon as I go on vacation. Late last week, reports leaked that Lance Bass may join the cast of DwtS 7. Since Bass is openly gay, it’s rumored that he may dance with a male partner. Steve Guttenberg & Jonathan Roberts’ "Mango" went over well last season, so why not?

Former American Idol contestant Kellie Pickler told OK! that she’s trying to use her friendship with fellow country musician and DwtS pro Julianne Hough to garner a spot in Season 7’s cast.

Upon his retirement from professional boxing, DwtS 5 contestant Floyd Mayweather, Jr. accused the HBO network of racial bias against African-American boxers.

EW has the scoop on the meaning behind the "IV REAL" t-shirts worn by several of the dancers on Thursday’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance.

Katherine Heigl’s decision to withdraw herself from Emmy consideration because she felt that her character didn’t have enough a strong enough storyline so irked Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes that Rhimes is reportedly considering killing off Heigl’s character, Izzie.

Variety reports that The CW’s future depends on a successful fall TV season.

The contestants of Project Runway 5 were finally announced today. The season premieres Wednesday night at 9 ET on Bravo.

The Mole returns tonight to ABC with a recap show at 9 ET, followed by an all-new episode at 10 ET. Producers of the show fear that a poor ratings performance tonight could lead to the show’s cancellation, and have started the website savethemole.com. If you’re a fan of the show, be sure you tune in tonight.

Ox Notes: July 10, 2008

Here are videos of the performances from last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance:
Chelsie & Mark — Salsa and Broadway
Comfort & Thayne — Hip Hop and Contemporary
Jessica & Will — Contemporary and Quickstep
Courtney & Gev — Cha Cha and Jazz
Kherington & Twitch — Krump and Smooth Tango
Katee & Joshua — Viennese Waltz and Bollywood

Mary Murphy and Dan Karaty offered their thoughts on the performances to Us Magazine.

Of course, my favorite routine of the night was the Bollywood number. Katee & Joshua danced to the song "Dhoom Taana" from the excellent movie Om Shanti Om. Here’s a clip of the original dance number from the film.

If you’re interested in further Bollywood reading, my reviews of Love Story 2050 and Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic appeared in today’s Naperville Sun.

No Ox Notes tomorrow (we’re vacationing in Pittsburgh). Have a great weekend!

Ox Notes: July 9, 2008

AFTRA approved the contract that the actors union negotiated with the studios last month. The move weakens SAG’s bargaining position, and somewhat lessens the chances of an actors strike.

Project Runway changed its casting process for Season 6.

Variety’s Brian Lowry suggests a few places where you can find actual news on cable TV, instead of the "infotainment" that passes for journalism on most cable news networks.

Fans of the original Beverly Hills, 90210 will be delighted to learn that Joe E. Tata will reprise his role as Peach Pit owner Nat on the new 90210 this fall. Jason Priestley may direct an episode or two, but he says Brandon Walsh will not appear on the show.

Tonight’s new episode of So You Think You Can Dance will feature Katee & Joshua dancing a Bollywood routine, and I could not be more psyched. I’m dying to know who the choreographer is. Beto at Dance-Forums posted a video of a couple on the Aussie SYTYCD dancing Bollywood style. I wasn’t impressed with their performance, but I’m sure Katee & Joshua will knock it out of the park.

Also in advance of tonight’s new SYTYCD, TV Guide posted an interview with Mary Murphy. And People has an interview with last week’s eliminated dancers, Kourtni & Matt.

Ox Notes: July 8, 2008

Leslie Gray Streeter of the Palm Beach Post wrote about her dance lesson with Tony Dovolani, specifically about the terror that most of us non-dancers would feel if put in the same situation (and about Tony’s skill as a teacher). She also conducted a Q & A interview with the Dancing with the Stars pro.

In other DwtS news, Season 6’s Mario was interviewed by SingersRoom.com about why he thought rumors of a romance with Karina Smirnoff developed during his run on the show: "I feel like I’m naturally into the art of being sexy."

Survivor producer Mark Burnett is being sued by a former business partner for $70 million.

EW.com has a handy preview of shows premiering in July.

Reality Blurred has a post about why competition shows like The Next Food Network Star and Design Star are so entertaining. I bailed on Food Network Star after it spawned the intolerable Guy Fieri (the intro animation at his website illustrates my point).

The Futon Critic writes about why he’s both anticipating and dreading this fall’s revamped version of Cupid.

The production house behind E!’s The Girls Next Door — a show about Hugh Hefner’s multiple girlfriends — is creating several new shows for the Travel Channel. Noooo! I love shows like Samantha Brown’s Passport to Europe and Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations (I missed last night’s season premiere episode, filmed in Laos). I’d hate to see the network overrun with Playboy bunnies.

I’ll stick with the Travel Channel as long as they keep programming interesting shows like Michael Palin’s New Europe; Palin recently did an interview about the series with the Financial Times. But as soon as there’s talk of bringing back Taradise, I’m out.

Ox Notes: July 3, 2008

So You Think You Can Dance turned up the heat on the contestants last night, requiring each couple to perform two dances. Here are links to videos of all of the performances:

Jessica & Will — Jive and Jazz
Comfort & Thayne — Broadway and Smooth Waltz
Kourtni & Matt — Hip Hop and Mambo
Chelsie & Mark — Jazz and Fox Trot
Kherington & Twitch — Paso Doble and Contemporary
Katee & Joshua — Contemporary and West Coast Swing
Courtney & Gev — Hip Hop and Broadway

Zap2It’s SYTYCD recap features a complete listing of songs and choreographers for each number, while EW’s recap includes several "behind-the-scenes tidbits" from the set of the show.

Us Magazine asked Dan Karaty & Mary Murphy for their opinions on last night’s episode. The mag’s site also has an interview with guest judges Napoleon & Tabitha.

Wipeout held strong in the ratings for a second week. Hoping to capitalize on the ABC show’s success, Spike is running an "MXC, The Original, Not The Ripoff, Weekend" marathon celebrating the show that first introduced America to Japanese stunt-based game shows.

TV Guide has an article highlighting some special sporting events on TV this holiday weekend.

SAG and the studios have scheduled another meeting to resolve their contract issues for Monday.

When I saw a commercial for TLC’s new dating show for single moms, I assumed the show would be called "Date My MILF." The network opted for the more tactful title Must Love Kids.

The Naperville Sun published my latest Bollywood movie review of Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic ("A Little Love, A Little Magic"). Despite a sort-of gruesome car crash and a mildly erotic dance sequence, it’s a good movie for kids — entertaining enough for adults, too.

I’m taking tomorrow off, and will return with a new Ox Notes on Monday. Happy Independence Day!

Ox Notes: July 2, 2008

Reality shows have been earning big ratings this summer. Maybe that will boost enrollment at the school that teaches people how to get cast on reality shows.

Top Chef 5, which films this summer, may be shot in Brooklyn.

Ongoing negotiations between SAG and the studios have led some films to shut down production temporarily, but TV shows filming episodes for the fall have been unaffected. Good, because I’d hate for a strike to get in the way of Shannen Doherty (allegedly) joining the cast of the new Beverly Hills, 90210.

With a couple of major cast members exiting the series, I’m not surprised that Smallville will bring back several members of the Justice League next season.

TV Guide has a list of Emmy semifinalists for Lead Actor: Drama, Lead Actress: Drama, and Supporting Actor: Comedy.

Summer is always a great time to catch up on some reading, so ABC started the Lost Book Club, featuring titles mentioned by the characters or seen in the background. A list of available audio versions can be found at the iTunes store. I think I’ll start with Charles Dickens’ Our Mutual Friend (Episode #223, "Live Together Die Alone").

Ahead of tonight’s new episode of So You Think You Can Dance, here’s an interview People conducted with recently eliminated dancers Chelsea and Chris. And thanks to MOIB reader Deb for finding this video interview with SYTYCD choreographers Tony Meredith & Melanie LaPatin:

Ox Notes: July 1, 2008

Dancing with the Stars pro Jonathan Roberts is competing professionally in ballroom dancing again, with new partner Valentina Kostenko. No word yet on how this will affect his future with DwtS.

DwtS alum Mel B told the Los Angeles Times that she cries whenever she watches reruns of the movie Stepmom on cable.

I cringe to think about all the ways the producers of The Real World could ruin Project Runway if they take over the show.

The studios made one final offer to SAG last night; the two groups will meet on Wednesday to discuss the offer.

Variety’s Brian Lowry suggests that the on-air sniping between talk show hosts Bill O’Reilly and Keith Olbermann (and their respective networks) is getting a little old, and I’d have to agree.

TV Guide interviewed The Soup‘s Joel McHale. The magazine’s website also has the names of the top ten contenders for nomination in the Emmy categories of Lead Actress in a Comedy Series, Supporting Actor in a Drama Series, and Supporting Actress in a Drama Series.

Jim Caviezel and Ian McKellen have signed on to star in AMC’s remake of the 1967 British TV series The Prisoner. The cult hit — which inspired Iron Maiden’s song, "The Prisoner" — was originally filmed in the quirky Welsh town of Portmeirion, built by a local architect to resemble an Italian villa. While AMC’s version won’t be filmed in Portmeirion, here are a couple of photos of the village that Greg & I took during our whirlwind tour of Wales two years ago: