Monthly Archives: August 2008

Ox Notes: August 29, 2008

Barack Obama’s Thursday night acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention garnered over 38 Million viewers — and that’s not even counting C-SPAN and PBS. Wow. I guess maybe people do care more about politics than American Idol.

Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn has been offering his opinions on celebrity fashion to anyone who will listen. He told OK! Magazine that Jennifer Aniston’s recent looks have screamed "desperate character."

People has an interview with the latest auf’d PR designer, Keith, who’s stopped blaming his model and the judges for his failure, putting the blame instead on faulty sewing machines.

While 18-49 remains the most coveted demographic for advertisers, Nielsen finds that viewers over the age of 55 are the largest growing segment of the TV audience.

CBS is hoping to reach out to all TV viewers with a Fall Preview Show highlighting new shows on the network’s roster. The special will air on September 5 at 9 p.m. ET.

Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps has landed a cameo on HBO’s Entourage, in addition to his recently announced gig hosting the season premiere of Saturday Night Live. I hope he spends as much time rehearsing for these shows as he did training for the Olympics, because he was pretty boring in interviews during the Beijing Games.

Grizzly Man Diaries debuts tonight on Animal Planet at 9 ET, featuring never-before-seen footage shot by Timothy Treadwell, a researcher killed by a bear several years ago. Treadwell’s gruesome death was the subject of the documentary film Grizzly Man, which is as fascinating as it is disturbing.

Kim Kardashian’s film Disaster Movie hits theaters today, hence she’s the only Dancing with the Stars 7 cast member getting any press. TV Guide interviewed Kim about the movie. She talked with Us Magazine about dancing with her boyfriend, NFLer Reggie Bush. And she told People that she hopes that training for DwtS will help tone her famous backside.

In other movie news, I reviewed the movie College for the Naperville Sun today. Tomorrow I’m going to see the new Hindi film Rock On!!, and I’ll link to that review next week.

If you’re planning on traveling by car this Labor Day weekend, TNT is paying for tolls in Atlanta, Orlando, Philadelphia, and Chicago as a way to promote its new show, Raising the Bar. I’m so used to speeding through tolls with my iPass that it took me a minute to get the joke.

Ox Notes will return on Tuesday. Have a great holiday weekend!

Ox Notes: August 28, 2008

Oddsmakers have expanded beyond betting on which celebrity will win Dancing with the Stars 7 to include odds on which celebrity is most likely to be arrested for DUI, and which two celebs are most likely to get romantic backstage. A Lance Bass-Kim Kardashian hook up leads with 5/1 odds, despite the fact that Bass is openly gay.

Kim Kardashian spoke to Entertainment Tonight about her recent foot injury.

OK! Magazine reports that former DwtS flames Karina Smirnoff & Mario Lopez might be back together again.

After having met all of the Survivor: Gabon contestants in Africa, Reality Blurred’s Andy Dehnart ranked the contestants by whom he liked the best.

Survivor‘s biggest competition, new FOX game show Hole in the Wall, is moving its premiere up to September 7 in an effort to hook viewers before Survivor: Gabon debuts on the 25th.

EW has a slideshow of 15 Stars to Watch on television this fall.

Project Runway
judge Michael Kors blogged about last night’s episode, as did the always insightful Tim Gunn. His blog is required-reading for PR fans who want to know just how different the show looks from the inside.

Tim Gunn has been offering his opinions on celebrity style to various news outlets. He told Us Magazine that Michelle Obama is the more fashionable potential future first lady, and he told OK! Magazine that Miley Cyrus’s look is "too tarty."

The Muppet Show may return to the airwaves, provided the next Muppet movie does well at the box office.

MSNBC’s hosts seem a little stressed by all of this convention coverage, especially Joe Scarborough, who engaged in an on-air insult contest with David Shuster that lasted for nearly five minutes.

The creator of CSI, Anthony Zuiker, plans to create three "digital novels," in which a series of written chapters are followed by a short Internet video that segues into the next series of chapters. At the conclusion of the novel, readers can join a virtual book club to discuss the material.

While I’m intrigued by the concept, I was disappointed to learn what Zuiker claims inspired the idea. He told Variety, "I personally don’t have the attention economy to read a 250-page crime novel from start to finish."

"Attention economy"? When did that replace the phrase "attention span"? How distressing that an adult can’t muster the attention to read 250 pages, while grade schoolers managed to make it through all 850+ pages of Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix.

This article from the Times Online explains how our digital culture is making us dumber and less able to concentrate. After rereading the article, I’m not so sure the "digital novel" is such a great idea.

Ox Notes: August 27, 2008

Early Dancing with the Stars 7 betting odds have Toni Braxton as the favorite to win, followed by Lance Bass. I’m sticking with Misty May-Treanor or Maurice Greene, unless they’re as uncoordinated as former DwtS jocks Clyde Drexler and Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

People posted a behind-the-scenes video of Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas in rehearsal. A DwtS insider told the Chicago Sun-Times that Kim was a "total diva" during the casting process, and even "wanted veto partner over her dance partner." She wound up with the reigning champ, so she can’t be upset about that.

CBS announced the cast of Survivor: Gabon, and the reporters who went to Africa to document the first days of filming are finally able to talk about what they saw.

EW posted video interviews with the cast members, and has a photo gallery featuring Survivor host Jeff Probst’s thoughts on each contestant.

EW also has a game where you can vote for the biggest Olympic stud.

ABC will air an hour-long special called Half Their Size: The People Magazine Weight Loss Challenge on September 30.

Variety notes that, while cable news networks have gotten a ratings boost from their coverage of the Democratic National Convention, the networks are also getting hammered for covering the convention not as it is, but as they would like it to be.

An article by Eric Boehlert of Media Matters slams the mainstream media for exaggerating tensions between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton (and their respective supporters). Clinton’s speech last night proved just how wrong the MSM was.

Media Matters also called out MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell for criticizing the Democrats yesterday for not sending Senator Claire McCaskill out on stage to tear into John McCain and metaphorically "throw some red meat out to the crowd." McCaskill did just that the previous night, but MSNBC didn’t cover McCaskill’s speech.

From now on, I plan to follow The Boston Globe’s advice: "The best way to watch a political convention is on C-SPAN. That way Americans can make their own judgments unfiltered, without being told what to think by the nattering nabobs of TV commentary."

Now, who wants to get together for a meal at Guttenberg’s Steak House?

Ox Notes: August 26, 2008

Pre-teen girls of America, brace yourselves. The musical guests performing on Dancing with the Stars 7‘s first Results Show are The Jonas Brothers and Jesse McCartney. Squeee!

The ET story linked to above also notes that the schedule for the first week of DwtS 7 is as follows: all 13 couples perform on September 22’s premiere episode. Couples dance again the following night, and the first pair is eliminated. One more couple is eliminated during the first official Results Show on Wednesday, September 24. Two performances and two eliminations in three days. Yikes!

ET also has video of the DwtS pros rehearsing their opening night routine.

OK! reports that Mark McGrath dropped out of DwtS so that he could focus on writing new music for his band, Sugar Ray.

TV Guide has an article that contends that Ted McGinley has been the harbinger of doom for virtually every series he’s been on. Will this be the season when Dancing with the Stars finally jumps the shark?

Speaking of jumping the shark, Metromix L.A. has updates on the cast of Saved by the Bell, including cast members from The College Years and The New Class.

E! asks the question, What Planet of Awesome Did Ed Westwick Come From? (For those who don’t know, Westwick plays scene-stealing cad Chuck Bass on Gossip Girl.)

CBS has delayed the premiere of Survivor: Gabon until September 25.

NBC has to wait and see if all of their promotions during the Olympics will translate into viewers for new series like Kath & Kim.

ABC ordered five new series on Monday, while Lifetime announced a new slate of original daytime programs.

TLC is set to premiere Real Simple. Real Life. on October 18. It’s a lifestyle makeover show for women, featuring a crew of experts, a la Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The show, which aims to help women get organized and save time, is a partnership between the network and Real Simple magazine.

Ox Notes: August 25, 2008

The big day has finally arrived: the Dancing with the Stars 7 cast has been revealed! Kudos to the website Gossip Sauce for getting their leaked cast list 100% correct, including an update posted yesterday revealing that Mark McGrath had dropped out and been replaced by Rocco DiSpirito.

Since athletes have won the last four mirrorball trophies, Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke and Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy seem the most likely duos to win. But I can’t help but root for Jeffrey Ross, whose material was only slightly less off-color than Cloris Leachman‘s at Comedy Central’s Roast of Bob Saget (neither clip is safe for work).

Even before the cast was officially announced, DwtS 7 had its first injury. Kim Kardashian cut her foot in her New York hotel room last night and had to be taken to the hospital. I can already imagine the uncomfortable silence during the first episode, after Samantha Harris adopts an overly familiar tone and asks Kim, "So, just what were you doing in that hotel room?"

DwtS head judge Len Goodman was featured in an interview with The Daily Mail, which is worth reading, if only for the photo of Len in his bathrobe and slippers.

On the topic of judges, American Idol has added songwriter Kara DioGuardi to its panel for next season.

Production house Juma Entertainment is looking to revive the celebrity sports competition show The Superstars.

In honor of tonight’s premiere of America’s Toughest Jobs on NBC, EW compiled a list of 25 Risk-Filled Reality TV Shows.

In other premiere news, FOX will simultaneously stream the premieres of Fringe and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles online, but only for college students.

TV Guide has partnered with The Paley Center For Media to host a special weeklong event previewing fall’s new shows.

Survivor: China‘s dimwitted lovebirds, Jamie and Erik, are engaged and looking for someone to pay for their wedding. Don’t count on it, you two. You ain’t exactly Rob and Amber.

DwtS 7 Cast Announcement

The cast of Dancing with the Stars 7 was officially revealed on today’s edition of Good Morning America. Here are the names of the participants, as well as the names of their pro partners:

Lance Bass & Lacey Schwimmer
Rocco DiSpirito & Karina Smirnoff
Misty May-Treanor & Maksim Chmerkovskiy
Maurice Greene & Cheryl Burke
Toni Braxton & Alec Mazo
Kim Kardashian & Mark Ballas
Cody Linley & Julianne Hough
Cloris Leachman & Corky Ballas
Ted McGinley & Inna Brayer
Brooke Burke & Derek Hough
Jeffrey Ross & Edyta Sliwinska
Warren Sapp & Kym Johnson
Susan Lucci & Tony Dovolani

This season has a few new pros, including Mark Ballas’s dad, Corky. Fans of So You Think You Can Dance are already familiar with Lacey Schwimmer. And here’s a video of Inna Brayer in action on America’s Ballroom Challenge:

Ox Notes: August 22, 2008

Although the Dancing with the Stars 7 cast won’t officially be announced until Monday on Good Morning America, the website Gossip Sauce posted what it purports to be the complete cast list, including brief bios of the alleged participants:

Kim Kardashian
Cloris Leachman
Lance Bass
Toni Braxton
Brooke Burke
Maurice Greene
Cody Linley
Susan Lucci
Jeff Ross
Warren Sapp
Misty May-Treanor
Ted McGinley
Mark McGrath

Several of the celebrities on the list have long been rumored to be in the cast, including Lance Bass and Kim Kardashian. DwtS 2 runner-up Jerry Rice essentially confirmed to TV Guide that Warren Sapp will participate in DwtS 7.

A source confirmed to My Ox Is Broken that Maurice Greene is definitely participating in Dancing with the Stars 7, and that his professional partner is Cheryl Burke.

Assuming the list is accurate, ABC has decided to extend this season’s run for an extra week. Previous DwtS casts have topped out at twelve participants.

Starting in September, the Travel Channel will rerun The Amazing Race 12. The cable network also acquired rights to rebroadcast TAR 13 after it finishes its run on CBS this fall.

This week’s auf’d Project Runway designer, Daniel, comes across as much more likable in this interview with People than he did on the show.

Variety has several articles about the power of music on TV, from television’s capacity to resurrect one-hit wonders to its ability to launch careers of new artists, especially if their songs appear in iPod commercials.

NBC’s decision to air Olympics coverage around the clock on multiple platforms has paid off; 206 million people have watched the Beijing Games in the first 13 days, and NBC’s official website has logged over 1 billion page views. Be sure to check the official website for details on Sunday night’s Closing Ceremonies.

Ox Notes: August 21, 2008

Six new reality shows debut on cable tonight, and I’m not interested in any of them. Reality Blurred has an article about the new shows and where you can find them. Variety reviewed three of the shows: The Principal’s Office, The Cho Show, and Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.

If you’re interested in producing your own reality show, $300 will reserve a place for you in Reality TV Boot Camp.

Last night’s episode of Project Runway featured outfits for drag queens, and Tim Gunn and Michael Kors posted their thoughts on the costumes in their Bravo blogs.

The New York Times profiled comedian Jon Stewart, who was named the fourth most admired journalist in the country in a 2007 poll.

When The Bachelor returns in 2009, the single guy up for grabs will be the losing finalist from the last season of The Bachelorette, Jason Mesnick.

Dancing with the Stars pro Julianne Hough told People that she’s dating country singer Chuck Wicks.

Seventeen countries have bought the rights to produce regional versions of ABC’s game show Wipeout. The international versions will be filmed on a massive set in Argentina, while the U.S. version will continue to be produced domestically.

Veteran character actor Julius Carry died on August 19 of pancreatic cancer. While TV audiences know him from his roles in comedies like The Adventures of Briscoe Country Jr. and Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, his most memorable role was undoubtedly Sho’nuff, The Shogun of Harlem in the film The Last Dragon. Bow down to the master:

Ox Notes: August 20, 2008

Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy told OK! Magazine that he will participate in the upcoming season, after taking last season off.

If ex-NFLer Warren Sapp joins the DwtS 7 cast as rumored, he’ll have to schedule dance rehearsals around his new gig as an analyst on Showtime’s Inside the NFL.

Another former pro football player, Antonio Freeman of the Green Bay Packers, told ESPN that he’s in talks to join the DwtS cast for Season 8.

EW’s Michael Ausiello reports that Veronica Mars scribe Rob Thomas recently spoke with Kristen Bell, the actress who portrayed the title character, about the possibility of a VM feature film.

While TV critics are buzzing about The CW’s decision not to send out preview copies of 90210 — fueling speculation that the show isn’t very good — the Chicago Tribune’s blog The Watcher has a list of other shows which haven’t been screened for critics.

MSNBC announced that political analyst and Countdown with Keith Olbermann guest host Rachel Maddow is getting her own nightly show on the network, starting September 8. Olbermann himself broke the news yesterday on the website Daily Kos.

Rachel Maddow is the smartest political analyst on TV, and one of my favorite on-air personalities. She’s adept at getting good answers out of her guests, forcing them to support their claims with evidence and not just talking points. The Rachel Maddow Show will be a great addition to MSNBC’s lineup.

Ox Notes: August 19, 2008

CBS announced the cast of The Amazing Race 13, which includes a pair of hippie beekeepers in their 60s. Host Phil Keoghan told The Associated Press that he finds the team of frat brothers especially amusing. TAR 13 premieres September 28.

TV Guide has a handy online calendar of fall premiere dates. The latest print edition of TV Guide, which hits newsstands on Thursday, is sponsored exclusively by ABC, and will feature 21 pages of ads for the network’s fall lineup.

The CW has decided not to screen the new 90210 for critics. According to Naperville Sun critic Wendy Fox Weber, that can mean only one thing: "90210 stinks."

TMZ reports that Dancing with the Stars producers were ready to cast 82-year-old actress Cloris Leachman for Season 7, but dumped her in favor of singer Toni Braxton. According to the report, producers thought that Braxton would make the more compelling contestant because she has a heart condition.

I sure hope that DwtS casting decisions aren’t being made based on which celebrity is more likely to produce a dramatic dance floor injury, a la Marie Osmond and Cristian de la Fuente. has an interview with Project Runway designer Kelli, who really isn’t taking her auf’ing well.

The Chicago Tribune’s TV blog, The Watcher, offers some explanations for why people watch The Hills. I haven’t yet fallen under the fake documentary’s spell, but perhaps I will when Heidi & Spencer get married on live TV. Or maybe not.