Monthly Archives: August 2008

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.

Ox Notes: August 18, 2008

According to The Salt Lake Tribune, professional dancers Julianne and Derek Hough will both participate in the seventh season of Dancing with the Stars. Julianne’s role will also expand to include some singing, although the article doesn’t specify in what context the budding country music star will perform.

Derek Hough and fellow DwtS pro Mark Ballas recently had their belongings stolen from a van parked outside of an Outback Steakhouse in Minnesota, where they were dining with Kristi Yamaguchi.

The first eight days of the 2008 Summer Olympics were watched by 185 million people, putting the Beijing Games on course to be the most watched Olympics ever.

People interviewed the most recently auf’d Project Runway designer, Kelli, who has nothing but bad things to say about her partner in the losing challenge, Daniel.

The Los Angeles Times has an interview with Bonnie Hunt about her new syndicated daytime talk show. launches on August 27 with reruns of popular shows like Friends and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, as well as new shows created just for the website. One of those new shows is Downers Grove, presumably named after the Chicago suburb responsible for Denise Richards and comedian Emo Phillips, who wrote the song, "I Like to Shop in Downtown Downers Grove."

Friday’s episode of The Soup featured a clip from The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet in which a picture of a cat eating spaghetti was accidentally inserted into an otherwise serious segment. Relive the hilarity here.

Ox Notes: August 15, 2008

ABC is in hot water over a memo that seemingly encourages its producers to find ways to avoid paying licensing fees for international show formats. The network has had much success adapting U.K. shows for American audiences, including Wife Swap, Supernanny, and, of course, Dancing with the Stars.

Reality Blurred kept an eye on the workroom clock during the most recent episode of Project Runway. Based on the times shown on the clock during different segments, there’s an awful lot of editing that takes place before an episode ever makes it to air.

Variety has an article about the nominees in the Emmy category of Best Reality Show Host.

Despite Moonlight‘s cancellation, Alex O’Loughlin has signed a talent holding deal with CBS.

Barry Bostwick, who played Brad in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, thinks remaking the cult classic is a bad idea.

There are a number of new items up for bid at Clothes Off Our Backs, the celebrity charity auction site, including a maternity shirt worn by Dancing with the Stars co-host Samantha Harris.

Speaking of DwtS, ESPN’s Patrick Hruby marvels that the International Olympic Committee hasn’t made ballroom dancing an Olympic sport yet, given the enormous popularity of ballroom dancing shows in countries around the world.

In case you’d like to plan your weekend around Olympic viewing, you can find the television schedule at NBC’s official Olympics website.

I plan on spending a little quality time at Quigley’s Pub this weekend, watching some of the matches from the opening weekend of English Premier League soccer, decked out in my new Liverpool jersey (my final birthday present). You’ll never walk alone!

Ox Notes: August 14, 2008

My favorite Dancing with the Stars 7 rumor thus far has 80-year-old Adam West — TV’s Batman joining the cast. West also starred in the awful film Zombie Nightmare, which prompted one of my favorite Mystery Science Theater 3000 comments, regarding the slow-ambling title character: "John Goodman on Hume Cronyn’s back could outrun this guy."

Speaking of MST3K, EW has an article about a new project by Joel Hodgson and the other refugees from the Satellite of Love, called Cinematic Titanic. The new show, available on DVD, is pretty much the same as MST3K, only without robots.

Variety reviewed Top Chef: The Tour.

Olympian Michael Phelps spends his downtime watching the nature documentary Planet Earth on DVD. He has good taste.

In other Olympic news, People reports that soccer superstar David Beckham will take part in the closing ceremonies, presumably taking the torch on behalf of London, host of the 2012 Games.

According to Variety, TV critics, who normally spend August reviewing advanced copies of pilots of new fall shows, are freaking out because they have nothing to review. The writers strike earlier this year put production behind schedule, meaning that networks will likely be tweaking their premiere episodes until the last minute.

The New York Observer has an article about the real star of Gossip Girl, 15-year-old Taylor Momsen. The CW created a Season 1 highlight reel to catch viewers up on the major plot points before the second season premieres on September 1:

Ox Notes: August 13, 2008

The Beverly Hills, 90210 remake is down one star from the original series. Tori Spelling couldn’t settle on terms with the show’s producers, and has pulled out of the new series. Spelling was reportedly offered less money per episode than her fellow original 90210 co-stars, Jennie Garth and Shannen Doherty. Garth told EW that she’s "bummed" by the news.

Fellow Beverly Hills, 90210 alum, Ian Ziering, told People that reprising Steve Sanders for the new series "might be a step backwards" for his career.

Dancing with the Stars apparently has a limit on the number of celebrities with reality shows on E! allowed in each season, because Denise Richards won’t be a part of DwtS 7. It’s complicated.

The Mole ended its season on Monday night with an audience of fewer than 3 million viewers.

Being up against the Olympics certainly didn’t help The Mole. Total viewership of the Beijing Games has already surpassed 143 million people in the United States.

Variety has an article about the absence of stand-up comics among the actors nominated in the Emmy’s Leading Actor in a Comedy category.

Variety’s Brian Lowry speculates that the popularity of social networking sites might be responsible for the recent proliferation of vampire dramas on television. Hmm…