Ox Notes: February 24, 2009

Ox Notes is back! Time to catch up on TV news that I missed during my week in the Florida sun.

I’ve been really happy with the first two episodes of both Survivor: Tocantins (which gained viewers in its second week) and The Amazing Race 14. I know it’s immature, but I’d be content if Mel spent the rest of the season wandering the globe complaining, "My groin!"

As The Bachelor nears its season finale, spoilers about Jason’s decision have popped up on the Web. In his EW blog, Bachelor host Chris Harrison addressed the rumors but didn’t give a satisfying answer as to why the show would need to film a second "After the Final Rose" special — unless the rumors are true.

The sinking U.S. economy is forcing networks to scale back their pilot orders. However, new shows are still in the works for comedians Joel McHale and Adam Carolla.

Networks can always save money by programming more low-cost chat shows, and Variety’s Brian Lowry has good advice for aspiring celebrity talk show hosts, including the reminder that non-celebrities will be watching the show: "Not everyone can relate to the inconvenience associated with parking your private jet."

The Screen Actors Guild rejected the producers’ "last, best and final offer" because it aimed to curtail the union’s future bargaining power.

ABC released the official photos of the Dancing with the Stars 8 couples. Please tell me Ty Murray isn’t going to dance wearing a cowboy hat every week.

Julianne Hough wrote that watching her boyfriend and DwtS 8 partner, Chuck Wicks, try to dance is "really hilarious." Fellow pro Lacey Schwimmer told People that her Season 8 charge, Steve-O, is a "workhorse."

In an interview with TV Guide, DwtS 8 contestant Nancy O’Dell explained perfectly what gives Olympians and other athletes an edge in the dance competition: "The experience of doing something physical in front of so many people under so much pressure."

O’Dell also mentioned that she’s warned her husband not to vote for NFL star Lawrence Taylor while she’s on the show, telling him, "You don’t have to go to bed with him at the end of the night. You have to sleep with me at the end of the night!"