Monthly Archives: June 2009

Ox Notes: June 30, 2009

Dancing with the Stars judge Len Goodman recently had surgery for prostate cancer. He told The Daily Mail he feels "right as rain" and will take part in DwtS 9.

The latest DwtS 9 casting rumor involves Debi Mazar, an actress who’s played bit parts in seemingly everything.

In other DwtS news, Melissa Rycroft is engaged to Tye Strickland, whom she did not meet on a TV show.

I know I’ve been singing the praises of the low-rated murder mystery Harper’s Island all season long, but the show got really good on Saturday. The episode was exciting and the deaths were heart-breaking; I actually cried.

If you plan on checking out the show when it comes out on DVD on September 8, don’t read this Zap2It recap, or EW writer Michael Slezak’s post titled: Breaking: Harper’s Island Made Me Feel Something!.

The CW is now using Sunday nights to burn off episodes of the canceled Valentine.

Reality Blurred has the scoop on new CBS reality show There Goes the Neighborhood, described as "Big Brother but with families living in their actual homes."

USA Today’s Pop Candy blog features an interview with Parker Lewis Can’t Lose star Corin Nemec.

I think I’ve said here before that, if you ever have the chance to see Neil Diamond in concert, you should do it. Soon, you’ll be able to do it without leaving your house! On August 14, CBS will air a concert special called Neil Diamond — Hot August Night: NYC. Too bad the accompanying DVD and CD will only be available at Wal-Mart.

Ox Notes: June 25, 2009

Networks are suffering this summer, particularly ABC. Tuesday’s premiere episode of The Superstars was watched by less than 5 million people. The supposedly funny new episode of Better Off Ted that followed didn’t even get 2 million viewers.

I hope things are faring better for two of the only shows I make a point of watching during the summer, both of which happen to be on ABC on Wednesday nights: Wipeout and I Survived a Japanese Game Show.

Also on TV last night were new episodes of So You Think You Can Dance and Top Chef Masters.

If you’ll in the St. Petersburg, Florida, area this weekend, stop by the Millennium Dancesport Championships to catch a glimpse of celebrity judge Maksim Chmerkovskiy in action.

CBS announced its fall schedule, including a two-hour premiere of The Amazing Race on Sunday, September 27.

Here’s Melissa & Ade’s Rumba from last night’s SYTYCD:

Ox Notes: June 23, 2009

Tonight, ABC unleashes its latest celebrity competition show, The Superstars, at 8 ET. One of the contestants, Dancing with the Stars pro Maksim Chmerkovskiy, spoke with TV Guide about being the celebrity in a celebrity-professional athlete pair for a change.

In other DwtS news, Julianne Hough is up for a lead role in the Footloose remake, provided she gets her acting skills up to speed.

Family Guy‘s Seth MacFarlane landed an acting role on ABC’s new fall drama Flash Forward.

So You Think You Can Dance fans will want to check out host Cat Deeley’s blog at EW.

Jessica Simpson will travel the world for VH1 in 2010 for a new series called The Price of Beauty. I admit that I’m intrigued by the show’s premise: "Jessica will study the local fashions, dietary fads and beauty regimes and even participate in some of the extreme practices she discovers."

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one unimpressed by NBC’s Merlin, which premiered on Sunday night. Over two hours, it was only watched by 5.3 million people.

The reimagining of the legend — including Merlin’s relationship with Arthur and the fact that Arthur has a relationship with his dad at all — didn’t work for me, and I thought the acting was lame, particularly Merlin’s wide-eyed staring at a CGI of Camelot (the 0:15 mark in the video):

Ox Notes: June 18, 2009

Vera Wang confirmed to People that she’s been approached to compete on Dancing with the Stars 9 and is considering the offer.

DwtS pros Karina Smirnoff and Maksim Chmerkovskiy will join the stage show Burn the Floor for a three-week run on Broadway, starting in late July.

Former DwtS contestant Melissa Rycroft landed a gig as a summer correspondent on Good Morning America.

Wednesday is my favorite night of TV during the summer. Last night I watched Wipeout, the premiere of I Survived a Japanese Game Show, an episode of Globe Trekker on PBS (whoops, forgot about Chess on the other local PBS station), and the latest episode of Top Chef Masters.

Zap2It posted a recap of last night’s episode of So You Think You Can Dance.

The CW announced its fall schedule. Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill will swap timeslots on Monday nights, and Smallville moves to Fridays.

The Emmys have moved back to their original September 20 air date after realizing that MTV had already scheduled its Video Music Awards for September 13.

The Travel Channel is set to premiere the lengthily-titled reality competition The Streets of America: The Search for America’s Worst Driver in early 2010. By rewarding bad drivers with fame and presumably money, isn’t Travel Channel actually promoting bad driving?

Ox Notes: June 16, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance fans, brace yourselves for a performance by Katie Holmes. Us Magazine reports that Holmes filmed the Tyce Diorio-choreographed routine yesterday, and it may air as early as this week.

FOX announced its fall schedule, which includes abbreviated episodes of So You Think You Can Dance until Hell’s Kitchen finishes its season in October.

In Dancing with the Stars news, MOIB reader Deb noticed a rumor that Olympic gymnast Dominique Moceanu may be paired with Tony Dovolani for DwtS 9. The website Pure Dancing with the Stars also reports that American Idol contestant Danny Gokey is rumored to be in the DwtS 9 cast.

Nielsen’s report of online network TV viewing — which doesn’t include Hulu viewers — revealed that Dancing with the Stars had the highest number of unique viewers among all shows in May.

Jeff Probst told Reality Blurred that Survivor seasons 19 and 20 will film back-to-back in order to save money. The fact that Survivor‘s crew has booked Aggie Grey’s resort in Samoa through October means that both seasons will likely be filmed there.

The musical Chess features on this week’s episode of Great Performances on PBS. I’m planning on watching the episode when it debuts on Wednesday night, but "One Night in Bangkok" won’t be the same without Murray Head (song begins at 0:51):

Ox Notes: June 11, 2009

Top Chef Masters debuted on Bravo last night. There wasn’t much drama in the episode, but I thought that was fine. It’s just nice to watch a fresh episode of something from the Top Chef franchise. Zap2It recapped the premiere, and The Futon Critic interviewed TCM host Kelly Choi.

Last night also featured performances by the top 20 competitors on So You Think You Can Dance. Zap2It’s recap includes the names of each couple’s choreographer and song, including new SYTYCD choreographer Louis van Amstel.

SAG members agreed to a new contract, averting an actors strike for the time being.

Hollywood is still feeling the effects of the 2007-08 writers strike. Fewer pilots are filming in California these days, heading instead to Canada and New York to take advantage of tax breaks.

Comedy Central plans to revive Futurama, with new episodes of the cartoon airing mid-2010.

Shark Week returns to Discovery Channel on August 2. The new season of Mad Men kicks off on AMC on August 16.

ABC announced its fall premiere dates, including a September 21 debut for Dancing with the Stars 9.

To go along with the schedule announcement, we have our first DwtS 9 cast rumor: Vera Wang. MOIB reader Amy wonders if there’s any chance that the 60-year-old fashion designer won’t be paired with either Jonathan Roberts or Tony Dovolani.

ABC also revealed plans to import yet another celebrity dance show from the U.K. Let’s Dance will feature celebrities recreating famous dance routines, with proceeds from audience votes going to charity. The series will air in between seasons of Dancing with the Stars.

The winner of the British version, officially titled Let’s Dance for Comic Relief, was Robert Webb, better known as Jeremy from Peep Show (the funniest show I’ve ever seen). His take on Flashdance is hilarious, even if is leotard is unsettling.

Ox Notes: June 9, 2009

Emmy balloting is underway, with the nominees set to be announced on July 16. Variety compiled a list of likely contenders in the reality show categories.

Variety also gathered a list of reality show stars who, while not eligible for Emmys themselves, keep us watching their shows — guys like Bret "Set Piece in the Face" Michaels and Survivor: Tocantins‘ Coach.

Speaking of Coach, he recently gave a predictably long interview to the Springfield, MO News-Leader about life after Survivor. His villain edit on the show appears to have prompted a religious conversion, and he’s sadly toned down the Dragon Slayer act.

Variety has another article about what it takes for new reality shows to succeed in a saturated market.

EW gave a nod to fun, trashy summer TV shows, including Charm School and my beloved Harper’s Island.

Former Dancing with the Stars contestants have found a home onstage in Las Vegas. Kelly Monaco and Mel B are leaving the revue PEEPSHOW on June 21, making way for Holly Madison to join the cast.

In the previous edition of Ox Notes, I embedded a video compilation of ’80s cartoon theme songs. It inspired me to spend an embarrassing amount of time searching for other classic cartoon themes.

Thanks to YouTube, I discovered that the wonderful theme song for Gummi Bears is available in Japanese, German, Swedish, Polish, Norwegian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Czech, French, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish and Slovak. The Slovak version is pretty intense, but I’m partial to the Russian version, complete with English subtitles:

Ox Notes: June 4, 2009

I’ll get the bad news out of the way first: TV is bad for infants and reality show contestants.

Everyone knows that it’s bad to use TV as a baby sitter, but a recent study reports that infants’ language development suffers just being in the room with an adult watching TV. posted a two-part article about the dark side of participating in reality shows. Part 1 highlights eleven successful and unsuccessful suicide attempts by reality show contestants. Part 2 features commentary by mental health professionals.

In happier news, Bravo announced that the sixth season of Top Chef will take place in Las Vegas. EW interviewed Season 5 contestants Carla, Fabio and Jeff about life after Top Chef.

With Alec Baldwin already a star on 30 Rock and Daniel Baldwin joining his brother, Stephen, on I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!, Variety’s Brian Lowry speculates that NBC really stands for "No Baldwin Control."

In Dancing with the Stars news, Season 8 runner-up Gilles Marini had shoulder surgery on Tuesday. The trophies belonging to Season 8 champs Shawn Johnson & Mark Ballas are already broken.

Variety has a great article about the death of TV theme songs. These days, network shows devote as little as ten seconds to opening theme music.

The Variety article prompted me to search YouTube for great TV themes. I found this compilation of ten cartoon theme songs from the 1980s. Of the shows featured in the video, the only one I watched was Jem, and I still remember all the lyrics to its theme song. The rest of the songs are pretty epic, even if all of the cartoons seem to involve space robots: