The scores ranged from 14 for pro basketball player Ron Artest (a.k.a. Metta World Peace) to 22 each for singer Chynna Phillips and 'All My Children' actor J.R. Martinez.
Since Artest's pro partner, Peta Murgatroyd, is also new to the show it's not like she's bringing in a lot of votes. Still, pro athletes have always done well on 'DWTS.'
How did the stars and pro dancers think they did? AOL TV was on the post-show press line to get reactions.
Chaz Bono has grabbed more attention than any other contestant thus far, and 'Access' showed a clip of him showing off his best moves for the camera. That willingness to perform will only help him, said Cavallari. "He has confidence, which I think is a huge deal," she said. "You need a lot of confidence to win this thing."
New photos posted on the show's Facebook page give a sneak peek of just how seriously his fellow contestants are taking the challenge of competing on the ABC show.
The current bookies' favorite to win, actress and model Elisabetta Canalis Tweeted over the holiday weekend that "they r killin'me with rehearsals every day," but she and her partner Val Chmerkovskiy -- Maks' little brother (and doppelgänger) -- look fit and relaxed as they go through their moves.
Meanhwile, three other couples have got their game faces on as they as they learn the moves for their new dance routines.
Carson Kressley, said Gifford, would provide the laughs for the show. Of former George Clooney girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis, Gifford said, "She's gotta do something now, she's not going out with George Clooney anymore." She also said she had known about Nancy Grace's casting in advance, but had to keep it secret.
It remains to be seen who'll emerge as the front-runner on the 13th season of 'Dancing With the Stars,' which debuts Monday, Sept. 19 at 8PM ET on ABC. But, by early indications, contestant Nancy Grace is the one to beat on the press line.
The outspoken Grace didn't mince words as to why she came to L.A. to do the show. She's here anyway to cover the Michael Jackson murder case.
"I understand the defense attorney wants the jury sequestered from Nancy Grace," says the former prosecutor. "I can only say that his client is charged with standing by, talking on the phone to his girlfriend while the King of Pop, a music icon, lay on that bed and died ... I don't think it was altogether a bad thing that they asked the jury to be sequestered from me."
Grace is hoping that this trial sends a message that even rich celebrities accused of crimes deserve justice.
"Many people are still angry at Michael Jackson over the molestation charges. What many of them don't see is that Lady Justice is blind to the defendant and the victim. It doesn't matter what Jackson did or didn't do. It's a slippery slope to start judging victims."
But there were several stars who attempted to duplicate the big O's success over the years, all starting with the naming standard no future host would dare to change: 'The [Insert Name of Host] Show.'
Though many managed to last more than a decade each (persistence paid off for Montel Williams, Ricki Lake, Geraldo Rivera and Jenny Jones), no other talk show host has made it to the quarter century mark.
To show you just how big a feat Oprah has accomplished, here's a list of 13 daytime talk shows that came and went during Oprah's tenure, a feature which could also be called Talk Shows that Oprah Killed.
Deadline reports that Neflix outbid premium cable networks for the drama by offering a two-season, 26-episode commitment. The company had previously said it wasn't interested in getting into original programming, but with competitors like Amazon nipping at their heels, it seems like a smart move.
In other TV news ...
• Could Ricki Lake return to TV? Depends on what Katie Couric wants to do. If the CBS anchor doesn't renew her contract and heads to daytime instead, Lake's out of luck. [Broadcasting & Cable]
• Joan and Melissa will be back for more hijinks in 2012. WE tv renewed the mother-daughter duo's reality show for a second season. [The Hollywood Reporter]
• Another taxidermy show? As Sarah Palin might say, you betcha! The Discovery Channel announced a new special called 'Taxidermy USA' that's scheduled to air March 31. Do we really need to explain what it's about? [Discovery]
(S02E02) There's a sweetness to 'Drop Dead Diva' that if not handled correctly could push the show into the territory of overly saccharine, or even diabetic coma. Generally speaking, it's a nice program where good things happen and resolutions are for the better. That's why it's important to balance the bitter with the sweet. Not everything ends happily ever after. That was exactly what tonight's episode showed ... and that was a good thing.
GSN has fallen in love with Carnie Wilson. Kelly Goode, GSN senior vice president for original programming and development, gushed about CW, saying, "Carnie is incredibly funny and earthy. ... She's a personality the viewers have fallen in love with. And she's a hit on The Newlywed Game.
The series, titled The Middle, centers on a family in the Midwest, and Heaton will play the mom. I know, that's a really generic description. I might as well say Heaton will play a human being in a comedy that will feature humor and talking.
Ricki Lake was originally cast in the role when the show was first developed a couple of years ago, but things changed later when the network wanted Heaton in the lead role and held the show until a deal with Heaton was finalized. That means the show has been on hold since even before Heaton starred in the short-lived FOX comedy Back To You with Kelsey Grammer. A lot of people thought that show would come back for a second season since it got OK reviews and had two big names attached. But FOX canceled it and now Heaton has a new job.
Marissa J, who's currently spinning, twirling and trying to look graceful on Dancing With the Stars, will be developing a syndicated yakker (industry talk for talk show) for Sony Pictures Television. The fact that another company is also doing the same thing for Marie Osmond means one thing: producers think that if you can dance, you can talk. That's a show business axiom, isn't it? Her show, if it flies, will be for fall 2009.
Sony has dipped in syndication before with the Wayne Brady Show, which failed to click but did win the star a Daytime Emmy. Marissa is already an award winner, grabbing the 2003 Tony as Best Actress in a musical for playing Tracy in the Broadway version of Hairspray opposite Harvey Fierstein.
(S01E07) In my opinion, it's pretty hard to mess up a game like Family Feud. Sure, you could have a bad host like Ray Combs or Louie Anderson, but that usually doesn't deter from the game play of the families who participate on the show. So it's no surprise that Game Show Marathon chose this particular classic to be the Championship Game. That, and the fact that it could easily be played in an hour and not feel awkward like some of the other games that were played during the series.
Oh, and it certainly didn't hurt that both finalists, Kathy Najimy and Brande Roderick, had actually been on Feud in the past: Najimy back in 1981 with host Richard Dawson, and Roderick back in the late 90's with host Louie Anderson. Pretty convenient, don't you think?
(S01E06) This review was performed via IM chat, and has been edited for clarity.
Richard Keller: Good evening, everyone! And welcome to a 'very special' review of Game Show Marathon. I'm here with someone I've known for, well, most of my life. My dear brother Joel.
Joel Keller: Howdy.
Richard Keller: We're diverging from the usual review format because tonight we are going to watch an episode of GSM that features a game show that was viewed religiously in the Keller household during the 1970's. We're talking about Match Game.
JK: The previews of this show looked OK... some oddities... but I'm keeping an open mind; yet, I'm going to be really critical of this episode, considering Match Game is my all-time favorite game show. What are you expecting, Rich?
RK: Well, from looking at the previews from last week I'm not too sure. They seem to have gotten the feel of the mid-70's set down. What it will really come down to is how the celebrities play. So, without further delay, here we go.
(S01E05) Before we begin I have a correction to make. At the end of last week's post about the Press Your Luck episode of Game Show Marathon I mentioned that the version of Card Sharks they were playing this week was the Bob Eubanks hosted version that ran on CBS from 1986 until 1989 (Ironically, replacing Press Your Luck in the timeslot). However, I was wrong. After watching the introduction to tonight's show it was clearly the Jim Perry version which ran on NBC from 1978 until 1981. So, apologies all around.
Come to think of it, the original version of the show was much better than the Eubanks version. Eubanks, who hosted The Newlywed Game for several decades, made the show more personality based. And, that wasn't his fault, since he spent years trying to get newlyweds to open up about their most intimate secrets to millions of television viewers. But, adding that element to the show made the game move a bit slower. The original that was hosted by Jim Perry (who went on to host the popular $ale of the Century shortly after Card Sharks ended) was a much faster paced game. In the end, the producers over at Marathon made the right choice by going with the original.
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