Dish Of Salt: Tuesday TV Round Up

‘Idol’ Order
Yesterday, I headed over to the KIIS-FM radio studios to chat with Ryan Seacrest about his hosting duties on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve With Ryan Seacrest 2010.” I still laugh every time I see that title. Does that show really need publicity though? Really? If you are not out and about partying it up on New Year’s Eve, isn’t it a given that you would be home watching Ryan and Dick do the ball drop countdown? I know people even watch it when they are at a party. It’s become part of the fabric of our American life.

So, since watching that show is a given, instead I grilled Ryan for “American Idol” info. He told me he recently was in on a judges seating conversation about the judges and where he thinks that might go this season, “This is my guess. Randy, Ellen, Kara, Simon.” I told him I disagree and I think it will go Randy, Kara, Ellen, Simon to which he replied, “Really? You think Simon wants to be right next to Ellen? You don’t think he wants time to think about what she said so he can out clever her?” A good point, but no. I think Simon will want to have fun banter with Ellen and poke and prod her the way he did Paula Abdul. Whatever way the seating goes, it means that Kara and Ellen will most likely be sitting next to each other. Does Ryan think the two girls will get along? “Absolutely not,” he proclaimed “Which is the great thing about our show. Kara will compete for air time. So will Simon. It’s going to be dysfunctionally fantastic!” Ryan also believes that Randy may have some new material in the works for us. No more dawg? “Randy has some new vocabulary. New pets. He has got new pets. Gerbil.” What up Gerbil! I like it.

In other “Idol” news, former season eight contestant Michael Sarver has a new single out on iTunes today entitled “You Are.” He’s been performing the single while he is currently touring with fellow alums Gina Glocksen, Mikalah Gordon, David Hernandez and Alexis Grace called “American Stars In Concert For The Holidays.” (Check out their rehearsal video here). Sarver has signed with Dream Records/Universal Music Group and his album is set for release in Spring 2010.

March Madness
In what I think is an effort to compete with Bravo’s “The Real Housewives” franchise, VH-1 goes into production on a new reality series following the lives of the wives, ex-wives and girlfriends of several NBA players. VH1 is spinning it as a show not just about the glamorous lives they live - the cars, the clothes, the jewels. Rather, they are pitching it as a show dealing with the jealousy and drama that comes with being married to a famous athlete who travels six months out of the year is constantly being hounded by groupies. Considering what’s going on with Tiger Woods, I have a feeling there is going to be a lot of interest in this show. Shaquille O’Neal’s wife, Shaunie, is one of the stars and will also serve as an executive producer. The show beginnings airing on VH1 in March.

Web Series Leaps To TV
Latino broadcast network SiTV picked up the spinoff reality series “Elle & Tito: The Married Life” based on the popular Web series “Married on MySpace.” This the first reality show that originated from the Web to be picked up as a series. The 13 episodes of “Married on MySpace,” which ran from March through August, generated more than 15 million views. MySpace voters got to pick the couple and then vote on everything from the dress, to the ring, to the location for their nuptials. The show will follow the twenty-something lovebirds as they embark on their married life together. Let’s just hope it doesn’t turn out to be as disastrous for their new marriage as MTV’s “Newlyweds” was for Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson. The show begins airing on SiTV in March.

Miss America Judges Announced
The annual parade of beauties is set to take place January 30 on TLC and this year’s judges will feature contestants from TV’s two biggest reality shows. Shawn Johnson, winner of season eight of “Dancing With the Stars,” and Brooke White — a finalist on season seven of “American Idol” — will join Vivica Fox, Rush Limbaugh, Dave Koz and comedian Paul Rodriguez as judges for the pageant. My only question is why does no one ever ask me to do this type of stuff? I did compete in the Miss Ohio pageant when I was 18. Doesn’t’ that count for something? And no you can’t see pictures of my big hair and sparkly red gown.

‘World’ Stops Spinning
Wow. That was my reaction when I heard that another daytime soap opera was getting the axe. “Guiding Light” closed its doors just three months ago and now CBS’ “As The World Turns” is set to turn out the lights next September after 54 years on the air. This means just six soap operas remain - “Days Of Our Lives,” “General Hospital,” “The Young & The Restless,” “The Bold & The Beautiful,” “One Life To Live” and “All My Children.” They have got to be shaking in their boots today. Unfortunately, it seems people would rather watch real life reality show dramas than made up ones. The loss of the show is also a blow to the gay community. “As The World Turns” featured two of the most visible gay characters on television. The romance between Luke and Noah had developed a huge following with fans dubbing them “Nuke.” I wonder what they would have called Luke and Laura back in the soap opera heyday if people were into name combining then. Lauruke? Lukaura?

‘Men’ Delivers
Seems everybody really does love Raymond. Ray Romano’s new TNT series “Men Of A Certain Age” delivered big numbers for the network with 5.4 million viewers tuning in for the show’s debut last night. Romano stars as Joe, a forty-something separated father of two navigating through a mid-life crisis alongside his two best friends played by Ander Braugher and Scott Bakula. (Check out interviews from the set here)

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