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CHANGE PARTNERS: While sophisticated people love to pronounce that nothing is black and white in life, there are a few things that present a binary choice, with no gray areas. TV dance reality shows are one of those things, and I have yet to encounter any evidence that negates the simple fact that you’re either a So You Think You Can Dance person (as I am) or a Dancing With The Stars person (which I am – resolutely - not.) The gray area, I suppose, is being neither, though nothing gets my hackles up quicker than when someone mistakes one show for the other, and I have to struggle to conceal my irritation as I enumerate the differences at pedantic length.
For those adherents to the opposing faith, there’s ABC’s announcement of the names of the celebrity contestants in the next season of Dancing With The Stars, which follows a leaked list of names that may or may not have been a plant of disinformation by the network. Model Gisele Bundchen and actress/human punch line Tori Spelling were among the big names on the leaked list, but they’re nowhere to be seen on the official announcement, which includes Marie Osmond, Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown and boxer Floyd “Pretty Boy” Mayweather.
Spelling’s absence should be compensated for by Jennie Garth’s appearance on the show, and Bundchen’s spot on the leaked list was probably a smokescreen for fellow supermodel Josie Maran, who will waltz, tango and fox trot alongside millionaire Mark Cuban and actress Jane Seymour. Bringing up the rear in the “haven’t a clue who these people are” category are male model Albert Reed, Indy 500 driver Helio Castroneves, soap actor Cameron Mathison and singer Sabrina Bryan.
Finally, in the coveted George Hamilton III position is none other than Las Vegas legend Wayne Newton, who probably only does stuff like this to prove to himself that, though there might still be a world outside Vegas, he has no reason to go there anymore.
NACHOFINDER GENERAL: As part of their campaign to placate parents who’ve accused them of cynically marketing junk food to kids and contributing to the “obesity epidemic,” the Cartoon Network has appointed a Social Responsibility Chief to oversee the network’s commitment promote healthier lifestyles.
According to a story in Broadcast & Cable News, Alice Cahn will be “responsible for content direction, outreach to the child advocacy communities, various social responsibility initiatives across all Cartoon divisions, and helping keep Washington policymakers informed of the network's efforts.” Cahn, whose resume includes PBS and the Sesame Workshop, will report directly to Stuart Snyder, executive VP and COO of Turner's Animation, Young Adults and Kids Media group.
Of course, the Cartoon Network would have to resort to creating this inquisitor of virtue if parents – perhaps even some of those complaining loudly to TV networks – had the wherewithal to respond to their children’s nagging with an implacable, stone-like glare and a single word: No. The “obesity epidemic” has less to do with brainwashed kids than spineless adults addicted to proxy parenting.