JUICED! If it’s true, it’s something like the TV equivalent of a solar eclipse, a meteor strike and the return of Haley’s Comet all at once. The New York Post’s Page Six gossip site reported yesterday that O.J. Simpsons – yes, that O.J. Simpson – is interested in being one of the contestants on the next season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. Come to think of it, throw in a couple of earthquakes and the eruptions of Vesuvius and Mounts St. Helen and Pinatubo. And an alien invasion. That’s about right.

Keep in mind, though, that the news is coming through “a source close to the show,” in the words of FoxNews.com, which could mean anyone from Donald Trump’s helicopter pilot to someone who temped at Mark Burnett’s office for a couple of days when the receptionist was out with mono. Hell, it could just be a guy who services the slot machines at the Trump Plaza in Atlantic City who’s not only seen every episode of every season of the show, but still has his VHS copies of Capricorn One and The Naked Gun.

“Simpson really wants to do it. Trump and NBC are thinking about it, but are being very cautious," the anonymous source told Page Six. "There's a certain amount of heat associated with Simpson." Yup, that would be the yawning pit of hellfire, but never mind.

There have been rumours of O.J. TV appearances before, and there likely will be again, but this is the closest thing to an official announcement yet, which is to say it’s as close as a Slimfast bar is to an Italian wedding dinner, but hope springs eternal, especially in the breasts of television executives.

Even if this rumour never grows legs and walks on land, it’s fun to speculate just how the show’s producers can riff on Simpson’s infamy; will there be a challenge sponsored by Ford, asking the two teams to come up with a campaign for a revived Bronco, or a conspicuous reliance on marketing slogans that talk about making “the glove fit”? I’m loving the thought of O.J.’s teammates – maybe some notably macho personality like Chuck Norris or a WWE legend like Triple H becoming visibly uncomfortable, afraid even, when they find themselves alone in a room with Simpson. How will Trump fire Simpson, or will he be too scared, and let him win even if he spends every challenge playing Tetris on his mobile?

One thing’s for sure – nothing else on that night’s primetime schedule will stand a chance against an O.J. Apprentice. The other networks might as well devote that hour to something that no one would watch anyway; election news would do the trick.

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