Posts tagged with “Dance Your Ass Off”

Channel Surfing – July 1

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

Office Space star Ron Livingston is set to boldly go into another kind of space with ABC’s new sci-fi series Defying Gravity. The show, scheduled to premiere this summer, revolves around a group of international astronauts who are sent on a “mysterious” six-year mission through the solar system.

AOL’s PopEater wonders if farmer Kevin Skinner might be America’s Got Talent‘s version of Susan Boyle. Judge for yourself via the video of Skinner’s performance.

– MTV has given a season-two greenlight to 16 & Pregnant, the fantastic documentary series that follows teen moms-to-be as they deal with pregnancy and the realities of raising babies when they’re still kids themselves. The network has also announced a first season finale special, 16 & Pregnant: Life After Labor, that will be hosted by Dr. Drew Pinsky on July 23. In it, all six teen moms from the inaugural episodes will chat about their experiences and answer questions from a live audience.

– After his stint on Celebracadara (and a memorable guest gig on Southland), C. Thomas Howell will return to reality TV as the host of CMT’s All Jacked Up on Aug. 22. The show, in which the Soul Man star travel around the country “in search of outlandish, funny and extreme stunts, sports, events, people and inventions,” sorta sounds like Jackass-meets-America’s Got Talent-ish.

– Sci Fi (soon to be SyFy) is developing a remake of the short-lived Fox drama Alien Nation.

– The new Lifetime dramedy Drop Dead Diva (which premieres on July 12) will feature guest appearances by Liza Minnelli and Delta Burke, who will play feuding sisters. Rosie O’Donnell will also play a judge in the episode, which is set to air on Sept. 20.

– The big ratings winners of the week among premieres: HBO’s Hung, which was HBO’s biggest premiere in two years with 2.8 million viewers, and Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off, which, with 1.3 million viewers, was the highest-rated premiere in Oxygen’s history. PS – Check out the TVScreener.com reviews of Hung and Dance Your Ass Off.

– And NBC News’s upcoming series The Wanted (July 20) sounds like a real-life version of The A-Team, as “an elite team with backgrounds in intelligence, unconventional warfare and investigative journalism” tries to hunt down terrorists and war criminals.

– And tonight in primetime:

– Discovery Channel’s season marathon of Pitchmen episodes, featuring the late Billy Mays, continues all day, leading into the first season finale at 10PM ET
– Animal Planet premieres Monster Inside Me, all about parasites that prey on humans, at 9PM ET
Wipeout. ABC, 8PM. More big red balls
– The Reno 911! deputies think aliens have come to town (10:30PM, Comedy Central)
– Teddy has company woes of his and tries to help a young girl who needs a kidney transplant on The Philanthropist (10PM, NBC)
– The Fashion Show crew gets busy designing sleepy-time wear (10PM, Bravo)
– One pair feuds while another hooks up on The Real World: Cancun (10PM, MTV)
– There are back-to-back new eps of Tattoo Highway on A&E (10 and 10:30PM)
– And E! has home videos of young Michael Jackson and his family on Michael Jackson: An E! Entertainment Special (10PM)

REVIEW: ‘Dance Your Ass Off’

Dance Your Ass Off
Star Rating: 4 out of 5

Stars: Host Marissa Jaret Winokur

The Big Idea: Twelve contestants are given professional dance partners, a nutritionist, medical advice and a trainer as they try to lose weight and win a $100,000 grand prize. Think of it as Dancing with the Stars-meets-The Biggest Loser-meets-So You Think You Can Dance.

To Watch or Not to Watch: Absolutely. Though it’s dancing without the stars, the Biggest Loser-y aspect of the show more than makes up for the lack of D-listers, as these real folks, some facing very real health concerns, try to improve their physical and financial states. Among the contestants: A couple of diabetics with a history of the disease in their families, a former model whose weight gain ended her career and a mom who wants to lose weight to be healthier for her family.

While the diet and exercise components of the show are, obviously, key, so is the dancing competition. The contestants learn a new routine with their partners every week, and are judged by a panel that includes singer/dancer/Prince‘s ex-wife Mayte Garcia, with their dancing scores added to the amount of weight they’ve lost that week to determine their standing.

About the dancing: It ain’t always pretty. Nor are the skimpy costumes the contestants are outfitted in … in the premiere, one overweight fella’s costume involves him going shirtless, and more than one of the female contestants is clothed in a belly-baring ensemble.

Their courage in slipping into those costumes, and the revelation of so much personal information the contestants share in the course of their diet, exercise and dancing adventures, earn the wannabe losers much respect, and gives what could have been a mean-spirited show its heart.

Having said that, my only two quibbles with the series: Was it really necessary to make the DYAO-ers wear those costumes? Or to make one of the show’s catchphrases “shake and rattle those rolls”?

But bottom line: I’m guessing plenty of viewers will find inspiration in the contestants’ efforts and empathize with their stories, while finding some fun fitness tips themselves. The series makes dancing a much more appealing option than, say, monotonous treadmilling, even if some of the contestants aren’t initially so light on their feet.

TV Screener Tidbit: Oxygen.com is launching an online companion to the show that will include fitness videos, recipes from the contestants and a free two-week pass to Crunch gym.

Dance Your Ass Off premieres Monday, June 29, at 10PM ET on Oxygen

Channel Surfing – June 29

All the tube news that’s fit to surf …

-Just not a good month for TV celebs: On the heels of the deaths of Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, MTV video legend Michael Jackson and pitchman Billy Mays, The Gale Storm Show and My Little Margie star Gale Storm – one of TV’s first big stars – died on Saturday at age 87, while comedian, celeb impersonator and frequent late-night TV guest Fred Travalena died Sunday at age 66 after a battle with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

– The B-Side Blog has a sneak peek at the new Big Brother house, where the latest round of reality TV hamsters will move in on July 9.

– For TV fans, this is the year to attend Comic-Con in San Diego. The TV-heavy line-up includes panels with the casts of Lost, 24, Chuck, Bones, Burn Notice, Glee, MythBusters, The Cleveland Show, Futurama, Heroes and upcoming series V, Flash Forward and Human Target.

– No good Oprah deed goes unpunished? May be, as her gifts to her staff – a fancy luxury cruise – is reportedly going to cost each of them $1,000 in taxes.

– As the Sept. 18 series finale of long-running daytime soap Guiding Light grows sadly closer, 60 Minutes is planning a special Sept. segment that includes interviews with cast, while the Daytime Emmy telecast on Aug. 30 will also include a special tribute. Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter‘s Roger Friedman claims the show’s sponsor, Procter & Gamble, is purposely trying to turn fans against the show because the company wants out of the soap biz.

– Casting news: Reaper star Missy Peregrym has signed on to star in ABC’s Canadian cop drama Copper, while Desperate Housewives guest star T.J. Ramini – he played Gabby’s trainer, Yaniv – will be a recurring star on season eight of 24, where he’ll play Tarin, a cohort of the Middle Eastern leader who’ll be played by Anil Kapoor.

– And tonight in primetime:

– The premiere of Oxygen’s Dance Your Ass Off (10PM ET), a Biggest Loser-meets-Dancing with the Stars/So You Think You Can Dance-ish reality competition
– Brenda and Fritz clash when they work together on a missing person/murder case on a new ep of The Closer (9PM, TNT)
– New York will apparently be unemployed after the season finale of New York Goes to Work (10PM, VH1)
– Zoey wigs when she loses her first patient on Nurse Jackie (10:30PM, Showtime)
– Celia’s baaaa-ack – and living in Nancy’s garage, while Agent Roy Till also pops back into Nancy’s life on a new Weeds (10PM, Showtime)
– Buddy bakes a cake and plans to stash live birds inside of it on Cake Boss (10PM, TLC)
Kathy Griffin hangs with Paris Hilton (is getting off the D-list really worth that?) on My Life on the D-List (10PM, Bravo)
Guy Fieri hits the road for pumpkin-oatmeal pancakes and bacon-wrapped meatloaf on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (10PM, Food Network)
– And it’s down to five on The Bachelorette (8PM, ABC)

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