Ruben on Biggest Loser return; Bachelor producer’s hoax defense; Gordon Ramsay vs. muppets; Bar Rescue cocktails

  • Audra McDonald was easily the best part of last night’s live The Sound of Music on NBC, which starred American Idol winner Carrie Underwood as Maria von Trapp. Although her acting and other parts were easy to make fun of, the three-hour show had a huge audience, with 18.5 million viewers.
  • Ruben Studdard told reporters that The Biggest Loser producers’ decision to bring him back was “because of fairness issues” only. Jillian Michaels previously agreed that she was “used by” producers to bring him back.
  • The 15 documentary feature films that could win an Oscar were revealed by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences this week.
  • The Bachelor has revealed the women who will be on Juan Pablo’s season.
  • Bachelor producer Elan Gale talked to ABC News about his fictional Thanksgiving Day Twitter fight. He distances himself from the content of his tweets by saying his “character” was “an anti-hero — as kind of a jerk with good intentions.” He also insists, “I never made any statement at any point that this was real. I made a concrete decision not to lie. My story was my story. I’m not a liar — I’m a storyteller.” The difference, though, is that storytellers say they’re telling stories up front, they don’t pretend what they’re writing is real.
  • Bar Rescue mixologist Joseph Brooke told LA Magazine that the cocktails he crafts for the bar makeovers are “a Diageo-sponsored program, so they’ll usually have a brand or two from their portfolio in mind to showcase for that specific episode. They’ll come to me with that/those brand/s and the concept for the remodeled bar, and I’ll send them about 10 drinks that fit the criteria, and we whittle down from there. Usually, Jon will have final say in the drink names and proportions, but most often times we’re on the same page with them.”
  • ABC’s The Taste judge Nigella Lawson admitted to cocaine use but “denied habitually using illegal drugs,” USA TODAY reported. Earlier, ABC told the Guardian, “We have already wrapped production on ‘The Taste’ and it will air as planned beginning January 2nd.”
  • Real World producers Bunim-Murray announced they are developing a new series, Gay Dads of New York, which will be set in New York and “will follow [Perez[ Hilton, who recently became a single father, and a group of gay dads, single and married, as they support each other through the ups and downs of raising children.” They are casting for the “group” now, making this essentially a Real Housewives starring someone who’s even more intolerable than an average Bravo reality star; Defamer described him as “Former internet troll masquerading as reformed victim of bullying Perez Hilton,” which should be the required description of him. Thankfully, this show is in development, so it may never actually end up on TV, though I’d put money on Bravo picking it up, because it fits with their general trajectory of making the network more and more awful.
  • The San Francisco Chronicle looks at the design of the former theater that will house the new Real World cast in San Francisco, which was designed by production designer Kat de Luca; there’s also a slideshow with more photos.
  • Some people, including The Voice coach Blake Shelton and executive producer Mark Burnett, wondered why the top 8 contestants’ version of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” was missing the word “Lord” from the line “in the sky, Lord, in the sky.” Burnett told Zap2it that the show used a public domain version of the song, a hymn, so it could be distributed via iTunes,” Burnett said.
  • The first episode of France’s president Francois Hollande quasi-reality TV show has been released; he is showing behind-the-scenes of his presidency “in a bid to boost its popularity with a disgruntled public and reconnect with the French people,” France 24 reported.
  • Muppets visit food trucks in their latest “Muppisode” promo, leading Gordon Ramsay to face off against the Swedish Chef, with Sweetums as Ramsay’s sous chef and judged by Statler and Waldorf. The result is, of course, awesome–though not quite as awesome as The Muppet Christmas Carol, which is both the best Christmas Carol adaptation and the best Muppet movie, and nothing at all like that awful Jason Segel thing that happened two years ago. But I digress:

  • Food Fight – Muppisode on Disney Video

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