Alibi V.13 No.18 • April 29-May 5, 2004 

Idiot Box

TV News

Rumors from around the dial

O, no!—Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth, the love-to-hate-her icon from NBC's “The Apprentice,” continues to find the post-Donald waters somewhat treacherous. With assorted lawsuits still swirling, Omarosa spent the last few weeks crowing on “Access Hollywood” about her new gig as an Herbal Essence spokesperson. Turns out the shampoo giant has washed that girl right out of its hair, decideding not to broadcast Omarosa in the throes of fake, hair-care product-induced orgasm. “Omatrocious,” as she's now been dubbed, was dumped from the campaign for fear of consumer backlash. ... Meanwhile, over on the set of “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” Omarosa made herself persona non-grata last week by storming off the set just before airtime. Seems that Omarosa stepped on to the set and saw a lie-detector machine. Producers tried to assure Lady O that the equipment was for a comedy bit featuring show regular Uncle Frank and that they were not planning on forcing her to take a polygraph test. She walked anyway, leaving host Jimmy Kimmel to quip, “Apparently, her 15 minutes ended the second before I introduced her.” ... Don't worry, Omarosa, “Celebrity Fear Factor” will be calling any day now.

Passionless—Despite a $300 million box office take, the networks are steering clear of Mel Gibson's The Passion of Christ. All three major networks have passed on airing the controversial film. Gibson apparently laid down some rather strict guidelines for the film, which would have forced networks to air the entire R-rated epic uncut and without commercial interruption. FOX remains the only network in contention for the broadcast rights. The network has yet to “determine whether it fits with our programming.”

Return to Gilligan's Island—Cable station TBS is greenlighting an unscripted reality show based on “Gilligan's Island.” The show comes from the obviously fertile imagination of “The Bachelor” creator Mike Fleiss. The show will differ from “Survivor” in that ... um. Well, we'll get back to you on that.

Nirvana Night—The WB has purchased the rights to Charles Cross' 2001 book Heavier than Heaven: A Biography of Kurt Cobain and plans to produce a TV movie later this year. No word yet on casting. I nominate former “My So-Called Life” star Jared Leto.

No Wonder—The Internet was recently flooded with rumors that the WB network was looking at picking up FOX's critically lauded, but quickly cancelled dramedy “Wonderfalls.” Sad to say, TV Guide Online has now quashed that rumor. The website quoted a network source as saying, “It's not true” late last week. Bummer. “Tru Calling” is still on, but “Wonderfalls” isn't? Who's running this network?