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Truly Shocked
July 6

Also available as a podcast. Click to listen!

We start this time around with the summer’s biggest guilty pleasure. Big Brother is back for Season 12. Here are all the details from the press release starting with the cast and they are:

- Kristen Bitting (24; Philadelphia; shoe boutique manager)
- Lane Elenburg (24; Decatur, TX; oil rig salesman)
- Ragan Fox (34; Los Angeles; college professor)
- Andrew Gordon (39; Miami Beach, FL; podiatrist)
- Britney Haynes (22; Huntington, AR; hotel sales manager)
- Kathy Hillis (40; Texarkana, AR; deputy sheriff)
- Matt Hoffman (32; Elgin, IL; web designer)
- Hayden Moss (24; Tempe, AZ; college student)
- Enzo Palumbo (32; Bayonne, NJ; insurance adjuster)
- Rachel Reilly (26; Las Vegas; chemistry grad student/VIP cocktail waitress)
- Monet Stunson (24; Glen Carbon, IL; model)
- Brendon Villegas (30; Riverside, CA' high school swim coach)
- Annie Whittington (27; Tampa; bartender)

CBS has done its usual job of casting no one over the age of 40. This is ageism at its worst. The twist this year is an interesting one in premise. For the first time in the history of the series, one contestant will not be playing to win the half million dollar prize. Instead, this Houseguest will play the role of the Big Brother Saboteur, whose sole mission will be to disrupt the lives of their fellow Houseguests.

Upon moving into the house on premiere night, Houseguests will discover that one of them is not really there to win the game, but rather to sabotage their fellow players. While the saboteur's identity will remain a secret to the Houseguests, America will learn his/her identity on Thursday, July 15, during the first LIVE show. If the Saboteur is able to make it to the halfway point of the game, a financial reward awaits. Fans can tune into the premiere on July 8 or visit http://www.cbs.com/bbtwist to learn more about how they can submit viewer suggestions. Let’s see how this is executed.

Of course there will be the multiple ways of being involved with and catching BB12, including the 24/7 Live Feed, Twitter, CBS Mobile, interactive trivia, a Big Brother Fantasy Game, and Big Brother After Dark on Showtime, where people will be tuning in for drunken debauchery and lots of naked people. This show is appointment television for a lot of people. Let’s see what Allison Grodner and the gang have in store.

Block Party Quick Hits Time:

--The Millionaire Trial has hit the jury. The main legal question was this: Did Disney owned ABC and co-producer Buena Vista TV broker sweetheart deals among themselves, and thus allegedly cheat Celador out of millions?

--Minute to Win It seems desperate already. When it returns on July 7, the show will have a Million Dollar Mission. In the new episodes, one lucky audience member will be able to participate in the "Million Dollar Mission," and be able to bypass levels 1 through 9 and immediately compete at level 10 for $1million. The million-dollar game is "Supercoin," where in a minute's time a contestant must bounce coins off of a table and into the narrow opening of a five-gallon water jug 15 feet away. This is not the first time a million dollar mission has been attempted as we had a 10 man elimination stunt try and give away the big bucks.

--Canada now has its own 24 hour Reality Channel with Global Reality Channel and reruns of Survivor: Season 1.

--Season 8 of Project Runway returns July 29th with 90 minute episodes.

--Wheel of Fortune comes to the Ipad. And Harry Friedman wants to do Wheel in 3-D.

--In the “I am Shocked” department, This past Monday night Justin "Rated-R" Rego(a Canadian indy wrestler) was booted from ABC show "The Bachelorette" after host Chris Harrison told bachelorette Ali Fedotowsky that Rego had a girlfriend during the taping of the show. Fedotowski even spoke to the girlfriend, named Jessica, on the phone. Rego also reportedly has a second girlfriend, named Kimberly. The person who helped ABC set up the call between Jessica and Ali was none other than her friend Jessie Sulidis, a contestant on Jake Pavelka's season of "The Bachelor". In other words, Justin was "Three-timing".

--Hole In the Wall is back on in the Philippines.

--John Henson of Wipeout gets married.

--Clay Aiken throws his hat to replace Simon Cowell. And Bret Michaels says on parade.com “We have a meeting in L.A. in a couple weeks and we’re going to sit down and talk. They did a poll and I think it was Madonna, P. Diddy, Howard Stern, and myself, and I took 50 percent or 60 percent of the vote and that’s tremendous. I would love to be a judge on American Idol. I think I would bring a lot to the table.”

--Congratulations to the cast and crew of Cash Cab, who pulled the double last Sunday as they won both Best Game Show and Best Game Show Host in the form of Ben Bailey. And a little note to the producers of the Emmys. If you are going to do a tribute to Dick Clark, you had to have mentioned game shows. While I respect you trying to do a tribute to him from a musical perspective, not mentioning game shows was a major omission. And while it was good to see him on TV, it made me sad to see Dick Clark. He is a shell of the man we knew, and it doesn’t look like he will ever fully recover from his stroke.

--VH1 scoops a JD Roth Pilot called Office Bonus. The premise: The show locks a group of pencil-pushing employees in their workplace for 72 hours. During lockdown, staffers must try to convince their co-workers to vote for them. Whoever gets the most votes wins the bonus of $50,000.

--Merv Griffin’s Crosswords comes to the Wii.

--Crystal Bowersox signs with Jive/19 Records.

Jason Block' is SHOCKED, we tells ya... SHOCKED! E-mail him at jiblock@yahoo.com.