12th season of 'Dancing with the Stars' begins - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

TV Outlook 12th season of 'Dancing with the Stars' begins

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Posted: Sunday, March 20, 2011 1:00 am | Updated: 3:38 pm, Mon Mar 21, 2011.

Let's be honest: "Dancing with the Stars," fancy footwork aside, only deserves our love if the cast is eclectic and eccentric enough.

For every memorable zany Cloris Leachman or fainting Marie Osmond moment, we have had soon-to-be forgotten contestants such as Laila Ali, John Ratzenberger or Tom DeLay.

As for the 12th season (which begins at 7 p.m. Monday, March 21, ABC)? It's giving us the proven-to-be whacky (talk-show host Wendy Williams and actress Kirstie Alley), the well-publicized vixen (Kendra Wilkinson) and the "who's that" factor (Mike Catherwood, a radio personality). Bringing in a beloved personality, such as Sugar Ray Leonard in this case, always helps, too.

Others in the lineup include actor Ralph Macchio, wrestler Chris Jericho, rapper Lil Romeo, actress Chelsea Kane and pro football's Hines Ward.

By all accounts, Wilkinson is already an odds-on favorite to win. Of course we haven't seen her dance yet.

We've been given casts with a lot more obvious appeal (Florence Henderson, Pamela Anderson and Ty Murray, to name a few). But who could have predicted the allure of Bristol Palin?

Universally regarded as a work in progress at best, Palin was hardly a consideration in the last edition of "Dancing" until viewers kept her through the finals. No one saw that coming.

That's also part of the reason why we love "Dancing" so much. No one can ever predict what turns the season can take.

In the end, all we want is a little train-wreck-viewing. If some nice moves on the dance floor come along with it, well, all the better. Right?

Other highlights for the week of March 20-26.


"Celebrity Apprentice" (8 p.m., NBC). One team questions whether its leader is mentally competent to command them. Here's a question: When is that ever an issue on this show?


"Triangle: Remembering the Fire" (9 p.m., HBO). In 1911, a fire at the Triangle Waist Company in New York City killed 146 workers, and this documentary looks at the causes and the aftermath.


"Marcel's Quantum Kitchen" (10 p.m., SyFy). How does this channel do a cooking show? It finds a scientist who experiments with what he whips up.


NCAA Second-Round Games (4 p.m., CBS). The college-basketball tournament games nudge into prime time.

"The Hard Times of RJ Berger" (11 p.m., MTV). This comedy about a teen with an extraordinary, uh, body part sails into a second season.

"John Oliver's New York Stand-Up Show" (11:59 p.m., Comedy Central). The "Daily Show" contributor headlines a new season of talent from the stages of Gotham.


"Shut Up & Sing" (9 p.m., CMT). The 2006 documentary looking into the controversial career of the Dixie Chicks explores their comments about then-President George W. Bush and the backlash.

"Norm Macdonald: Me Doing Stand-Up" (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central). The comedian talks about cheese sandwiches and cheating death in his first one-hour special.


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