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Tuesday Top Five: From the playing field to the TV screen

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So Brian Boitano has a new show on the Food Network, with a title taken from a South Park gag. Go figure. At this point, anything is possible when it comes to television, although this is really stretching the boundaries.

(Whatever happened to Brian Orser anyway?)

The sports-entertainment TV crossover is nothing new (look no further than Emmitt Smith on Dancing with the Stars, although that’s hardly the start or end of it) but when an Olympic champion figure skater becomes a celebrity chef, we’re clearly on the cusp of either a societal tipping point or the apocalypse.

Assuming it’s the former, here are five new pitches for realitainment shows starring athletes, Tuesday’s Top Five.

5. The Juice is Loose, starring Rafael Palmeiro, Mark McGwire and friends – Baseball stars answer questions from an audience consisting of fans and members of Congress while hooked up to a polygraph. Keep an eye out for a special appearance by Bud Selig!

4. The Apprentice Coach, starring Chuck Amato – Aspiring football assistant coaches are put to work by the former N.C. State coach. Anyone willing to work a second season under Amato is rewarded with a job as head coach of a Sun Belt team.

3. Deal or No Deal, starring Brett Favre – The former quarterback interviews for various jobs, then deliberates whether or not to take them. In the pilot, he considers the entreaties of the manager of the Hattiesburg, Miss., Dairy Queen before deciding to remain retired.

2. UNC, Duke, Wake & State Plus Eight, starring John Swofford – Follow the ACC commissioner as he tries to balance the wishes of the traditional Tobacco Road basketball powerhouses with the post-expansion demands of a now football-driven conference.

1. Survivor: The RecZone, starring the Carolina Hurricanes – The cameras are rolling as the Hurricanes attempt to make it through training camp without losing a key player to a significant injury.


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About the blogger

Luke has worked for The N&O since 2000. He covered the Carolina Hurricanes and the NHL before becoming a sports columnist in August 2008. A native of Evanston, Ill., he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He can be reached at (919) 829-8947, @LukeDeCock on Twitter or