- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dick’s ill but tops

Many of us were tearing up long before the strains of “Auld Lang Syne” could be heard on New Year’s Eve. Dick Clark was back to host his eponymous “New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” but his speech still hasn’t completely recovered from the stroke he suffered in 2004. It’s tough to see an icon ill.

He’s certainly all there in mind, though. He starting calling co-host Ryan Seacrest a “boy wonder” and then broke off laughing, saying, “I can’t read this” just before the two shook hands and wished each other a happy new year.

We’re obviously not the only ones who are glad to see Mr. Clark keeping up with tradition. Zap2It.com reports that Americans, for the most part, kept their TVs off on New Year’s Eve but that the biggest number of those who did tune in were watching Mr. Clark’s show on ABC.

ABC won prime time Monday night, while CBS came in second, NBC third and Fox fourth, Zap2It said, citing fast national data, which includes live and same-day DVR viewing. All numbers are preliminary and subject to change.

Starry ‘Apprentice’

They come armed with star power (however dimming), bravado and a favorite charity. They aim to put it all to work as “The Celebrity Apprentice” premieres (at 10 tonight) with its all-star celebrity candidate lineup.

On this new twist on “The Apprentice,” now in its seventh season, the 14 contenders will be competing in business-oriented tasks around New York to raise money for their pet charities. The final winner will be crowned Celebrity Apprentice and will deliver a $250,000 bonus check to his or her favorite cause.

As usual, the tasks will be judged in the boardroom by Donald Trump and his advisers, who include Mr. Trump’s children (and colleagues) Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., alongside Trump Organization veteran George Ross, Associated Press reports.

The celebrity contestants include country music star Trace Adkins, model-actress Carol Alt, actor Stephen Baldwin, Olympic gold medalist Nadia Comaneci, former Playboy Playmate of the Year Tiffany Fallon, Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch and media magnate Nely Galan.

Also, actress-writer Marilu Henner, heavyweight boxing champ Lennox Lewis, former “Apprentice” star Omarosa, TV personality-writer Piers Morgan, Ultimate Fighting Champion Tito Ortiz, former “Sopranos” regular Vincent Pastore, and rock star-personality Gene Simmons will contend.

Compiled by Kelly Jane Torrance and Robyn-Denise Yourse from staff, wire and Web reports.

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