- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Shaq’s show set

ABC is getting back into business with Shaquille O’Neal, picking up the new reality competition “Shaq Vs.,” Variety reports.

The show, which launches Aug. 18 at 9 p.m., follows Mr. O’Neal as he competes against star athletes such as Olympic champ Michael Phelps in swimming and Super Bowl-winning quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in football.

Media Rights Capital is behind the series, along with Dick Clark Productions., the trade publication reported Monday.

ABC has picked up five episodes of the hourlong show, but with the possibility of a sixth, Mr. O’Neal is currently talking to Lance Armstrong about participating in an extra episode.

“Shaq Vs.” is being turned around quickly: The show hasn’t even begun taping yet, but will start production on Wednesday.

ABC previously partnered with Mr. O’Neal on the 2007 summer reality series “Shaq’s Big Challenge,” in which the basketball star coached overweight children on how to develop a healthier lifestyle. That show didn’t make much noise, however, and didn’t return for another cycle.

This time around, “Shaq Vs.” will follow Mr. O’Neal and his weekly competitor as they go through the training process — and even hold a press conference before the big day. Mr. O’Neal also will train for a week leading up to each challenge.

Other athletes facing off with Mr. O’Neal include tennis champ Serena Williams; boxer Oscar de la Hoya; baseball star Albert Pujols; and Olympic volleyball gold medalists Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor.

‘Burn’ star arrested

The star of USA’s “Burn Notice” may have been a little too lit up when he got behind the wheel last weekend, when he was arrested for reportedly driving under the influence in Miami Beach.

According to TMZ.com, Jeffrey Donovan was arrested on suspicion of DUI July 12. The 41-year-old posed for a cop camera and was released several hours later, TMZ reported Monday.

So far, no comment from Mr. Donovan’s representatives.

Susan Boyle speaks

Sporting a new, chic coif, singing sensation Susan Boyle will chat on Wednesday’s “Today” show (7 a.m., WRC-NBC4) with Meredith Viera about her meteoric rise to fame on “Britain’s Got Talent” and the breakdown she experienced afterward.

• Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports

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