Who’s Gonna Lose Their “Tan”?

Well, I suppose it’s my duty as the unofficial chronicler of E!’s Sunset Tan around here to let you know the latest on the addictively inane goings-on at the titular purveyor of all that is bronze. When the season finale rolls around September 30 at 10:30pm ET/PT, someone is going to be gone.

In what could be a page right out of one of a very tanned John Le Carre’s novels, it turns out that someone is leaking the business secrets of Sunset Tan (maybe the New England Patriots were just videotaping them; and what kind of top-secret info does a tanning salon have, anyway? If they’re trying to keep wraps on the fact that their spray-on tans have basically the same results as coloring yourself with a Burnt Sienna Crayola Crayon, I’m afraid the word is already out). In a surprise decision, one employee is asked to leave. If this were a regular business, the inept Olly Girls would likely be gone, but there’s no way a reality series is going to release two of the key reasons people tune in for it (well, I guess there are actually four reasons between them). Mean-girl Heidi would be an obvious choice to be shown the gate; but again, a character whom you love to hate is an important element of a successful show. Nick, one of the few employees who seems to have his stuff together, may be gone simply because he can see beneath all the superficiality of the biz that no amount of tanning can cover up. All I can say is that it had better not be the adorable Erin from Oklahoma, who is far more attractive than the Olly Girls put together. Whomever it is, I guess the only words of advice can be: Don’t let the door hit you on your tanned ass on the way out!

* I haven’t followed Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson much since he left WWE, and wasn’t sure if he was even popular with the kids anymore. But Disney Channel must know better, since they are bringing him on to guest star as himself in two episodes of their hottest series, Cory in the House and Hannah Montana. Of course, it’s probably just coincidence that this occurs around the same time that he stars in the Disney film The Game Plan, right? Anyway, the Brahma Bull certainly does seem to have a much more genial and family-film-ready personality than, say, a Stone Cold, or an Undertaker, and he is likable enough in his roles, the ones I have seen, at least. In his Cory episode, airing September 21 at 8pm ET/PT, titled “Never the Dwayne Shall Meet,” Cory comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme that involves the Rock endorsing his latest invention. Following at 8:30pm ET/PT, the Rock turns up on the “Don’t Stop ’til You Get the Phone” episode of Hannah. When an unflattering photo of Hannah is about to appear in a tabloid, she schemes to get it back by bartering with a pic of another celeb — the Rock, who happens to be in town. But first she has to get that photo.

* Speaking of guest stars, Alyssa Milano and Michael Rapaport will be taking part in multi-episode story arcs on NBC’s My Name Is Earl this season. The episodes are slated to begin in early October. Milano’s story is that she’s a woman who is currently not living as a productive member of society. And her character isn’t faring much better, being in a similar situation because her now-incarcerated boyfriend (Rapaport) turned her on to an exciting life of crime. But when she meets Earl (Jason Lee) while visiting her beau in jail, the experience puts her in the mood for redemption. Also on the Peacock, Rachel Bilson, late of The O.C., will guest star in a story arc on the new series Chuck as a potential love interest for the title character (Zachary Levi). Her appearances are scheduled for late October.

* Say, why don’t we class things up a little? Ovation TV is launching its first original series, Art & the City. It’s considered a “cultural tourism series,” and is hosted by David A. Keeps (sounds classy, eh?) of Travel + Leisure Magazine. The show looks in-depth at the cultural scene and specialty foods of the world’s great cities, like Paris, New York, London, Chicago and New Orleans (very classy!). The series debuts with back-to-back episodes October 7 at 8pm ET, before moving to its regular Wednesday 8pm ET time slot on October 10. A preview of the first episode will be available starting October 3 here, and you can submit photos of art in your own city at artandthecity@ovationtv.com for use in an online gallery. Interestingly, this series comes from the wide-ranging World of Wonder production company, which is also behind titles like Tori & Dean: Inn Love, Showbiz Moms and Dads, and Sex Change Hospital (a British show, but with a title like that you know it has to make it over here eventually). Hmmm … I guess we didn’t stay classy for very long, did we?