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Just how big is Survivor? Even its detractors are booming. Case in point: www.Survivorsucks.com, a low-budget website that’s grown from 15,000 to 250,000 visitors per week in a month, thanks to humorous haiku (e.g., this Richard homage: ”Tubby Poseidon/Is Machiavellian/Beware the fat man!”) and its amazing ability to forecast ousted castaways (it got Ramona, Dirk, Joel, even Gretchen — thanks to a shot in the opening sequence of a late-in-the-game Tribal Council sans those folks; CBS has since reedited the opener). ”We would rather be funny than right,” says site creator Paul Sims, who also ran Bigbrotherblows.com before pulling it amid lawsuit threats from the show’s producers (Sims’ illicit links to BB’s video feeds bypassed both America Online and CBS’ Big Brother website). ”I think it’s going to get harder to figure out who gets kicked off.” Not according to one hacker who broke into CBS’ Survivor site and apparently found all but one of the contestants’ photos bearing big red X’s. (Check out www.3dthrills.com/survivor if you don’t mind a possible spoiler.) Sims is doubtful CBS would be that careless, and the net’s spokesman Chris Ender says only, ”We will not confirm or deny reports about the results of Survivor and we will allow the press to run inaccurate information.”
Lacey Chabert — who portrayed sweet violin-playing Claudia on Party of Five — is taking a cue from 7th Heaven‘s Jessica Biel and showing skin in a men’s mag (look for her in the August issue of Maxim off-shoot Stuff). While Chabert’s sexy shots don’t go as far as Biel’s cheesecake layout in Gear, her agenda is the same: to spice up her apple-pie image. ”Considering that I wanted to appear different physically,” says the newly buxom Chabert, 17, ”I thought this was a good opportunity.” So will the makeover work for Chabert, whose only post-Party gig thus far is playing a naive prep school coed in the indie film Tart? ”What matters more is a movie role that shows more of their range,” says casting director Ellie Kanner (Friends, Sex and the City). ”I don’t think anyone has to pose nude.” That’s good news for the Olsen twins.
A new time slot can spell trouble for a promising show (think King of the Hill), but that may not stop Fox from moving Malcolm in the Middle if the sophomore sitcom scores big in November. Fox will double-pump originals of Malcolm during the sweeps month — one at 8:30 p.m. Sundays and another at 8 p.m. Wednesdays — to help launch John Goodman’s upcoming sitcom. If Malcolm succeeds as a hump-day anchor, the movers could come knocking. ”Outside of The Simpsons, Malcolm is the strongest comedy Fox has,” says media buyer Paul Schulman of Schulman/Advanswers NY. ”If they can have it lead off a night, Fox will do it.”
Malcolm in the Middle