Ken Tucker tells CBS which of its stars should compete for the cool mil

By Ken Tucker
Updated May 10, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Ray Romano: Kim D. Johnson/AP/Wide World

Survivor: The Australian Outback

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genre picks the celebrity ”Survivor” cast

There’s talk — serious? daydreaming? with CBS, who knows? — that there might be a celebrity version of ”Survivor.” Reportedly, Ray Romano has already volunteered to participate. (When it comes to a tribal council, that would certainly give new urgency to the phrase ”everybody loves Raymond.”)

Naturally, I’m wondering who would — or should — be included in a star studded version. Assuming that, just as ABC loads its celeb editions of ”Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” with its own network players plus non- TV stars, this ”Survivor” (set where? I suggest a place few stars ever set foot: middle America — a strip mall in Boise, Idaho, perhaps) could feature tribal members including:

DAVID LETTERMAN He almost called the Australian winner when he fixated on Colby; he’ll be grumpier than the first ”Survivor”’s Rudy; and think of the great insults he’ll have for his fellow castaways.

MARG HELGENBERGER ”CSI”’s forensics expert may have picked up a few good survival tips in researching her hit show; plus, if we’re talking non- twentysomething appeal, she’s got Tina Wesson beat already.

DICK VAN DYKE The ”Diagnosis: Murder” star would be the most popular oldster ever, provided he doesn’t trip over a stray rock every week the way he used to tumble over the ottoman in the classic ”Dick Van Dyke Show” opening credits.

EMINEM My theory: The survivors would keep him around at least until he makes the final few because they’ll want to hear his parting shot speech, which’ll make Susan Hawk’s sound like Ghandi. (Brief excerpt: ”*%!@#!!*$!! you!”)

”JAG”’s DAVID JAMES ELLIOTT He’s the new Colby — but how will he look with a beard?

”TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL”’s ROMA DOWNEY Let’s see how long she maintains her saintly glow before she starts messing with her halo and forms vicious alliances.

”NASH BRIDGES”’ CHEECH MARIN I think he’d get voted off early for goofing around, but he’d provide more laughs than ”Survivor” has had yet.

DESTINY’S CHILD Hey, their new album IS called ”Survivor,” after all.

BRYANT GUMBEL Given his ill disguised contempt for the show, they’d have to drag the ”The Early Show” cohost onto the plane, but you know what? I bet he’d end up winning — out of sheer will and cussedness.

Your nominations?

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Survivor: The Australian Outback

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