By ED BARK
Hall of Famer Michael Irvin played on three Super Bowl championship teams during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys. But times change, and many an ex-Cowboy seemingly will do just about anything to stay in the limelight and collect another check.
Irvin therefore will be the "special guest sideline reporter" on ABC's Wipeout Superball Sunday -- Cheerleaders Vs. Couch Potatoes -- The Wildest Wipeout Ever. It'll go against NBC's Super Bowl XLIII halftime show, starring Bruce Springsteen. ABC then promises more "hilarious antics immediately following the game," opposite NBC's one-hour edition of The Office.
Wipeout, a ratings success this past summer for ABC, is best known for its big red ball obstacle course. So get ready for the "first ever appearance of the Wipeout Big Ball mascot." Maybe that could be Nate Newton.
***In other ancillary Cowboys news, TXA21 hopes to pop your eyeballs with its one-hour The Making of the 2009 Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders Swimsuit Calendar, cannily scheduled opposite Saturday Night Live on Saturday, Dec. 13th at 10:30 p.m.
The special will chart the Cheerleaders' "seven-day journey" to Mexico's Riviera Nayarit, where the skin games begin.
By ED BARK
CNN's ubiquitous Wolf Blitzer has re-upped for another four years but will be relinquishing his Sunday morning public affairs program to John King.
Blitzer's The Situation Room will remain in place from 3 to 6 p.m. (central) weekdays, still giving him ample face time on a network he joined in 1990.
King, an 11-year CNN veteran whose "Magic Wall" electoral maps brought him to further prominence during the election, will preside over a four-hour Sunday morning news bloc (8 a.m. to noon) scheduled to launch in January.
"We are reinventing Sunday mornings around the best political reporter of his generation," CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein said of King.
The CNN shakeup became official on the day after NBC officially named David Gregory as the new moderator of Sunday morning's reigning gold standard, Meet the Press.
King, 44, Gregory, 38 and ABC's incumbent This Week moderator, George Stephanopoulos, 47, are all roughly of the same generation. They'll be going against older hands Bob Schieffer, 71 of CBS' Face The Nation, and Chris Wallace, 61, in the new Sunday morning scheme of things.
***William Petersen will make his planned exit from CBS' CSI: Crime Scene Investigation on the Jan. 15th episode, the network has announced. He's played forensic department head Gil Grissom since the show's premiere in fall 2000.
Petersen's replacement, Laurence Fishburne as criminal pathologist Raymond Langston, makes his CSI debut on Thursday, Dec. 11. He'll team with Grissom to track a serial killer.
***VH1's latest reality concoction, Confessions of a Teen Idol, will put seven faded heartthrobs "under the guidance" of Scott Baio among others, if you can fathom that.
Competing to "make their way back into the limelight" -- although for some of these guys it was never more than lemon-light -- are Christopher Atkins, Adrian Zmed, Billy Hufsey, Jeremy Jackson, Eric Nies, David Chokachi and Jamie Walters. Anyone who can name all of their claims to fame -- I sure couldn't -- should be VH1's next programming head.
The thing premieres on Jan. 4th.