When Fox rushed ahead and launched “Trading Spouses” before the premiere of ABC’s “Wife Swap,” pundits wondered if there was room on the television landscape for two similarly themed reality shows about displaced wives. In the end, Fox was satisfied with the so-so performance of its show and ABC is even more giddy. The network has given a full-season commitment to “Wife Swap.”

Included among the season’s 22 episodes will be two self-explanatory specials titled “Boss Swap” and “Husband Swap,” which could both become backdoor pilots should “Wife Swap” show the franchise potential of ABC’s other hot reality brand “Extreme Makeover.”

“I’m so proud of this show,” says Andrea Wong, ABC’s executive vice president, alternative programming, specials and late-night. “It has proven to be everything we hoped for – creatively, critically and in the ratings. Thanks to RDF Media’s great casting and production, we know the rest of the season is going to be fantastic.”

Last week, “Wife Swap” picked up a People’s Choice nomination for favorite reality program.

Music awards merit Bon Jovi

LOS ANGELES – Jon Bon Jovi, who has been moonlighting in movies for the past decade, will be given the Award of Merit at the 32nd American Music Awards.

He and his band will join the eclectic mix of Alabama, The Beach Boys, Bing Crosby, Johnny Cash, Ella Fitzgerald, Michael and Janet Jackson, Loretta Lynn, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, James Brown, Whitney Houston , Prince, Tammy Wynette, Frank Sinatra, Billy Joel and Garth Brooks who are among the 31 past recipients of the honor, which will be handed out Nov. 14 on a live ABC show broadcast from the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

Bon Jovi, which has topped 100 million record sales and performed more than 2,500 concerts in more than 50 countries, will perform at the show.

Jon Bon Jovi has two movies coming up: the Arthur Hiller comedy “National Lampoon’s Trouble with Frank” and the thriller “Cry Wolf.”

Smits reappears on NYPD

Jimmy Smits is returning to ABC’s “NYPD Blue” for one last appearance, targeted for the November sweeps period.

But wait, many fans are screaming, Smits’ Bobby Simone died early in the show’s second season, in the episode titled “Hearts and Souls.” Dennis Franz cried. Fans cried. Emmy voters cried and nominated nominated Smits for an Emmy. How can he possibly be coming back?

Well, we’d tell you, but then ABC would kill us and probably you as well. The network is promoting that on Nov. 9, Smits will appear in the “NYPD Blue” episode titled “The Vision Thing.” Screeners have even been sent out to reviewers, who can appear smug for the next coupe weeks, since everybody has been sworn to secrecy.

Queer Eye’ spies straight girls

Better late than never, Bravo is moving forward on “Queer Eye for the Straight Girl.” The extremely late capitalization on what was a cultural phenomenon a year ago won’t premiere until January 2005, by which time perhaps the “Queer Eye” franchise will have gone from over-parodied to retro-cool.

The Fab Five who help shape Bravo’s current identity are gone, replaced by the Gal Pals, a quartet of lifestyle healers in place to help uncertain women as they undergo transformations in anticipation of major life-affirming events. The Gal Pals are Robbie Laughlin, Danny Teeson, Damon Pease and Honey Labrador (the first female to provide a “Queer Eye”), whose specialties are symbolically described as The Look, The Life, The Locale, and The Lady.


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