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Call 911: Leary's Locks Are a Fire Hazard!

The creators of FX's firefighter drama, Rescue Me, pride themselves on the show's authenticity. New York City Fire Department (FDNY) veteran Terry Quinn is a consultant on the show, and various cast members have served in the department, as well.

But they draw the line when it comes to co-creator/star Denis Leary's hair. Leary, nominated for an Emmy last week for his portrayal of troubled firefighter Tommy Gavin, famously sports luxurious locks that appear to be in violation of the FDNY grooming code.

According to Rule 2.1.1 of the code, “hair on the top and sides of the head will be neatly groomed.” Per 2.1.8, concerning bangs, hair “will be maintained no longer than mid-forehead level.”

We won't quibble over what constitutes “neatly groomed,” but it looks to us that Leary's magnificent mane “might impair the full effectiveness of the [oxygen] mask facepiece,” thereby subjecting him to “command discipline or formal charges.” (3.1.1)

Asked for comment, an FDNY spokesman refused to torch Leary. “It's a TV show,” he said. “It's meant to entertain.” (Apparently, the FDNY fraternal code extends to fake firemen, too.) Leary wasn't available for comment, but an FX spokesperson chalked it up to creative license: “We don't disagree that he's in violation of FDNY regulations, but Rescue Me is not a docu-drama.”

Couric's Odds

The oddsmakers over at are hedging their bets when it comes to Katie Couric.

The online gambling site—which handicaps the outcomes of reality shows like American Idol and Survivor in addition to its bread-and-butter sports categories—opened a book last month on the soon-to-be CBS Evening News anchor.

Offering the chance “to play this latest ratings game,” Sportsbook invited bettors to wager on Couric's chances for drawing more than 8.4 million viewers to her inaugural Evening News broadcast Sept. 5.

That number is what Couric pulled in for her farewell Today show appearance on May 31—and over a million viewers more than Evening News currently gets on average.

Oddsmakers set the over/under at +200 that she beats it, -300 she falls short. So a $100 bet on the over could win you $200; the same bet on the under could snag only $33. In other words, the safe bet is that Couric tanks.

But that was on June 28. By July 5, Sportsbook had reversed the over/under dramatically so that a $100 bet for a Couric ratings win promised only $62.50, while the same bet for a shortfall could net $120. As of July 7, the payout for a $100 bet that Couric falls short had jumped to $200.

Apparently, so many people had bet that Couric will finish ahead that the oddsmakers had to rejigger the initial odds in case the bettor-viewers turn out to be right and leave Sportsbook with a hefty loss on all those early bets.

“There is so much action that they have to hedge their bets,” says Sportsbook's Patrick Erlich, who tracked the trends for B&C. “Everyone is betting the over. We had to adjust the odds to make it less appealing” to bet on Couric's initial success.

You're Booed!

Donald Trump may refuse to believe that his aging Apprentice franchise has run its course, but spectators at a Major League Soccer match in Los Angeles last month apparently felt that the NBC show had overstayed its welcome.

The reality series commandeered the halftime show while filming an episode for its sixth season. With Trump and season-one winner Bill Rancic looking on from a midfield luxury suite, two teams of contestants took the field, each tasked with running an on-field promotion for a major nutrition retailer.

We won't reveal what the teams came up with, except to say the crowd enthusiastically booed both productions—particularly the one accompanied by shrill narration from former hockey Olympian and contestant Angela Ruggiero.

And it's likely the show didn't recruit many fans seated in the section where a tightly wound production staffer ran about warning anyone with a camera not to photograph the proceedings.

When we approached the staffer to ask if the production was indeed for another season of The Apprentice, she rolled her eyes and responded with an acid-drenched, “Could be.”

Judging from the reaction of the crowd—which was so put off by the spectacle that many refused to participate by voting for a winner—few in attendance will tune in for Trump's boardroom antics next season.

But we'll be looking out for the episode when it airs. We can't wait to see how the editors interpret “reality.”