The hot rumor online last week was that former Detroit Lions star wide receiver Calvin Johnson would return to the spotlight on the second season of “Celebrity Big Brother,” which begins January 21.

But those rumors were wrong. The CBS reality series instead chose a legendary running back for the Miami Dolphins, Ricky Williams, instead of the Motor City Megatron.

Oh well.

The “Celebrity Big Brother” cast was revealed by a commercial during Sunday’s playoff game between the L.A. Chargers and the New England Patriots. Besides Williams, it includes:

► Ex-White House communication director Anthony Scaramucci

► “Blossom” actor Joey Lawrence

► Controversial swimmer Ryan Lochte

► Dina Lohan, mother of actress Lindsay Lohan

► O.J. Simpson trial witness Kato Kaelin

► Former wrestler Natalie Eva Marie

► Singer and reality TV regular Tamar Braxton

► Singer and “Real Housewives” vet Kandi Burruss

► comedian Tom Green

► track and bobsled star Lolo Jones

► “Mean Girls” movie co-star Jonathan Bennett

Hmm, a Trump staffer with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it tenure, a momager and a Kato? Maybe it’s for the best that Johnson didn’t make the list.

“Celebrity Big Brother” launched its first season in February 2018. The winner of last year’s $250,000 grand prize was Marissa Jaret Winokur, a Tony winner for the musical “Hairspray.”

Johnson, who retired from the Lions in 2016, had his brush with reality TV in November of that year on ABC’s ballroom dance challenge “Dancing With The Stars.”

He finished third after the winner, Olympic gymnast Laurie Hernandez, and the runner-up, race car driver James Hinchcliffe.

Contact Detroit Free Press pop culture critic Julie Hinds: 313-222-6427 or

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