Bleak. That’s the only word for it. Chances are your favorite show is in repeats. And with the strike hitting its acrimonious peak last week, there’s little hope that those shows are coming back anytime soon. Now it appears reality—in all senses of the word—has set in: NBC throws a hail mary pass with Clash of the Choirs [8 p.m.], which pits all-star choirs lead by Michael Bolton, Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Kelly Rowland, and Blake Shelton, against each other for four nights, and ABC slaps America in the face with a white glove with Duel [8 p.m.], which, as far as anyone can tell from the Jerry Bruckheimer-esque promos, is some combination of poker, Jeopardy—get better, Alex!—and Risk.
With all of the reality programming about to flood an already saturated market, its hard to imagine a worse time for the Travel Channel’s first ever Pilot Week, chock full of the stuff. Tonight, the audience gets to go to the channel’s Web site, take a survey, and decide the fate of Feasty Boys Eat America [8 p.m.], in which two fat guys tell you how to get fat on quality American produce, and Hamburger Paradise [9 p.m.], on which great burgers are introduced and devoured, and a little lesson on the history of this culinary staple given. Fatal flaw: what happens when there’s no feedback?
Last week, the Biggest Loser [9 p.m.] gave NBC a rare Tuesday night ratings win. (Welcome to the future!) Tonight, the network tries to make it two in a row with the show’s finale, during which the contestants will converge for a final weigh-in and a winner will be named. But for those fat people who dream of a day when their fat will literally melt off, there’s the new episode of Nip/Tuck [FX, 10 p.m.].
Speaking of dirty jobs, Dirty Jobs [DSC, 8 p.m.], the show which offers the guilty pleasure of watching other people do what you’d never do to collect their paycheck, has a special two-hour offering entitled Jobs That Bite. Ouch! Meanwhile, you can watch as Lorraine Bracco’s career quickly returns to a pre-Sopranos low, as she stars in the made-for-TV movie, Snowglobe [ABC Family, 8 p.m.], starring Christina Millan.
Can’t you just smell the decaying pine needles, already? Or is that just the autosuggested odor of this year’s crop of Christmas (that is, “holiday”) specials. Tonight, ABC launches the first salvo with A Holiday Celebration at Ford’s Theatre [ABC, 10 p.m.], strategically scheduled late enough so the kids are asleep, and the parents up wrapping gifts and feeling all Egg-Noggy, and therefore perhaps a little more tolerant of the likes of Olivia Newton-John and comedian Chris Titus—what, Carrot Top was booked?—along with gospel singer Yolanda Adams. (We want Bob Hope back, with his friends Barbara Mandrell and the Mandrell Sisters!) For those who prefer more serious pipes, PBS will broadcast Christmas With the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Featuring Sissel—isn’t that the thong-song guy?—[9 p.m.] and Christmas at St. Olaf [10 p.m.], featuring renditions of Handel’s “Messiah,” Honegger’s “King David” and Mendelssohn’s “St. Paul” by the Saint Olaf choir of Northfield, Minn.
As for the only Christmas-themed bit of programming that matters, Gossip Girl [CW, 9 p.m.] is new tonight, with Blair’s estranged father returning home for the holidays with his boyfriend. Promise you’ll never go into repeats, Gossip Girl.
Bonus: say goodbye to Journeyman [NBC, 10 p.m.].
Lost has found a new night. On Jan. 31st, the first night of February sweeps—I know, confusing, right?—Lost will take over Grey’s Anatomy’s 9 p.m. slot. Tonight, you ask? Everything’s in repeats. Everything.
Keep that Christmas momentum going with A Home for the Holidays [CBS, 8 p.m.], an annual event meant to raise awareness of adoption. Sheryl Crow, James Blunt, Fergie, and others will perform, while Rene Russo and George Lopez share stories about the topic. Angelina Jolie will not be there.