For several panicked hours on Friday, fans of Gossip Girl—and presumably, The O.C.—swamped message boards following the news that producers of the new CW show had offered former O.C. cast member Mischa Barton a role on G.G. as Georgina Sparks, an old chum of Serena van der Woodsen. A wave of invective ensued: “This is the dumbest idea I have ever heard,” wrote one irate commenter, “[M]ischa [B]arton is the most useless actress ever!!!” wrote another. Too harsh? Maybe … maybe not. Consider the history: Josh Schwartz, who now produces G.G., and the other O. C. producers opted to kill off Barton’s character, well before the show ran its course. Now they want her back?
Luckily for the fans, Ms. Barton wants to no part of it. Soon after the news hit, US reported that the actress’ reps turned down the offer. Panic quickly turned to ecstasy, as rabid fans took to the site to remark that all, once again, was right with the world. “Mischa would have ruined this wonderful show. I’m glad she didn’t take it! THANK GOD!” Amen. New episodes of Gossip Girl will return on April 21 [CW, 8 p.m.].
Tonight, New York royalty will give way to real royalty, as The Royal Family, an ABC News special documenting “a year of life behind the palace walls,” airs [ABC, 8 p.m.]. It’s anchored by Barbara Walters. But don’t worry she doesn’t interview anyone. The two-hour special was culled from documentary footage shot by an independent company. Think of it as a refined—but no less crazy!—version of The Osbournes.
TVGuide.com’s description of Fox’s new show New Amsterdam sends up so many red flags, it makes Quarterlife, which was summarily canceled after its debut last week, look like it could have been the next Desperate Housewives. “He’s been immortal since he saved an Indian girl in 17th-century New Amsterdam, but it’s a curse to NYPD detective John Amsterdam (Nikolaj Coster Waldau) since it comes with a condition: He can’t die, but he can’t love, either.” It’s like Highlander meets … The Lone Ranger? But Fox has something NBC does not: American Idol [Fox, 8 p.m.]. It’s the viagra of lead-ins—it may even help John Amsterdam to love again. Who knows?
Oh yes, it’s ladies night. Two giants of cable TV, Discovery Health and WE, have new shows debuting tonight centered around the womenfolk. Deliver Me [DHEALTH, 10 p.m.] follows three female OB-GYN’s as they juggle delivering babies with taking care of their own, while Women Behind Bars [WE, 9 p.m.]—not be confused with the 1975 cult-porn hit of the same name—dedicates itself to telling the stories of women who have been convicted of murder. Oh, what a night!
Human hair!!! Really, Chris? You were the most likeable character left on Project Runway [BRAVO, 10 p.m.], and while it’s hard to tell whether incorporating this avant garde material into your designs is what got you the boot, it confused everyone anyway, coming as it does from someone who dresses like some cross between Glenn Shadix in Beetle Juice and John Candy in Summer Rental. We’ll soldier on without you tonight, as we watch the finale of the finale with guest judge Victoria Beckham. Auf Wiedersehen!
It’s rare to overhear strangers on the subway having a polite and prolonged conversation, let alone one about a T.V. show. Last week’s episode of Moment of Truth [9 p.m., Fox]—on which a woman admitted that she would leave her husband, if her ex-boyfriend was interested in being with her again—engendered just that. The dramatic moment was witnessed by eight-million people. To keep this up, it’s clear what Fox has to do: give that couple a show!
It’s hard to imagine how Lost [ABC, 9 p.m.] will follow up one of its most baffling, yet touching, episodes ever. (For the unhooked, think The Lakehouse, but with characters you actually like.) At times, it threatened to veer into irredeemable campiness, especially when it made its main reveal, but, as the show has done many times before, it was rescued by a through-line of realistic (and well-acted) emotions. Safe to say, it’s been well worth the wait.
Speaking of baffling, but potentially touching, there’s the finale of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew [VH1, 10 p.m.]. The person who stays clean the longest wins a spot on The Surreal Life.
The Price Is Right Million Dollar Spectacular [CBS, 8 p.m.]. Spin the wheel. Land on the $1 twice. Win a million dollars. One word: Brilliant!