First, the good news: it looks like the strike may be coming to an end. Now, the bad news: even in the most hopeful scenario, new episodes of popular shows, like Grey’s Anatomy, won’t hit the airwaves until April or March, if at all before the fall. Jeff Zucker may have found a silver lining in all of this—at least publicly—but what does the rest of America have to show for it except for a newly acquired taste for reality programming?
Tonight, CBS injects a little life into its Monday night line-up with the debut of Welcome to the Captain (CBS, 8:30 p.m.), a comedy about a wannabe director (Fran Kranz) returning to L.A. to give his young career one last shot. Written by the guy behind the Meet the Parents movies, it also stars Chris Klein (Election, American Pie, pre-Tom paramour of Katie Holmes) and Jeffrey Tambor (Arrested Development). Meanwhile, the third season of New Adventures of Christine (CBS, 9:30 p.m.) kicks off with Christine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) fretting over relations with Blair Underwood. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?
If older ladies chasing around African-American men is your thing, you need look no further than the Hallmark channel tonight, as Hillary Clinton has purchased an hour of the channel’s time to broadcast a “town hall” meeting out of New York (9:00 p.m.). Anthony Weiner sure can’t get enough of the symbolism …
Fashion Week bonus: golden boy Marc Jacobs documentary, Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton, airs on the Sundance Channel (8 p.m.). It’s totes the new black. (That’s how fashion people talk, right? Unfortunately, Bruno is my only reference point … )
Maybe it’s the candidates. Maybe it’s the strike. But primaries have meant ratings gold for both networks and cable news channels. Last week’s Democratic debate brought in the highest audience for a debate, by a large margin, in CNN’s history with 8.32 total viewers. (CNN and MSNBC are both up close to 40 percent in January from last year.) And the debates preceding the New Hampshire contest on Jan. 5 were seen by 8.6 million people on ABC. But tonight, everyone’s hands are going to be in the cookie jar—everyone’s covering Super Tuesday. Expect a lot of synergy! (And few mistakes, they’ve been rehearsing.)
Gossip Girl may be gone from Wednesday nights, but that doesn’t mean CW is going to go down without a fight. Tonight, it’s the first half of a highlight reel from the previous seasons of America’s Next Top Model (8 p.m.), which promises better acting than found in last week’s Gossip Girl: Revealed special. Reading from cue cards, lots of nervous laughter, worst blooper montage ever … awkward!
The WE channel, in its attempt to stay up with only the most progressive feminist programming, offers Lingerie Secrets Revealed (10 p.m.) with host, Rachel Zalis, former West Coast Editor of Glamour. Red flag: lingerie, by its very nature, keeps few secrets.
Saving grace: a new Project Runway (Bravo, 10 p.m.)
No surprise here: the Lost (9 p.m.) premiere gave a much needed boost to the script-heavy ABC. But, like the survivors of Oceanic flight 815, it is now no longer alone. The others: NBC launches Candace Bushnell’s Lipstick Jungle (10 p.m.), which promises to be like Sex and the City, but more matoor. And CBS dredges out its old stalwart Survivor (8 p.m.), this time pitting uber-fans against past contestants. It’s in Micronesia—wherever the hell that is. And of course, there’s Celebrity Apprentice (9 p.m.), which just got re-upped for another season. A little hasty, no? Probably should have waited to see how well the novelty of Gene Simmons bantering with the Donald would hold up against some real competition. Oh, well. They didn’t promise to return it to Thursdays.
Who knew, but Friday nights to Animal Planet are like Thursday nights to the networks. At 8 p.m., the cabler debuts Lemur Kingdom (we all know how this one is going to end), following it up with Oragutan Island (9 p.m.) and Escape to Chimp Eden (9:30 p.m.), which for anyone whose showed up for a movie early at a Regal Cinemas theater should sound familiar. The only thing missing from this line-up is a showing of Matthew Broderick in Project X.