The WGA strike only started this morning, but it’s already claimed a casualty. The Heroes [NBC, 9 PM] spin-off, Heroes: Origins, was reportedly canceled last week in part due the threat of the strike—the other part: disappointing Heroes ratings. And it’s only going to get worse. As a general rule, it is probably best to stay away from late night TV until the strike is over. (If you thought Jimmy Kimmel wasn’t funny with writers …) But if you need your fix, skip the monologues and stick to the musical acts. Conan O’Brien, who received a very public reaffirmation by Jeff Zucker last week that he will indeed be hosting the Tonight Show in 2009, yields the stage to Seattle band du jour, Band of Horses, on Late Night [NBC, 12:30 AM]. Oh, and did we mention it’s sweeps? Good luck with that!
Nip/Tuck [FX, 10 PM] had a boffo debut last week for a scripted cable series. The show moved the action from Miami to Los Angeles, where, apparently, it has assumed an Entourage-like vantage into the secret lives of Hollywood’s players. It beat out Cane [CBS, 10 PM], the Latino Sopranos starring Jimmy Smits. This week, however, Cane guest stars Alicia Keys, who will be singing “No One.” Nip/Tuck has a repeat showing of the Italian Job as its lead-in. Thanks, FX! Meanwhile, Bravo debuts the third season of the Real Housewives of Orange County [Bravo, 8 PM], a pre-menopausal Hills. Ew.
The Country Music Association Awards [ABC, 8 PM] replace the successful rookie triumvirate of Pushing Daisies, Private Practice, and Dirty Sexy Money this week, as the network attempts to connect with the bible belters these shows typically offend. Apparently, Jamie Foxx will be performing. No word yet if Jason Alexander—yes, that Jason Alexander—will be there to reprise his role as Brad Paisley’s proxy, which he played in one of the country star’s recent music videos. If you like celebrity award shows, but don’t like country music, then check out the Environmental Media Awards [E!, 8 PM]. Off their Web site: “EMA mobilizes the entertainment industry in a global effort to educate people about environmental issues and inspire then into action.” Basically, it’s another reason to give Al Gore an award. Sienna Miller (huh?) will be receiving one, too.
30 Rock returns from its one-week hiatus chock full of guest stars. Al Gore (he’s everywhere), Meredith Vieira, and David Schwimmer all do their best not to mess up a good thing. Better yet, spend some time with real TV legend, Carol Burnett, as she is profiled by American Masters [PBS, 9 PM]. God knows, Tina Fey has. And Jay-Z does Storytellers [VH1, 9 PM] to promote his new album of music inspired by American Gangster. Who knew that show still existed?
Don’t ask anyone to explain the plot of Moonlight [CBS, 9 PM]. The Joel Silver-produced show in its first season features a vampire detective coupled with a lady web reporter. What they do, I couldn’t tell you … but the show’s kicking ass in the 18 – 49 demo. Go figure.