Kiefer, what have you done? As if Mondays didn’t have enough problems as it is, the 24 actor had to go and get busted for his second D.U.I. in three years, jeopardizing an already tenuous evening of television. He’s had hours of method acting as a Chinese prisoner, which should have him mentally prepared for 48 days in jail.
Meanwhile, a couple of cameos help spruce up a dead night: Jennifer’s dad, veteran TV actor John Aniston, attempts to match the intensity of Kevin McKidd (Rome) on Journeyman (NBC, 10 p.m.)—good luck, buddy!—while Phylicia Rashad tries to give the underappreciated Everybody Hates Chris (CW, 8 p.m.), a bit of can’t-miss star-power.
News flash! Wynton Marsalis still loves jazz, New Orleans, performs during Live From Lincoln Center (PBS, 8 p.m.). Glenn Close hosts. Anthony Bourdain still loves cooking, hearing himself speak, does a holiday special (TRAVEL, 10 p.m.).
Bonus: new How I Met Your Mother (CBS, 8 p.m.)
The only thing more depressing than Mondays? Tuesdays. Since everything on the networks at 8 p.m. is a repeat, all that is left is ESPN’s Best of This Is Sportscenter, an hour dedicated to recapping the best moments from the commercial series used to promote Sportscenter. (First, the Geico cavemen get a TV show.—now, this?) The options don’t get any better at nine: a new episode of Cane (CBS)—which currently only has a 4-script order for next season—or Holiday in Handcuffs, the romantic comedy inspired by Misery—that is not a typo—starring Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez (ABC Family). Then top it all off with the debut of Twister Sisters (WE, 10 p.m.), a reality series where tornado hunters take adventure seekers along for the ride. The first episode features a divorced couple and their daughter on a chase from Kansas to Texas. Watch to determine which is more destructive: the tornado or the parents.
When one reality TV series ends, another begins. And so, tonight, bid a fond farewell to Gordon Ramsey—who’s actually been around since the early summer with Hell’s Kitchen—and his Kitchen Nightmares (FOX, 9 p.m.) and America’s Next Top Model (CW, 8 p.m.), which will anoint the next Vendela, and give a hearty welcome to Crowned (CW, 9 p.m.), where mother-daughter teams compete against each other in a mock beauty pageant. Good news: looks mildly entertaining. Bad news: its debut comes at the cost of Gossip Girl, which won’t be back until next week. (By the way, what’s with Josh Schwartz and mean grandmas? First, it’s the crotchety yenta, Nana, on the OC, and now Serena’s turns out to be a manipulative old hag. Man’s got bubby issues.)
Speaking of people with issues, Paul Rubens returns to Pushing Daisies (ABC, 8 p.m.) and playwright Tony Kushner is deconstructed on P.O.V. (PBS, 9 p.m.).
CBS practically has the night to itself, as it is the only network with the inventory left to fill a full prime-time schedule of programming: Survivor: China (8 p.m.), CSI (9 p.m.), Without a Trace (10 p.m.) are all new. (Fox may have new episodes of Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? (8 p.m.) and Don’t Forget the Lyrics (9 p.m.), but they might as well be in repeats, as it’s impossible to tell one week apart from the next.) The only thing left of NBC’s Must-See Thursday line-up is 30 Rock. How about that for irony? The only thing left is a show about writers.
Watch It’s a Wonderful Life (NBC, 8 p.m.) for the thousandth time or take a chance on the World Magic Awards (MyNetworkTV, 8 p.m.), the Oscars of illusionism. Presto!