The Week in DVR: Lewis Black and Julianna Margulies Go Solo; Top Chef Returns

MONDAY Finally, they’ve given Julianna Margulies her own show, Canterbury’s Law (Fox, 8 p.m.), in which she plays a bitchy


Finally, they’ve given Julianna Margulies her own show, Canterbury’s Law (Fox, 8 p.m.), in which she plays a bitchy (natch) attorney for the falsely accused. Ms. Margulies has certainly paid her dues, appearing during her 18-year career on E.R., Law and Order, Scrubs, The Sopranos, and a whole host of made-for-TV movies, not to mention Snakes on a Plane. Her career strategy has obviously paid off: make the rounds playing a doctor or a lawyer and eventually, they’ll make a TV show for you. (Except if you’re Fyvush Finkel. Sorry!) It’s not a new idea. Jewish mothers have been on that tip for years.

It’ll be interesting to see how New Amsterdam (Fox, 9 p.m.), now in its “permanent” time slot and without the benefit of an American Idol lead-in, will do. And by interesting, I mean quite the opportunity for schadenfreude. Last week, behind Idol, 13.7-million viewers stuck around for the first half hour, beating out NBC’s The Biggest Loser. Loser, however, would go on to win the second half-hour. Hmmm …

Tonight’s competition is no less formidable. ABC unloads The Bachelor: Where Are They Now? (8 p.m.) and the two-hour season finale of October Road (9 p.m.), while NBC counters with its high-power trio of My Dad Is Better Than Your Dad (8 p.m.), Deal or No Deal (9 p.m.), and Medium (10 p.m.). It’s all so … craptastic!

Bonus: Fashion Rocks, a concert/charity event hosted by Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson to benefit the Prince’s Trust, featuring performances by Alicia Keys and Iggy Pop, is on Bravo (10 p.m.). It’s only five months old … And WE premieres High School Confidential (10 p.m.), a reality TV series that follows 12 teen girls. Wow, just what teenage girls need: to be followed around by a camera crew that indulges their narcissism, than to be shown what they’re really like simultaneously with a national audience thereby destroying what little confidence that narcissism had created.


Miss Gene Simmons? Impossible! The Kiss frontman kept busy since the end of the second season of Gene Simmons Family Jewels (A&E, 10 p.m.) with a stint on The Celebrity Apprentice. It’s been almost two months, however, since he was fired for suggesting that they market a Kodak printer by surreptitiously leaking a sex tape of it onto the Internet. Oh, wait … no, that’s how Mr. Simmons apparently markets himself (and ruins everyone’s lunch). Gee, thanks! Third season of Jewels premieres tonight.

Hillary’s practically conceded the Mississippi Primary to Barack Obama already, so there’s little suspense going into tonight’s coverage. But there is six weeks until the Pennsylvania Primary, which is basically just enough time for Obama backlash to come and go and for his comeback storyline to emerge. Isn’t this fun!


It’s a beautiful thing Bravo has done. When one great reality TV series ends, they have another like Top Chef (10 p.m.) waiting to take its place. Yes, Padma and Tom are back (and Hung isn’t!). They’re in Chicago for their fourth season, which means one challenge will inevitably involve Kielbasa. Yum.

The Daily Show (Comedy Central, 11 p.m.) cottage industry continues to expand with the premiere tonight of Lewis Black’s the Root of All Evil (Comedy Central, 10:30 p.m.). It’s a fake courtroom show where comedians represent people or things in the news and argue which is worse. Let’s hope Mr. Black isn’t called to testify on his own behalf.

Before we leave Wednesday, a word about the Project Runway finale, please. So, Christian won. No big surprise there. But didn’t he seem a little … different? It’s as if the real-life Christian, after being served a liberal dose of TV Christian, had become, well … not so fierce. After the hiatus, he went from being brash and cocksure to meek and paranoid. Even his hair looked a bit tamped down, like a Killer Whale’s dorsal fin when it’s in captivity. It may be the first example (at least that I can think of) of a Reality TV series destroying its winner before it’s even anointed them. Only time will tell, but it worked from a suspense standpoint—it actually looked like he might lose for a second there. In the end, though, think of poor Victoria Beckham … who’s going too make her a puffy shirt if Christian is ruined?


Network TV on Thursday has settled into a bit of a groove with Lost consistently beating everyone else—and rightfully so. It’s the one night where everything feels right with the world.

As for cable, Lil’ Bush returns for its second—and last?—season. Kevin Federline provides the voice of Karl Rove. With any luck, they’ll both be old news real soon.


The first mother-son team on Your Mama Don’t Dance (Lifetime, 9 p.m.) is eliminated. Thanks, Lifetime. It’s a tough task, but you finally figured out a way for every lonely adolescent boy home on a Friday to feel better about himself.


Barack Obama may be a little sad that his favorite TV show, The Wire, is now over, but HBO has something a little more, say, Presidential for the Senator: John Adams (8 p.m.), a mini-series starring Paul Giamatti. Mr. Obama may find that Adams has a little advice for the junior senator: “People and nations are forged in the fires of adversity.” He also said, “No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.The Week in DVR: Lewis Black and Julianna Margulies Go Solo; Top Chef Returns