ONE HAND CLAPPING
By Chris Ryall
TV Recommendations for the week of September 18, 2006
By Chris Ryall
Monday, September 18
THE MEGAN MULLALLY SHOW -- Syndicated
Series Premiere: Shows like this really help my productivity, since there's no way I'm ever calling in sick and risking even flipping by the channel while it's airing.
THE CLASS -- 8 PM, CBS
Series Premiere: A show about the 20th anniversary of third-graders is something that should send up all kinds of red flags to those who like shows with brains behind them and not marketing initiatives. Don't worry--having seen it, I can predict that CLASS won't be in session for long.
DEAL OR NO DEAL -- 8 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: This year, the briefcases shoot off sparks when they're opened and Howie Mandel gets a teenage sidekick. I hope. Because otherwise, why are people still watching shows about opening briefcases.
WIFE SWAP -- 8 PM, ABC
Season Premiere: It's right there in the title, what goes on in this episode. I can only do so much here.
INSIDE THE ACTOR'S STUDIO -- 8 PM, Bravo
Teri Hatcher? What, was Dog the Bounty Hunter busy? (Well, he is, yeah, but that's an entirely different story)
HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER -- 8:30 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Take one part BUFFY, one part UNDECLARED, and mix in a little DOOGIE HOWSER, M.D. and you get this show, which is decent for those very three reasons.
TWO AND A HALF MEN -- 9 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Two and a half jokes, more like.
THE NEW ADVENTURES OF OLD CHRISTINE -- 9:30 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: So the supposed SEINFELD curse is broken by... a traditional sitcom? See, Jason Alexander and Michael Richards? You were trying too hard before.
CSI MIAMI -- 10 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Yep, David Caruso's back again. And again next year and every year, no doubt. I think it's safe to say he won't be leaving the show for a movie career no matter what he gets offered.
STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP -- 10 PM, NBC
Series Premiere: Here we are, my highest recommendation of the new Fall Season. Finally, you can let me know if you agree.
Tuesday, September 19
NCIS -- 8 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Seriously, this is the same Mark Harmon from SUMMER SCHOOL? Then again, that Kirstie Alley's not exactly the same Kirstie Alley running around today, either.
LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT -- 9 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: Mr. Big and a few new people join up here. Has there ever been a series of shows less reliant on returning cast members than the L&Os?
SMITH -- 10 PM, CBS
Series Premiere: Wait, is this the new James Woods show? No, it's the other one-word-titled show on CBS starring a former movie guy, Ray Liotta. Getting hard to tell them apart.
LAW & ORDER: SVU -- 10 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: Finally, I haven't seen any L&O eps in minutes.
BOSTON LEGAL -- 10 PM, ABC
Season Premiere: Season three starts up with some more Michael J. Fox appearances. And more than a few "Denny Crane" references, no doubt.
Wednesday, September 20
JERICHO -- 8 PM, CBS
Series Premiere: A town that survives a nuclear war is a good premise for a show, and I do think it's going to be better than this pilot, which starts off a little slow. Still, like I say, it's worth another look.
THE BIGGEST LOSER -- 8 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: I can think of some ways for NBC to trim some fat off their schedule, starting with this show...
AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL -- 8 PM, The CW
Season Premiere: If you wanted to really blow us away with your programming choices, CW, I can think of a lot better ways than bringing Tyra Banks back to further annoy us.
CRIMINAL MINDS -- 9 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: The resolution to the big SE7EN-like ending from last season. Nothing like a severed head to kick off the new season.
CSI: NY -- 10 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Lieutenant Dan is back, and this season, he gets Claire Forlani to help him (and us), out.
KIDNAPPED -- 10 PM, NBC
Series Premiere: Timothy Hutton and Dana Delany are both fine on the show, but really, 22 weeks of seeing upset parents try to get their snatched kid back? It was hard enough to sit through two hours of it in that Mel Gibson movie.
Thursday, September 21
MY NAME IS EARL -- 8 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: We're one week away from a Burt Reynolds sighting, unless you count all those obnoxious Miller Lite commercials that are aired oppressively every single day.
THE OFFICE -- 8:30 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: I know everyone's dying to see how the romance on the show turns out, but I can just tell you, where Dwight and Angela are concerned, it's not going to end well. That is who everyone means, right?
CSI -- 9 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: The press-shy John Mayer doesn't seem to have a problem cashing CBS's checks by having his music played here, which tells me he doesn't dislike press as much as he just disliked that Jessica Simpson harpy. Then again, I should stop reading the wife's Us magazine, shouldn't I?
GREY'S ANATOMY -- 9 PM, ABC
Season Premiere: Am I the only one who McAvoids this show and even still is sick of all the Mc-this and Mc-that talk? Because I gave it a shot a few times, and so far, SCRUBS remains the only hospital show that works for me.
SHARK -- 10 PM, CBS
Series Premiere: The title and ads have been a bit obvious and obnoxious, but still, as overbearing as my fellow Mensan James Woods can be, he is pretty watchable on this show, too.
ER -- 10 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: The only reason I ever even flip by this show is for Linda Cardellini, but even then, a storyline about her being kidnapped at the end of last season tells me that this show's well has just about run dry.
SIX DEGREES -- 10 PM, ABC
Series Premiere: J..J. Abrams offers up another show, and this one also gets off to a decent start here.
Friday, September 22
GHOST WHISPERER -- 8 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: So they kill off Aisha Tyler and instead bring in Camryn Manheim? Yep, see you later, male viewing audience.
CHEETA GIRLS IN CONCERT -- 8 PM, Disney
Filmed live on location at a cell phone kiosk outside the Fresno Mall.
CLOSE TO HOME -- 9 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: I know that David James Elliott joins the show, and it's evidently set proximinal to someone or other's domicile, but beyond that, couldn't tell you the first thing about this show. And I'm perfectly okay with that.
NUMB3RS -- 10 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Hey, Lou Diamond Phillips gets some work! That's mighty kind of ya, CBS. More than most anyone else is willing to do lately.
LAW & ORDER -- 10 PM, NBC
Season Premiere: The show begins its 83rd season, which is good because the 23 hours of repeats that air on various basic cable channels across the land have left us all hungry for much more.
Saturday, September 23
SCRUBS -- 11 AM, Comedy
Sure, new episodes don't air on NBC until maybe January, but here's a 15-episode block to help tide you over until then.
FANTASTIC FOUR -- 8 PM, Cartoon
The sure indicator of any FANTASTIC FOUR program or movie--how they handle an appearance by Doctor Doom. So far, the Corman movie was subpar but fun and the big-screen version only got the subpar part down. So we'll see where this appearance fits in.
LIVE @ VH-1
Elton John plays some tunes off his attempt at recapturing the past, his Captain Fantastic sequel, The Captain and the Kid.
KRAKEN: TENTACLES OF THE DEEP -- 9 PM, Sci Fi
So I take it my "Killer Calamari" suggested title didn't pass the muster, eh, Sci Fi? Some other person named this movie here, but come on, anyone who watched PIRATES II could've come up with this name.
Sunday, September 24
COLD CASE -- 9 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Is there a point where the legal or crime shows are just going to wake up one day and find that all the good stories have already been done? Yes, and it was probably a year or two ago.
DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES -- 9 PM, ABC
Season Premiere: A sure sign a show's in big trouble--the creators and cast have essentially disavowed every previous episode since the pilot in talking about how this new season is a "return to form."
WITHOUT A TRACE -- 10 PM, CBS
Season Premiere: Never the greatest of signs--the show got moved to a new night here. But since GREY'S has also moved, it shouldn't have too much competition to get in the way.
BROTHERS & SISTERS -- 10 PM, ABC
Series Premiere: Welcome back to network TV, Calista Flockhart. Might want to keep your car running, though, since I think people will support this show about as much as you did during the summer press tour.
BROTHERHOOD -- 10 PM, Showtime
Season Finale: Some would say this show's a good reason to subscribe to Showtime. Me, I say it's a good reason to add the DVDs to Netflix's queue instead.
ROBOT CHICKEN -- 11:30 PM, Comedy
I missed the season premiere last week, but really, it's not like you have to follow along each week to keep up with what's going on.
TV Celebrity Quote of the Week:
"Oooo-weee! It made my big toe shoot up in my boot!" Little Richard, making a euphemism we all would've been better off without hearing on CELEBRITY DUETS.
All show times Pacific Standard Time and all opinions have moved to a new night but remain as unfunny as ever