Friends Tonight's installment is the first new episode since mid-November, but it was well worth the wait. What a truly happy coincidence that the Bings find out that they are going to get their baby within days of Courteney Cox Arquette's confirmation that she and hubby

David are expecting their own bundle of joy later this year. Monica has always been my favorite Friend, and I couldn't hope for sunnier outlooks for her and the talented actress who brought her to life. That said, although Monica is the character pals tell me I'm the most like, I felt a special kinship with Joey, who was mortified when his date ate a fry from his plate ("Joey doesn't share food!"). Unfortunately, my situation is more complicated than Joey's because not only do I lament allowing samples from my own plate, but I'm also guilty of his date's sin of ordering a garden salad and then pilfering goodies from other diners' meals (because calories don't count when the food's not on the plate directly in front of you). Luckily, my boyfriend is smart enough to never comment on my behavior. At least, now he is...

Special K Challenge Commercial According to this ad, you can lose up to 6 pounds in two weeks if you substitute one serving of Special K for two of your three daily meals. According to the box in my cupboard, a recommended serving (with skim milk) is about 150 calories. You do the math.

The Apprentice Reality-TV pariah Mark Burnett's latest series features 16 go-getters competing for a shot at running one of real-estate mogul Donald Trump's companies for a year. I like to think of it as Survivor: Manhattan. The Donald (Jeff Probst) has divided the group into two teams (men vs. women) and every week each team will have to complete a specific task (reward and immunity challenges). The losing team has to meet Trump in the Board Room (Tribal Council), where one member will be "fired" (torch snuffed). Grudges and alliances are already brewing, especially among the guys, who got spanked big time by the gals in their first assignment, selling lemonade on the streets of NYC. The standard media hoopla preceded the debut, but is sidewalk beverage shilling Must-See TV? More to the point, 90 minutes of it? It was obvious to me from the beginning that the women were going to win; especially females whose work attire includes tube tops, belly shirts and Amanda Woodward minisuits. As Carson Kressley said, "It's the sizzle that sells the steak." Unfortunately, their sizzle fizzled when they showed up for a tour of Trump's posh penthouse dressed like they were going to a Rose Ceremony. And as always with reality shows, editing led viewers to believe that a certain character (Sam the business director) was doomed up until the program's final moments (David the MBA/MD was axed). No one character really established himself or herself as a standout candidate, but my geographical location compels me to root for Philly girl Heidi. I just wish she hadn't been the first one to get bleeped.

All About the Andersons Though I wasn't surprised to see former SNL regular Mary Gross (she killed as Alfalfa from Our Gang) and Caroline in the City's Amy Pietz guest-starring in this episode of the WB sitcom, I was baffled by the appearance of Sex and the City's Willie Garson. I know he'll soon be looking for work after SATC finishes its final season and I haven't forgotten that he wore a blue kitty-cat costume on a semi-recent episode of CSI, but CSI is consistently one of the top dramas on network TV. I had to look up this show on imdb.com. Maybe someone should lend Stanny a copy of Candace Bushnell's latest book, Trading Up.

CSI Though the plot about the sequestered juror who dies during deliberations was creative and engrossing (but not too gross), the concurrent story about the woman who killed one of her sisters to be with that sister's husband and then tries to frame the same man for the murder after he leaves her for her other sister was a tad too convoluted. Then again, I don't have any sisters.

Without a Trace Mad About You's John Pankow (Splinky!) delivers a nice dramatic turn as a paparazzo who goes missing, but did they have to use that damn Evanescence song in the opening? For a moment I was afraid I had ordered Daredevil on Pay-Per-View.

ER Yay! Luka's staying! Too bad it looks like it's because of sad-sack Sam and her creepy kid. I really like Linda Cardellini but her talents are being wasted by her current troubled-child story arc. Writers: Get the kid some meds and cheer Sam the heck up! Once again, Pratt's maverick attitude gets him in trouble, this time he paralyzes a patient during an attempt to intubate him. To add insult to injury, Gallant's sister skewers what's left of his ego when she turns down his offer to visit her in D.C. by telling him he was "vacation." Ouch. And for the umpteenth time, the preview for next week's show promises a very special episode, touting it as "exceptional...an ER no one will forget." Finally, Carter's going to shave.