If at first you don't succeed, try cable. Which helps explain the déjà vu feeling that accompanies USA Network's new-but-kinda-familiar Playing House (Tuesday, 10/9c), starring and executive produced by real-life BFFs and partners-in-comedy Lennon Parham and Jessica St. Clair, who performed similar duties for the blink-and-you-missed-it NBC sitcom dud Best Friends Forever, which aired for several weeks two midseasons ago.
If you like Syfy's Face Off (as I do), then you're already predisposed to enjoy the channel's new reality competition series Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge (Tuesday, 10/9c), which often feels like a shot-by-shot copy, complete with fetching female host (Farscape's Gigi Edgley), insane time pressures in producing elaborately fanciful Henson-esque creatures, and a three-member judging panel including the likable Brian Henson (Jim's son and chairman of the Henson Company with its fabled Creature Shop). What Creature Shop may lack in originality it makes up for in creative energy, with the contestants further challenged in mentoring sessions by being made to focus on having the full-body costumes be fully functional for the skilled Henson puppeteers within. The climactic "Screen Test" reveals are fun to watch, and the critiques (as in Face Off) are smartly constructive.