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Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2009

More To Love

More to Love
9/8c Fox
Heather's regurgitation strategy seems to have worked for now. So did Lauren's cattiness. (Not only was Luke not offended, but he sent two gals she dissed packing!) And, in the end, Kristian's groveling ("You're the perfect man") did the trick as well. All three remain among the 12 left standing tonight. It's prom night, an evening of no small psychological significance for many heavyset folks. There are also two one-on-one dates, and at the ring ceremony, Luke reduces the field to eight.

Read on for previews of America's Got Talent, Swords: Life on the Line, Rescue Me and Primetime: The Outsiders. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, July 1, 2009:Edited By SK

America's Got Talent

Edited by SK

America's Got Talent
9 pm/ET NBC
The good, the bad and the ugly. That's essentially what is going down in these early star-search audition shows. But the good acts will slowly separate from the others, leaving them behind to advance to the "Vegas Verdicts" and a chance to score the ultimate $1 million prize. Tonight the colorful hopefuls showcase their talents in the fourth audition installment.

Read on for previews of American Masters, Primetime: Crime, RENO 911! and New Adventures of Old Christine. read more

Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, June 24, 2009

James Purefoy

I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here!
8 pm/ET NBC
From Speidi's early departure (and return, and departure) to Janice Dickinson's "granola-gate," there's been no shortage of drama in the jungle since the show started just three weeks ago. In tonight's finale, the entire cast reunites in Costa Rica to learn who will be crowned King or Queen of the Jungle — and more importantly, which deserving charity will get the much needed moola.

Read on for previews of The Music Instinct: Science and Song, Primetime: Questions for the President — Prescription for America, The Real World and The Philanthropist and Tragic Side of Comedy. read more

It seems that ABC's plan to ...

Question: It seems that ABC's plan to burn off the unaired episodes of Knights of Prosperity and The Nine in August flatlined after just one Wednesday night. By the second week, they'd replaced the shows with According to Jim and Primetime repeats. Now, I'm a realist about the business side's effect on the artistic side, and I understand that a loyal, vocal online fan base represents but the tiniest fraction of the viewing audience, but in the case of Knights, there were only two episodes left — just 60 minutes of fairly worthless mid-August real estate spread over two Wednesdays. So was it really that significant a financial benefit to the network to run According to Jim repeats instead of previously unaired Knights episodes that had already been bought and paid for, and now won't see the light of day, even online? This decision takes the cake, especially in a weak ratings month like August. Answer: It does make you wonder whether a network is aware of the long-term impact of jerking ... read more

To Catch a Time Slot Dateline producer David Corvo on the return of the newsmagazine

Chris Hansen, Dateline NBC

When the 2006-07 TV season started, there were only three hours of newsmagazines in prime time, the fewest since 1987. Well, the high casualty rate of scripted entertainment shows has changed that. Dateline NBC will be back up to three hours a week in January. ABC's Primetime is plugging the ratings crater left by The Nine on Wednesdays, until Lost returns. Look for a few episodes of 48 Hours to show up on Tuesdays at 10, now that 3 LBS has flatlined on CBS. Add 'em up, and in some weeks in January you'll have eight hours of newsmags to choose from. But producers say the shows can't give viewers the same old, same old anymore. A catchy hook is a must. Primetime has just kicked off a series of hidden-camera reports showing how people react in uncomfortable situations or when faced with ethical dilemmas. It's a read more

Since Six Degrees is tanking, ...

Question: Since Six Degrees is tanking, why not have ABC put back Primetime at 10 pm/ET with Diane Sawyer and Chris Cuomo? This might be more successful and get more viewers to watch Good Morning America. Either that or that new drama with General Hospital's Tyler Christopher. I think they should replace Six Degrees quick! Answer: Even I'm amazed at how patient ABC has been with this one. But don't look for ABC to restore a newsmagazine to the post-Grey's Anatomy slot anytime soon. The Grey's lead-in is too valuable. ABC's mission is to create a new hit show out of Grey's. It's obvious that Six Degrees, so ponderous and contrived, isn't that show. Here's another, and more frequently offered solution to the Six Degrees problem, from Chris L.: "With the broadcast networks looking for the next Desperate Housewives/Lost-style immediate ratings smash, ABC should be lauded for exercising patience by giving their new shows time to find an audience while the other networks have already swung ... read more

CRUISE DENIES FAMILY FRICTION

Tom Cruise

In an interview airing Friday on ABC's Primetime, Tom Cruise shrugged off talk of a rift between him and pregnant fiancée Katie Holmes' devout parents, claiming he's close with "the whole family" and that they "absolutely" are OK with his Scientology faith. Speaking of which, Cruise confirmed that his and Holmes' baby will not have a Catholic baptism. "You can be Catholic and be a Scientologist. But we're just Scientologists," he pointed out. First things read more

On those rare occasions when the...

On those rare occasions when the networks realize they've made a grievous mistake and fix it, it seems only right that we should acknowledge it and say thanks.

So thanks, CBS, for doing the right thing by The Amazing Race, and more important, for the show's family audience, by moving the show back to an earlier time period. As has been much discussed since the show was moved to 10 pm/ET this spring, with a season far superior than last fall's "family" edition, the new time period was simply on too late for many of its fans to watch it live. Starting next Wednesday, April 5, Race will now air Wednesdays at 8 pm/ET for (presumably) the rest of the season. (Crime-drama repeats will take over Race's slot, and struggling freshman sitcoms Out of Practice and Courting Alex will di read more

MARK YOUR CALENDARS

But do yourself a favor and use a pencil, not a pen. Ready? ABC is returning Commander in Chief to its schedule on Thursdays beginning April 13 (at 10:01 pm/ET), bumping Primetime to Fridays (at 9) until May 25, when it reclaims its regular Thursdays-at-10 (or occasionally 10:01) time slot. Finally, Less Than Perfect comes back on April 18 (at 9:30), if only to remind me that, despite what I thought, no, Sara Rue's cute sitcom did not get canceled two years ago. read more

I was wondering what you ...

Nick Kosovich and Tatum O’Neal, Dancing with the Stars

Question: I was wondering what you think of ABC's scheduling of Dancing with the Stars. The show was an unexpected hit last summer, but I can't help but feel that ABC is going to overexpose and burn out this show in much the same way they burned out another surprise summer hit, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, a few years ago. I'm sure that, even with the increased competition, there are still a number of people who will want to tune in to the show, but don't you think that increasing the show from 60 to 90 minutes and adding a 30-minute results show is overkill? I know Fox has managed to successfully exploit American Idol in a similar manner, but do you think people will want to watch that many hours of Dancing, or will they tire of it even more quickly than they might have otherwise? Also, how do you think this scheduling will affect Crumbs? I think the show looks promising, but I can't imagine a worse time slot for an edgy sitcom about a dysfunctional family than being marooned ... read more

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Premiered: January 25, 2001, on ABC
Rating: None
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Premise: A weekly newsmagazine addressing political, social and cultural issues. In its original format, hosts Sam Donaldson and Diane Sawyer bantered before a studio audience, but it flopped and producers quickly adopted a straight-news approach. ABC merged it with '20/20' in 1999, but revived it in 2001, and later offered editions devoted to medical mysteries and 'outsiders' (2006), crime and 'family secrets' (2007), and how people react in unusual situations ('Primetime: What Would You Do?' 2008).

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