Comedy duel at 8:30 tonight: CBS’ new How I Met Your Mother vs. Fox’s new Kitchen Confidential. We’re kinda curious about the self-explanatory How I Met … (and amused to hear that Dad’s voiceover will be done by the filthy Bob “Aristocrat” Saget, back in lovable Full House mode). But we’re predisposed to root for Kitchen: The sitcom from Sex and the City creator Darren Star is based on the autobiography of the rascally Anthony Bourdain, chef-at-large of the Brasserie Les Halles, a New York bistro that just happens to be down the street from B&C’s offices and … sorry, we drifted off there for a moment, fondly recalling a recent order of steak frites washed down with a bottle of Chimay beer. That’s not what journalism’s about, is it? No! It’s about pursuing truth and informing the world—and collecting nice prizes along the way, if possible. The Emmy awards for news and documentaries will be handed out today (presenters include CNN’s Christine Amanpour) in New York by the National Television Academy, not to be confused with the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, which held its own little Emmy party yesterday.
At last, the wait is over. No, not the arrival of the much-hyped, ceaselessly buzzed-about My Name Is Earl on NBC (though that comedy, with Jason Lee as a conscience-stricken, lottery-winning ne’er-do-well, does debut at 9 p.m. ET). We’re talking about the third season of Nip/Tuck on FX (premiere, 10 p.m. ET). Tonight’s show, according to the network, includes a storyline about “an obese woman who must be surgically separated from the couch she has spent the past three years on.” Welcome back, you sick puppies.
Premiere-related questions, questions, questions. Will NBC’s The Apprentice: Martha Stewart (8 p.m. ET) hand off a biggish audience to Jerry Bruckheimer’s Pentagon drama E-Ring (9 p.m. ET)? Will America’s Next Top Model (two-hour premiere, 8 p.m. ET) keep pulling in nice numbers for UPN? Will ABC’s Lost audience (9 p.m. ET) find Invasion (10 p.m. ET) intriguing, or will viewers be put off by the too-close-to-Katrina debut of a show about extraterrestrial spookiness touched off by a hurricane? (Even the show’s PR material can be wince-inducing: “…the hurricane proves to be merely the beginning of a long journey into the unknown.”)
The critics are right: The premiere episode of Everybody Hates Chris (UPN, 8 p.m. ET) is very funny. Saw the pilot this summer. Tyler James Williams as the 13-year-old Chris Rock? Swell. Rock’s voiceover? Hilarious. The critics are also right: EHC might run out of gas pretty quickly. But before or after Viacom stablemate CBS grabs it away? Leslie Moonves hates midget ratings.
Cops can’t just be cops anymore—they’ve gotta be part of a police crew with a super-special name if they’re going to get their own TV show. Crime Scene Investigation, Special Victims Unit, Cold Case Squad ... Fox Television executives, bless ’em, have joined the fray, with typical panache. Killer Instinct (premiere, 9 p.m. ET) follows the exploits of the San Francisco police department’s Deviant Crime Unit.
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