Where to be and what to watch...


Monday, March 21

Jane Pauley's syndicated talk show may have been terminated by NBC Uni, demonstrating how hard it is to get traction with new syndicated product, but that won't dampen the Syndicated Network Television Association's spirits today. They're going to Oprahland! It's “Syndication Day” in Chicago, sandwiched between SNTA stops in New York earlier this month and Los Angeles on Thursday. Syndicators will just keep on accentuating the positive—like perennial ray of ratings sunshine Ms. Winfrey—for the benefit of advertisers and media buyers gathered at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. The syndicated ad sales market is a $3.9 billion business, so the feedbags for the breakfast presentation should be memorable. Attention, toddlers and their caregivers: On Dora the Explorer (Nickelodeon, 1:30 p.m. ET) the wee señorita gets a sibling, making her Big Sister Dora. And possibly sending her sidekick, Boots, into simian depression. Kitsch alert: Las Vegas Garden of Love premieres on ABC Family (10 p.m. ET). It's a reality show, according to the network, about a “dynamic” family that operates a Vegas wedding chapel. Not to be confused with Hitched, a drama Fox is developing about a brother and sister who own a Vegas wedding chapel, or Married in Vegas, a series A&E is producing about … ah, forget it.

Tuesday, March 22

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association holds its first Media Law Forum in Washington today—oops, scratch that. Registration was a tad light, so the SBCA cancelled. That's the trouble with a business dominated by just two major players, EchoStar and DirecTV: A couple of people have to shampoo their hair or walk the dog and suddenly you're looking at an empty room.

Wednesday, March 23

Guess who's being described: “Superstar. Mother. Daughter. Lover. Artist. Cook. She's many things that will surprise you— but she's definitely no angel.” (A) Martha Stewart (B) Condoleezza Rice (C) Elton John (D) Dora the Explorer circa 2035. You're right! It's (E) Farrah Fawcett, the sometimes wobbly star of Chasing Farrah, a six-part reality series premiering tonight on TV Land (10 p.m. ET). If they ever catch her, here's a suggestion: Demand to know whether or not Ms. Fawcett is in fact Anna Nicole Smith's mom. They're so much alike—so, you know, Texan.

Thursday, March 24

Good news for apprehensive fans of The Office: The Americanized version debuting tonight (NBC, 9:30 p.m. ET) is not the gutted, unfunny simulation of Ricky Gervais's towering achievement that you feared. NBC likely will get critical huzzahs for daring to air such a smart interpretation of the beloved yet wince-inducing British mockumentary about life in cubicle hell. But the jury's out on whether a sizeable audience will embrace such spiky fare. NBC's taking its best shot, giving The Office a “preview” airing with The Apprentice as its lead-in, before moving the show to Tuesdays.

Friday, March 25

Ving Rhames buffs his dome, unwraps a lollipop and rolls out as Lieutenant Theo Kojak tonight on USA Network original series Kojak (9 p.m. ET). In bit of corporate synergissimo, NBC Uni—which owns USA and the original Kojak series but not B&C, we swear, despite the NBC-heavy tenor of this week's column—is this week releasing the DVD Kojak: Season One, with Telly Savalas as Lt. K. Still love ya, Telly. But Manhattan in the 1970s? Not so much.

—Mark Lasswell

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