Begin the slow countdown to summer's end as "Monday Night Football" (7 p.m., ABC) returns with the pre-season Hall of Fame game between the Chicago Bears and the Miami Dolphins.
Tonight also marks the beginning of the final season of "Monday Night Football" on ABC, where it has been airing since 1970 and getting consistently good ratings. In fact, there were some years when "MNF" was the only show ABC had in the top 10.
In a decision that has everything to do with money and very little to do with common sense, ABC will stop broadcasting the series so that it can air on ESPN beginning in 2006. Disney owns ABC and ESPN, so I don't know who is "saving" money. All I can tell is that ABC is losing one of its most consistent hits. It's a little like Viacom moving "60 Minutes" from CBS to VH1.
¢ Speaking of cable handoffs, CBS will no longer air the Monday-night edition of "Rock Star: INXS." It has been moved to VH1, where it will air on Sunday nights at 7 p.m. The Tuesday and Wednesday night shows will continue to air on CBS.
¢ The new series "Beautiful People" (8 p.m., Family) stars Daphne Zuniga ("Melrose Place") as Lynn, a single mother of two teenage daughters who moves from New Mexico to Manhattan. Yes, time does fly - Daphne Zuniga is now an authority figure.
Lynn runs a modest boutique that gives her enough money to pay for a huge apartment and send her daughter Sophie (Sarah Foret) to a prep school so exclusive that the kids "do lunch" at cafes located on Park Avenue. Her other daughter, Karen (Torrey DeVitto), was a successful model out West, but she finds the New York runway scene a tad more cutthroat. Ludicrous, contrived, condescending and banal, "Beautiful People" makes "One Tree Hill" look like a documentary.
¢ "Home of the Brave" (9 p.m., Court TV) profiles Viola Liuzzo, a Detroit housewife and mother of five children who was shot to death as she helped ferry protesters to the 1965 marches in Selma, Ala. The only white woman killed in the struggle for civil rights, Liuzzo has been largely lost to history. In "Brave," her children try to comprehend the motivations of the mother they lost when they were only children and young teens. They also try to understand why the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover spent so much time and energy trying to destroy her reputation.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ Second chances on two hours of "Renovate My Family" (7 p.m., Fox).
¢ "Great Performances" (7 p.m., PBS) presents "Cook, Dixon & Young in Concert" singing opera, gospel and classic R&B.
¢ Aaron Carter and Kimberley Locke perform on "Miss Teen USA" (8 p.m., NBC), broadcast live from Baton Rouge, La.
¢ An immigrant's murder on "The Closer" (8 p.m., TNT).
¢ "The Situation with Tucker Carlson" migrates to a new time (10 p.m., MSNBC).
¢ Adam Carolla gives his old "Man Show" buddy Jimmy Kimmel some competition with the new nightly talk show "Too Late with Adam Carolla" (10:30 p.m., Comedy Central).