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Archive for Wednesday, July 6, 2005

Stars go toe-to-toe in final dance-off

July 6, 2005

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It comes down to John O'Hurley and Kelly Monaco on the final episode of "Dancing with the Stars" (8 p.m., ABC).

At the risk of sounding like a high school guidance counselor, we have to consider them both winners. The oldest of the group, O'Hurley has clearly put in the most work and has transformed himself from eternal status as the Mr. Peterman punch line of "Seinfeld" fame to a dashing image of middle-aged grace. The youngest of the bunch, Monaco regrouped after an abysmal start and has come on strong. She also gets points for rescuing herself from some near-catastrophic (and censor-invoking) wardrobe malfunctions a few weeks back.

Half the fun of "Stars" has been the fact that it unfolds live, without a safety net and without retakes, retouches or digital trickery. It reminds us that some of the medium's earliest, most popular (and yes, most hokey) entertainments were from the era of live broadcasting.

¢ Produced by Ashton Kutcher ("Punk'd" and "That '70s Show"), "Beauty and the Geek" (7 p.m., WB) asked socially challenged brainiacs to mingle with brazenly shallow sorority types. While its humor is rather obvious, the show displays consistent - and, for the genre, unexpected - heart. Perhaps that's why it bucked the WB's summer trend and actually saw its ratings go up week to week. Someone walks away with a grand prize tonight.

¢ "Dateline" (9 p.m., NBC) presents an interview with Bob Woodward about his relationship with "Deep Throat," the Watergate informant who recently came in from the cold. Tom Brokaw is host.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Tommy Hilfiger is host on "The Cut" (7 p.m., CBS), now in its regular time slot.

¢ Spouses spat on "Supernanny" (7 p.m., ABC).

¢ On consecutive episodes of "Law & Order" (NBC), a taunting hoops fan jeers his last (7 p.m.), a train's fatal collision with an SUV (9 p.m.).

¢ On back-to-back episodes of "The Inside" (Fox), serial self-slaughter (7 p.m.), a glance back at the beginning (8 p.m.).

¢ A bag of bones rides a tour bus on "CSI: NY" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ Fresh water on "Lost" (9 p.m., ABC).

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