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Archive for Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Network country specials play it very safe

November 23, 2005

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Two major networks celebrate the night before Thanksgiving with country music specials, "Kenny Chesney: Somewhere in the Sun" (7 p.m., ABC) and "Faith Hill: Fireflies" (8 p.m., NBC).

Boy, howdy. Between these two shows, last week's Country Music Assn. awards and the hoopla surrounding "Walk the Line," it seems like every network has become The Nashville Network.

But as careful readers must know, The Nashville Network doesn't exist anymore. It was turned into The National Network some time back, and then transformed itself into Spike, a guy-centric division of Viacom completely shorn of any country roots.

And exactly how much "country" is left in the contemporary country music exemplified by Chesney and Hill? For starters, when did country artists become so pretty? Nobody listened to Merle Haggard or Patsy Cline because they were good-looking. Can you imagine Faith Hill and her husband, Tim McGraw, performing the duet "You're the Reason Our Kids are So Ugly"? Nobody would believe them.

¢ A meek man (Adam Sandler) encounters a hothead (Jack Nicholson) in counseling in the 2003 comedy "Anger Management" (7 p.m., Fox). Although Adam Sandler movies are the definition of "critic-proof," the advance notice on this film was harsher than usual. The entire film seems to have been made to answer the hypothetical question, "What would it be like if Adam Sandler and Jack Nicholson were in a movie together?" According to many, the answer is "not much."

Tonight's other highlights

¢ McNulty pulls out all the stops to save a SEAL on "E-Ring" (7 p.m., NBC).

¢ Asked to pose as living statues in a park, the contestants on "America's Next Top Model" (7 p.m., UPN) get some unwanted attention - a flock of pigeons. Tyra Banks hosts.

¢ Commuters in peril on "Criminal Minds" (8 p.m., CBS).

¢ Violence ensues when the two groups have their first encounter on "Lost" (8 p.m., ABC).

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