Archive for Monday, April 10, 2006

Thou shalt not remake classics

April 10, 2006

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Updating an old favorite is always tricky. The new miniseries version of "The Ten Commandments" (8 p.m., ABC, concludes Tuesday) combines some familiar faces and many unknowns to recount the biblical tale of Moses.

Omar Sharif stars as the prophet's father-in-law, and "Lost" star Naveen Andrews portrays his Egyptian foster brother. "Ten" follows the Hollywood tradition of having most of the Egyptian heavies speaking with British accents. Moses (Dougray Scott) brings an earnest virility to his role. This stands in stark contrast to Ramses (Paul Rhys), who comes off as decadent, effete and clearly overmatched.

While "Ten" features some neat special effects, it lacks the glossy star-studded camp of the 1956 version. Fans of the Cecil B. DeMille film starring Charlton Heston will have to wait until Saturday when it returns, trailing clouds of Technicolor glory.

¢ News flash! If you allow children to run the house, go to bed whenever they feel like it, avoid all exercise and dictate when, where and what they will eat, you will end up with fat, lazy, sugar-soaked slugs. "Honey, We're Killing the Kids" (8 p.m., TLC) is the latest reality makeover series. A stern dietitian takes control of a family of four and teaches both kids and parents that their lifestyle is leading them to possible diabetes, heart disease and cancer. She sets up a diet and exercise plan for the family and helps the parents take control of their two sluggish kids. In short, she's "Nanny 911" armed with the food pyramid.

After the chaos of "Killing," viewers can learn new ways to restore domestic tranquility and living-room serenity on "Shalom in the Home" (9 p.m., TLC), hosted by Rabbi Boteach Shmuley.

¢ OK, now it looks like President Logan is the evil mastermind on "24" (8 p.m., Fox). But we've been deceived before. Remember when we thought Audrey was a traitor? That Jack was dead? That Chloe might have a boyfriend? It's best not to jump to conclusions.

¢ "American Experience" (8 p.m., PBS) recalls a medical case from the 1970s, a boy born without immunity who became "The Boy in the Bubble." The tragic case became an inspiration for a John Travolta film, not to mention a "Seinfeld" episode. But, as we learn here, it also raised serious ethical issues about the line between patient care and medical experimentation.

¢ "Star Trek 2.0" (10 p.m., G4) lets viewers "interact" with classic episodes of the sci-fi series. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the maiden voyage of the starship Enterprise.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Michael gets some time alone on "Prison Break" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ A neat freak and a slob switch homes on "Wife Swap" (7 p.m., ABC).

¢ Jesse's gang creates a battery-operated car on "Monster Garage" (7 p.m., Discovery).

¢ Jeff Foxworthy plays host to the "CMT Music Awards" (7 p.m., CMT).

¢ "China Rises" (7 p.m., Discovery Times, concludes Tuesday) looks at the impact of China's economic revolution on both its people and on the world economy.

¢ Donald Trump plays host to two episodes of "The Apprentice" (8 p.m., NBC).

¢ "Spartacus: Gladiator War" (8 p.m., National Geographic) separates fact from film legend.

¢ Wanda Sykes guest stars on "The New Adventures of the Old Christine" (8:30 p.m., CBS), just two weeks after a guest stint on "Will & Grace."

¢ A gorgeous couple becomes a target on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).

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