Tonight's "Monk" (9 p.m., USA) episode begins with a clever, neurotic twist. It seems the picky detective buys only one brand of shirt from one particular shop. And not just any shirt, but only garments approved by Inspector No. 8. Her dedication to perfection has inspired Monk (Tony Shalhoub) to write fan letters. So when she approves a few flawed shirts, he suspects that there may be trouble in her life. And he is correct.
Her son stands accused of the bloody murder of a fashion model. This plunges Monk and his police entourage in the flighty, fabulous world of the fashion business. And who better to play a despotic design mogul than Malcolm McDowell ("A Clockwork Orange")?
¢ The new cartoon adventure series "Ben 10" (8 p.m., Cartoon Network) gets a prime-time airing before moving to its regular 10 a.m. Saturday time slot. While out for a walk in the woods, Ben discovers a high-tech watch dispatched from an alien space pod. The device attaches itself to Ben's wrists and gives him the power to turn into 10 superpowered creatures. Needless to say, this provides him with immediate attention and respect! It also attracts attention from evil intergalactic bad guys who continually put Ben's new powers to the test.
¢ John Stossel hosts "Stupid in America: How We Are Cheating Our Kids," a special edition of "20/20" (9 p.m., ABC). Stossel argues that American schools are failing because they are run by local monopolies and that education would improve if students and parents were offered more choices.
He cites the Belgian educational system, in which school funding is attached to students and not to local districts. This forces schools to compete for students and compels failing schools to shut down.
Tonight's other highlights
¢ The legacy of an executed man on "Ghost Whisperer" (7 p.m., CBS).
¢ Family planning on "Bernie Mac" (7 p.m., Fox).
¢ A problem pug goes on the couch of "The Dog Whisperer" (7 p.m., National Geographic).
¢ Difficult adjustments on "Trading Spouses" (8 p.m., Fox).
¢ A former athlete claims he was framed on "In Justice" (8 p.m., ABC).
¢ New understanding of ancient hieroglyphics on "Egypt Untold" (8 p.m., Discovery).
¢ College card counters on "Numb3rs" (9 p.m., CBS).
¢ Returned church funds come with a catch on "The Book of Daniel" (9 p.m., NBC).