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Archive for Monday, November 27, 2006

Fictional TV critiques ‘reality’ TV on ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’

November 27, 2006

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Jordan announces her pregnancy to a surprised staff on tonight's episode of "Studio 60 on the Sun set Strip" (9 p.m., NBC). That's one way of working actress Amanda Peet's expectant status into the plot. Perhaps they should change the NBC Peacock to a stork. Jaime Pressley ("My Name Is Earl") also is expecting.

Some weeks back on "Studio," Jordan defied corporate honcho Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber) when she refused to acquire a cruel reality show resembling "Temptation Island." Rudolph thought it was a sure hit; she considered it a moral travesty. The whole argument seemed odd and dated, as reality fare like "Temptation Island" has long since vanished from the dial.

Real-life network executives appear to have rejected some of the more tawdry aspects of reality TV and sweeps stunts. It's been a while since we've seen "Glutton Bowl" or man vs. animal contests and "Little People" dating spectaculars.

In another recent "Studio 60" episode, the corporate president, Wilson White (Ed Asner), carps that his TV business accounts for only a tiny fraction of his corporate profits. At the same time, he recognizes that his network, no matter how many headaches it creates, is the public face of his corporate empire.

¢ The new comedy "10 Items or Less" (10 p.m., TBS) is shot in semi-documentary style and features a large ensemble cast that mixes scripted and improvisational evidence. It's "The Office" set in a failing supermarket. The characters are loosely drawn and the improvisational actors run away with the story and any sense of credibility. It doesn't help that the grocery looks like something out of the 1950s.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ T-Bag looks for a former lover on "Prison Break" (7 p.m., Fox).

¢ Chris finds a lucky charm on "Everybody Hates Chris" (7 p.m., CW).

¢ The Seahawks host the Packers in NFL action (7:30 p.m., ESPN).

¢ Secrets from the past revealed on "Heroes" (8 p.m., NBC).

¢ The prince makes his choice known on the two-hour finale of "The Bachelor: Rome" (8 p.m., ABC).

¢ Kevin Spacey narrates the documentary "Uganda Rising" (8 p.m., Discovery Times).

¢ A fateful invitation on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).

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