Archive for Monday, January 22, 2007

Favorites return from hibernation

January 22, 2007

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A number of popular and critically acclaimed programs return from their long winter's nap.

Chris participates in an experiment in parental responsibility on "Everybody Hates Chris" (7 p.m., CW). He and his classmates are encouraged to look out for a single egg. Some discover that fatherhood is not all it's cracked up to be.

In another experiment, the CW made this episode available for viewing on the Internet late last week. Although many network shows have been streamed after their broadcast, it seems like a bit of a gamble to stream and screen "Chris" in advance. It remains to be seen whether this increases the size of the show's CW audience.

Networks have also used the Internet to stream shows that have been canceled. So it's not yet clear whether the Internet has become a great TV promotional tool or merely a video graveyard.

As "Heroes" (8 p.m., NBC) returns, the scattered, reluctant super-beings continue to make connections with each other as they struggle to understand their plights.

In one of many complex and overlapping story lines, Hiro (Masi Oka) finds himself obsessed with a samurai sword and uses his powers to steal it from a museum, only to discover that he has purloined a cheap facsimile and that the real weapon resides with someone closely linked to another hero.

A hit this fall, "Heroes" now faces tough competition from "24" (8 p.m., Fox). Both shows have strong comic-book elements. But the ticking clock on "24" calls for a more dynamic narrative, slam-bang action and split-second decisions. "Heroes" takes place on a more mystical plane, where hard answers are elusive at best.

It's interesting to note that both "Heroes" and "24" have featured visions of nuclear explosions in American cities. Both dramas seem determined to explore a kind of waking nightmare. And thus far, audiences just can't get enough.

Fans of "Prison Break" (7 p.m., Fox) should not miss tonight's installment. Not to give too much away here, but the story of the president's brother, Terrance Steadman, returns to the front burner. Sightings of the scheming president have been scarce since actress Patricia Wettig migrated to the ABC drama "Brothers & Sisters."

¢ In a recent press conference, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (9 p.m., NBC) creator Aaron Sorkin promised the show would place greater emphasis on romantic comedy. The good news is, we'll probably be hearing fewer awkward diatribes about the Christian right. The bad news is, we'll probably have to endure lovey-dovey dialogue between Matt (Matthew Perry) and Harriet (Sarah Paulson), a couple with little chemistry.

Danny's (Bradley Whitford) pursuit of Jordan (Amanda Peet) seems far more far-fetched but has the potential to be much more amusing.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ An old portrait of Marshall proves revealing on "How I Met Your Mother" (7 p.m., CBS).

¢ Howie Mandel hosts "Deal or No Deal" (7 p.m., NBC).

¢ Opposites clash on "Wife Swap" (7 p.m., ABC).

¢ Awkward moments on "The Class" (7:30 p.m., CBS).

¢ Christine believes she turned her ex into the ultimate catch on "The New Adventures of Old Christine" (8:30 p.m., CBS).

¢ Young couples ages 18 to 21 discuss their upcoming weddings on the documentary series "Engaged and Underage" (8:30 p.m., MTV).

¢ "REAL Sports with Bryant Gumbel" (9 p.m., HBO) looks at former NFL stars coping with inadequate pensions.

¢ Celebrity deaths, accidents and overdoses are recycled on "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" (9:30 p.m., E!). Tonight: Niki and Krissy Taylor and Leif Garrett.

¢ Kevin Spacey and Alicia Keys appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS).

¢ Howard Stern, Forest Whitaker and Nas appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 a.m., ABC).

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