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Archive for Thursday, April 24, 2008

ABC shows may leave some ‘Lost’

April 24, 2008

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ABC returns with original episodes of its potentially formidable Thursday-night line-up. All of its shows have proven audiences, but each is so complicated in its own way that returning fans may find them more intimidating than entertaining.

"Lost" (9 p.m., ABC) moves to yet another hour, so the network must be confident that its faithful will follow it anywhere. According to the network, Locke's camp will come under attack in tonight's episode, but from whom or what? The "Lost" podcast at ABC.com also promises some explanation as to the meaning of the tornado-like killer on the island, otherwise known as "smokey."

It's hard to follow "Grey's Anatomy" (8 p.m., ABC) with the same brain-taxing scrutiny as "Lost" and its mysteries, but some find the hot-house promiscuity of this "Anatomy" lesson complicated enough to require a scorecard. The rest of us just think it's sleazy and dumb.

Even "Ugly Betty" (7 p.m., ABC) can get confusing if you miss a few episodes. The singular sincerity of the title character, who turns 24 in this episode, seems to require a viral infection of nastiness amongst all of the other characters. Subplots abound about sex changes, artificial insemination and the rude, evil spawn of Gene Simmons. This silly sweet-and-sour soap has become decidedly tart.

¢ One hardly tunes into something called the Fine Living Network to catch up on the Asian financial markets or the crisis in Darfur, but the show "All-Girl Getaways" (8 p.m., FLN) shamelessly confuses entertainment and advertising.

Hosted by the editor of something called TravelGirl magazine, the 13-episode "All-Girl" franchise follows busy professionals, harried moms and their friends as they carve out some "me time" and take a break together. If you have a high threshold for a product placements and like to watch other people ice skating on a cruise ship before retiring to a bubble bath and embarking on a shopping trip, then this is the show for you.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ Randy becomes Earl's sole caretaker on "My Name Is Earl" (7 p.m., NBC).

¢ A Ford Mustang gets a makeover on the fifth-season premiere of "Overhaulin"' (7 p.m., TLC).

¢ Johnny Depp stars in director Tim Burton's 2005 confection "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" (7:30 p.m., Family).

¢ Clues in a murder case point to a suspect behind bars on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).

¢ Michael and Dwight drop in on Ryan on "The Office" (8 p.m., NBC).

¢ The big chief (Rip Torn) taps Jack for a promotion on "30 Rock" (8:30 p.m., NBC). This comedy, which came under some criticism for rude language, is airing an hour later tonight.

¢ Hal Holbrook, recently nominated for an Oscar for his role in "Into the Wild," will guest star on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC).

¢ A man takes a powder after waking from a three-year coma on "Without a Trace" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ It's ink or swim as chaos consumes the tattoo parlor on "Miami Ink" (9 p.m., TLC).

Cult choice

Not even an agent (Oskar Werner) of a totalitarian government bent on burning every book can resist the staggering beauty of Julie Christie at her peak in the 1966 adaptation of "Fahrenheit 451" (6 p.m., Sundance), directed by Francois Truffaut.

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