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Archive for Friday, February 29, 2008

Have the lights gone out for ‘Friday Night’?

February 29, 2008

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With the night's favorite dramas still weeks away from returning from the strike, game shows and news magazines dominate.

"Ghost Whisperer" and "Numb3rs" return with six new episodes each, beginning April 4. "Moonlight" returns a week later, with four new tales of vampire sleuthing.

ABC and Fox have used Fridays for "repurposed" repeats for much of the season. The news over on NBC is much less clear. There have been no official announcements about the return of either "Las Vegas" or "Friday Night Lights." If I were a betting man, I'd say the chances are slightly less than even for "Vegas." I think the suits at NBC are justly proud to have seen "Friday Night Lights" through two low-rated seasons. I'd be very surprised if they gave a third outing the green light.

¢ "Dateline" (NBC) offers a two-hour program where the theme seems to be "marriage can be murder." In the first installment (8 p.m.), a man makes an emotional, televised plea for his wife's return. But when the police search his house for clues, the "grieving" husband goes on the lam.

In the second hour (9 p.m.), a fugitive charged with his wife's murder assumes a new identity in a different state and insinuates himself into a new family. If this sounds familiar, it's because it resembles the plot to the 1987 thriller "The Stepfather."

¢ Scheduled on a two-hour helping of "20/20" (8 p.m., ABC): Frantic families look for three women who vanished in Japan.

¢ As reported here, the CW is dropping "Friday Night SmackDown!" (7 p.m., CW) from its schedule beginning in the fall. This comes as a surprise given the fact that "SmackDown!" is the second-most popular show for a network that is not exactly brimming with hits. It has already found a home on the MYNetwork. There's no word on what night it will air.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ The investment-advice series "Fast Money" (4 p.m., and 7 p.m., CNBC) moves to Miami to discuss emerging business opportunities in Latin America.

¢ Blake fights to get Topaz's attention on "Lemur Kingdom" (7:30 p.m., Animal Planet).

¢ A victim of Katrina appears to be delusional on "House" (8 p.m., Fox).

¢ Sarah Silverman guest stars as Monk's delusional fan on "Monk" (8 p.m., USA). Last week's season finale reached nearly 7 million viewers, a record for "Monk."

¢ Kate and Paul have much to discuss on "In Treatment" (8:30 p.m., HBO).

¢ A rescue mission fights the clock on "Stargate: Atlantis" (9 p.m., Sci Fi).

¢ Women under stress receive advice to look "10 Years Younger" (9 p.m., TLC).

¢ "Secret History of the Bra" (11 p.m., National Geographic Channel) offers many "did-you-know?" moments. It turns out the average bra has more than 40 components, and more than 4 million are manufactured every day to supply the average woman with her closet of 6.5 bras. That adds up to a $16 billion industry.

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