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Archive for Saturday, June 7, 2008

CBS suffers from split personality

June 7, 2008

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Every generation gets a multiple-personality character to call its own. Nearly 20 years after starring in the 1957 drama "The Three Faces of Eve," Joanne Woodward returned to play a therapist in the ground-breaking 1976 TV movie "Sybil," featuring an outstanding performance by Sally Field that made viewers forget all about "Gidget" and "The Flying Nun."

Now, Tammy Blanchard takes her turn as "Sybil" (7 p.m., today, CBS), starring in the two-hour movie as the young woman whose traumatic childhood caused her to develop and hide 16 distinct personalities.

The saddest thing about this "Sybil" is its place in the schedule. A film like this used to be showcased during sweeps, not hidden away on a Saturday night in June like some poor relation, shown in a time slot that last week was used to debut "EliteXC Saturday Night Fights." This says more about the state of network television than "Sybil." CBS has shown the movie, its stars and the story extreme disrespect with this treatment.

¢ Discovery celebrates the space agency's 50th anniversary with "When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions" (8 p.m., Sunday, Discovery), airing over three Sundays.

¢ The summer season kicks into high gear as many of cable's most popular series return. No show better represents the blending of network and cable audiences better than "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" (8 p.m., Sunday, USA).

¢ "Army Wives" (9 p.m., Lifetime) enters its second season, with viewers and characters awaiting an explanation of last season's base-bombing cliff-hanger.

¢ If "Army Wives" was a success for the "women's network," "Ice Road Truckers" (8 p.m., Sunday, History) scored with male viewers and fans of both genders who like to watch men hard at work.

¢ "Design Star" (8 p.m., HGTV, Sunday) has never won any points for originality, but it has become a stalwart for its network.

¢ Here's a new game show with a twist. When contestants on "Your Place or Mine" (7 p.m., Sunday, TLC) win a new living room or kitchen, they literally take it from their fellow players, or rather from their homes, and we get to see them do it.

Today's other highlights

¢ The voices of Ellen DeGeneres and Albert Brooks animate the 2003 adventure "Finding Nemo" (7 p.m., ABC).

¢ A murdered journalist (Lucy Liu) returns to haunt the vampires who did her wrong in the 2007 shocker "Rise: Blood Hunter" (8 p.m., Sci Fi). The cast also includes Robert Forster, Michael Chiklis and Carla Gugino.

¢ Scheduled on "48 Hours Mystery" (9 p.m., CBS): An aspiring dancer becomes a statistic.

Sunday's other highlights

¢ Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): a new report on industrial dust explosions; repeat looks at Howard Hughes' legacy to medicine; and preacher Joel Osteen.

¢ Rosie O'Donnell and Tony Hawk play along on "Million Dollar Password" (7 p.m, CBS).

¢ A 30-something woman (Uma Thurman) discovers that her young lover is the son of her therapist (Meryl Streep) in director Ben Younger's 2005 comedy "Prime" (7 p.m., Lifetime).

¢ An old case resembles date rape on "Cold Case" (8 p.m., CBS).

¢ Game 2 of the NBA finals (8 p.m., ABC).

¢ Bob's loyalty is tested on "The Unit" (9 p.m., CBS).

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