Archive for Friday, October 31, 2008

NBC’s season a trick, not a treat

October 31, 2008

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Proof that the recently begun and barely noticed fall TV season has been more tricks than treats for NBC can be found tonight. Those few viewers who might be looking for "Life" are out of luck. The police procedural has been moved to Wednesday nights, where NBC hopes it finds a happier home tucked between the brainless "Knight Rider" and the ageless "Law & Order."

"Life" will be replaced on Friday nights by "Lipstick Jungle" (9 p.m., NBC). It should be interesting to see how many fans of "Crusoe" (8 p.m., NBC) stick around to watch the antics of overachieving and frisky Manhattan professional women. Hey, both shows are set on islands fraught with danger.

We all knew it would take many contrivances to keep the action on "Crusoe" filled with visitors, swashbuckling adventures and lovely ladies. And we were right.

Tonight, a mutinous crew anchors its seized ship off Crusoe's shores. Not only do they hold the captain and his fetching wife and daughter hostage, but there is a medical orderly among them who appears to be hiding something rather lovely behind some flimsy costume whiskers.

In a nod to Halloween, Crusoe and Friday rig some rather ghoulish traps to scare their hostile visitors out of their wits.

I'm not afraid to say I rather like this preposterous and old-fashioned series. But the makers of "Crusoe" can't seem to make up their minds whether the action takes place in the here and now or in flashbacks to Crusoe's life in London.

"Lost" has struck a nice balance between the action and explication. Thus far, Crusoe's memories appear sporadically and don't add up to much story.

NBC isn't the only network tinkering with the schedule. "The Ex List" has been canceled and will be replaced tonight with a repeat of "NCIS" (8 p.m., CBS).

Halloween specials and marathons

¢ Cartoon Network offers a 14-hour marathon of "Goosebumps" (8 a.m. to 10 p.m.), based on the stories of R.L. Stine.

¢ "100 Scariest Movie Moments" (5 p.m. through 10 p.m.) dedicates five hours to chilling scenes.

¢ Viewers with seven hours to spare and a high tolerance for surveillance-grade photography should not miss the "Ghost Hunters Live" (6 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sci Fi) event unfolding at Fort Delaware in Delaware City, Del.

¢ Were some tinseltown tragedies beyond the realm of bad luck? Find out on "13 Most Shocking Hollywood Curses" (7 p.m., E!).

¢ The 2007 Korean shocker "The Host" (7 p.m., G4) received near universal praise for its combination of horror, humor and political satire.

Tonight's other highlights

¢ A high school athlete expires without warning on "Ghost Whisperer" (7 p.m., CBS).

¢ A Lab mix named Casanova defies conventional training on "The Dog Whisperer" (7 p.m., National Geographic).

¢ "Living with the Wolfman" (8 p.m., Animal Planet) follows a couple dedicated to the study of wolves.

¢ An inside job just doesn't compute on "Numb3rs" (9 p.m., CBS).

¢ Lou checks up on Molly on "The Starter Wife" (9 p.m., USA).

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