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Archive for Friday, November 6, 2009

The stars shine on Bikini Bottom

November 6, 2009

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The stars turn out for the very last installment of a 10th-anniversary victory lap for “SpongeBob SquarePants” (7 p.m., Nickelodeon).

The one-hour “Truth or Square” special features narration by Ricky Gervais and cameos by Rosario Dawson, Will Ferrell, Craig Ferguson, Tina Fey, LeBron James, Pink, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog and Robin Williams. It sounds like seating arrangement for the dais at a comedy roast. Cee-Lo Green of Gnarls Barkley offers his own take on the “SpongeBob” theme song, too.

This star-studded spectacular leads into the premiere of the new computer-generated cartoon “Fanboy and Chum Chum” (8 p.m., Nickelodeon), an effort that probably won’t be around for its 10th anniversary.

Fans looking for any character development for Fanboy (voice of David Hornsby) and Chum Chum (Nika Futterman) will be disappointed by the first episode. The tall Fanboy has an over-caffeinated excitement about him that the shorter Chum Chum doesn’t seem to mind. Their silhouette and relationship recalls comic duos from Laurel and Hardy to Bert and Ernie to CP3O and R2D2.

In the first frantic episode, Fanboy pretends to be a wizard and infuriates the new kid in school (Jamie Kennedy), who just happens to be a real wizard. An innocent viewer happening upon the show would assume that Kennedy’s enraged sorcerer was the main character. In a second installment, a mean and covetous girl tricks Fanboy into “trading” his best friend for a hot new toy, an arrangement that results in complications and an inkling of emotion from the loud and frantic Fanboy.

Like many CGI efforts, this is more self-consciously clever than actually amusing, more loud than entertaining, and more about nonstop action than characters you can distinguish or care about.

• Is childbirth life’s most precious miracle? Or an excuse to go shopping? “Platinum Babies” (8 p.m., WE) presents a celebration of super-expensive gifts to bestow on babies and expectant mothers as well as profiles of celebrity couples who treat their newborns to $40,000 nurseries, $30,000 photo shoots and baby showers with price tags in excess of $20,000.

Viewers who tune in to “Real Housewives” shows and other cable programming to find new people to pity and despise should not miss this. To call this decadent is to give it more credit than it deserves. Combining Marie Antoinette values with the taste level of Home Shopping networks, “Platinum Babies” ranks up with the most ghastly programs of 2009.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Jim suspects a co-worker may be involved in the case of a missing student on “Ghost Whisperer” (7 p.m., CBS).

• On two episodes of “Law & Order” (NBC), luggage is loaded with money (7 p.m.), and medical evidence complicates a drunken-driving case (8 p.m.).

• A priest misplaces his faith on “House” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Jor-El (Julian Sands) pops in on “Smallville” (7 p.m., CW).

• Allison gets a loaner car with some psychic extras on “Medium” (8 p.m., CBS).

• Christopher Walken, Dominic Cooper, Dara O Briain, Green Day and the Stylistics appear on “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• In pursuit of a suspect, Adrian goes on a camping trip on “Monk” (8 p.m., USA).

• An undercover sting unfolds in a make-believe world on “Numb3rs” (9 p.m., CBS).

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