Archive for Friday, November 13, 2009

TLC, WE vie for wedding audiences

November 13, 2009


“Battle of the Wedding Planners” (9 p.m., TLC) increases the network’s movement into the service-as-entertainment arena, celebrating the drama and finding the comedy as caterers and bakers go about their tasks.

“Battle” centers around the champagne wishes and caviar dreams of Abbie and Drew, a couple raised by blue-collar families on the New Jersey shore who have since relocated to Los Angeles. No strangers to performance, they met on the set of a musical production of “Carousel.” Eight years later, they want a special day that accentuates their easygoing ways, their Garden State roots and their romantic inclinations. And they want it done for “only” $15,000.

Three Los Angeles firms will vie for their business, presenting Abbie and Drew with high-concept scenarios with one hand while engaging in a little competitive backstabbing with the other. At the end of the hour, the couple will announce their choice and the winner of the “Battle.” But by then, all three businesses will have received plenty of publicity, which, presumably, is half the “Battle.”

And the competition is not limited to these three businesses. Cable broadcasters are in a skirmish of their own for the nuptial-obsessed viewer. WE, once known as the Romance Channel, airs “Bridezillas,” “Amazing Wedding Cakes” and “Platinum Weddings” (7 p.m., and 7:30 p.m.), which gives way in its own way to “Platinum Babies” (8 p.m., and 8:30 p.m.) and “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera” (9 p.m.).

This seems to be one sector not affected by the current hard times. Or it’s just a way for TV programmers to ignore reality. As Marie Antoinette might have said, “Let them eat (wedding) cake.”

• I know TWC has been making some changes to its programming, but who wants to turn on the Weather Channel and find “Misery” (7 p.m.)? This is the dumbest decision since the Cartoon Network began airing live-action kid shows.

• Tim McGraw sings familiar hits as well as numbers from his new album “Southern Voice” on “Invitation Only” (8 p.m., CMT), performed before a small Nashville audience. McGraw will also field questions, both personal and music-related, from the audience.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A ghost leads Melinda to a ghastly sight on “Ghost Whisperer” (7 p.m., CBS).

• A witness’ murder offers clues to a much bigger cabal on “Law & Order” (7 p.m., NBC).

• A bike accident victim (Mos Def) becomes a “locked-in” victim on a memorable repeat of “House” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Mel Gibson stars in the post-apocalyptic thrillers “Mad Max” (7 p.m., AMC), “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” (9 p.m., AMC) and “Mad Max 3: Beyond Thunderdome” (11 p.m., AMC), the movies that made him an international star.

• A bad feeling about a new boyfriend on “Medium” (8 p.m., CBS).

• A vision of the Virgin Mary gives way to something more somber on “Bones” (8 p.m., Fox).

• Serena Williams, Robbie Williams and Jimmy Carr appear on “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• Adrian becomes the best man on “Monk” (8 p.m., USA).

• Soldiers appear to have stolen ancient Iraqi artifacts on “White Collar” (9 p.m., USA) until strange new evidence emerges.


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