Archive for Friday, October 15, 2010

“School Pride” makeover show doesn’t impress

October 15, 2010


“School Pride” (7 p.m., NBC) offers the latest variation on the “Extreme Makeover” model. Produced by “Curb Your Enthusiasm” star Cheryl Hines and “Makeover” producer Denise Cramsey, “School” puts the spotlight on a different failing institution each week as a trio of enthusiastic semi-celebrities offers help and inspiration to a team of eager students, teachers, administrators and parent volunteers.

Tonight’s “School” begins with the Enterprise Middle School in Compton, Calif. As projects go, none could be worthier. But you can’t help feeling you’ve already seen “Makeovers” like this show a 100 times before.

On another NBC note, “Outlaw” has failed to make the grade as a Friday-night drama and has been exiled to the programming purgatory of Saturdays, where NBC will air remaining episodes and then let memories of the Jimmy Smits series vanish into the ether. “Outlaw” will be replaced with extended offerings of “Dateline.”

• Giant bugs and the fear of a virus loom large in cable offerings. “Conspiracy Theory With Jesse Ventura” (9 p.m., Tru TV) offers a fearful take on the Plum Island facility off New York’s Long Island. For decades, Plum Island has been home to biological experimentation and animal research linked to biological weapons of mass destruction.

The pony-tailed former governor of Minnesota tries an impromptu landing on Plum, a stunt that reminds him of his glory days with the Navy Seals.

Ventura explains things in a strange deadpan manner that straddles that fine line between deliberation and the appearance of being slow-witted. He often reminds me of the Kevin character from “The Office.” Over the course of his sophomore season, Ventura will explore theories both obscure and widespread, from reverse engineering of alien technology and a rumor that the government used the BP oil spill in a secret plan to depopulate Louisiana to widespread notions about 9/11 and the granddaddy of all conspiracy playgrounds, the JFK assassination.

• “Sanctuary” (9 p.m., Syfy) enters its third season with a follow up on a tale of a giant angry spider that causes a tsunami off the coast of India and appears to possess people (don’t ask) and force them to do its bidding. Featuring a big bug (called Big Bertha); strident and soap-operatic performances and ludicrously ambitious special effects (bugs, floods, Indian crowd scenes with no more than 14 people) — “Sanctuary” should be fun, kind of like those so-bad-they’re-good Syfy Saturday night movies. But “Sanctuary” is neither fun, nor entertaining. It’s simply dreadful.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Don’t miss the new “Idol” judge Steven Tyler in a guest spot on “Wonder Pets!” (9 a.m., Nickelodeon).

• Scanlon scoffs at Allison’s disturbing theory about his brother on “Medium” (7 p.m., CBS).

• The heroes go undercover at weddings on “No Ordinary Family” (7 p.m., ABC).

• A gang slaying threatens to spark increased violence on “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS)

• Dan returns to the scene of his most celebrated case on “The Good Guys” (8 p.m., Fox).

• The police protect their own on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Tony multitasks on “Teach Tony Danza” (9 p.m., A&E;).


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