Shows don’t get much more escapist than “Million Dollar Listing” (8 p.m., Bravo), a reality-television show set in a parallel universe where a $3 million mansion is considered a “steal.”
Like most screen fantasies, “Listings” is all about the casting. The show follows three young and successful brokers, two named Josh. Madison, the non-Josh, is gay and lives in Malibu and seems to attract other brokers and sellers with his model good looks.
Josh Flagg seems the cooler Josh and brings a playful sense of staging to his open houses. Josh Altman, a newcomer to the series, considers himself a shark but shares his bed with two small dogs. When a partner of Josh Flagg meets Josh Altman, he wonders aloud, “Is that Ari Gold?” referring to the cutthroat fictional agent of “Entourage” fame. It’s nice to see a nonscripted show quoting a scripted show just to keep it “real.”
• Speaking of keeping it “real,” it has been a strange few weeks in the cable “news” business. Keith Olbermann suddenly departed from MSNBC to be replaced with “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” (7 p.m., MSNBC). Over on CNN, “Piers Morgan Tonight” (8 p.m., CNN) replaced Larry King’s talk fest and quickly established itself as yet another place to see the Kardashians talk about themselves.
Perhaps the most important “news” news concerns the news outlet you can’t watch. With Egypt in revolt, millions around the globe followed the story on Al Jazeera English, a network founded in 2006 that has come to rival CNN and the BBC.
For contentious reasons beyond the scope of this column, Al Jazeera English been virtually shut out of the American cable-television market. Unable to watch the network on television, many Americans have turned to the Internet, where it can be streamed live. According to an Al Jazeera spokesman, last weekend saw a 2,500 percent increase in Web traffic.
Are cable providers “protecting” us from Al Jazeera? Or pushing us toward watching news on the Internet and tempting us to give up on our cable bills?
Tonight’s other highlights
• Auditions continue on “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Cholesterol woes on “Perfect Couples” (7:30 p.m., NBC).
• Terror strikes the handicapped on “CSI” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Michael disappears on “The Office” (8 p.m., NBC).
• Polygamy can be murder on “Bones” (8 p.m., Fox).
• A musical prodigy needs help on “Royal Pains” (8 p.m., USA).
• Debbie Gibson and Tiffany return in the 2011 horror spoof “Mega Python vs. Gatoroid” (8 p.m., Syfy).
• A suspect takes Jane hostage on “The Mentalist” (9 p.m., CBS).
• Parents resent a football coach on “Fairly Legal” (9 p.m., USA).
• “Ultimate Factories” (9 p.m., National Geographic) visits the Canadian facility where they make the Dodge Challenger.