Archive for Friday, November 2, 2012

Tune In Tonight: Reba returns in new sitcom

November 2, 2012

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Imagine a combination of “The Good Wife” and “The Beverly Hillbillies” and you’re getting close to the thinking behind “Malibu Country” (7:30 p.m., ABC).

Singer/actress Reba McEntire returns to situation comedies as Reba, a former country singer who put her career on hold to raise her children while her handsome husband became a Nashville star. When he’s caught cheating, she tries to stand by her man, but she finds that she just can’t abide his selfish stupidity and wins his Malibu home in the subsequent divorce.

Despite her considerable abilities as a comedian, McEntire is essentially tethered to a miserable script. She’s typecast as a woman with good country common sense surrounded by two self-absorbed children and narcissistic Southern California neighbors. Even her no-nonsense mother, Lillie Mae (Lily Tomlin), gets into the act and starts smoking copious amounts of medicinal marijuana. The capable and often charming Sara Rue (“Less Than Perfect”) stars as her gushing next-door neighbor, who always manages to find the wrong thing to say.

Despite a strong cast, programs like “Malibu” are the reason many viewers abandoned sitcoms. But then again, it’s hardly more hackneyed than “Last Man Standing” (7 p.m., ABC), the painfully obvious Tim Allen vehicle entering its second season tonight.

• Two days into November and Hallmark already has two Christmas movies, “Annie Claus Is Coming to Town” (7 p.m.) and “Moonlight and Mistletoe” (9 p.m.), on the schedule.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A sporting goods chain owner learns a few things from some underlings on the season premiere of “Undercover Boss” (7 p.m., CBS).

• Vigilante violence on “Grimm” (8 p.m., NBC).

• A man’s insomnia has a bacterial explanation on “Monsters Inside Me” (7 p.m., Animal Planet).

• Murder crashes a formal affair on “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS).

• A crisis leads to a surprise decision on “Fringe” (8 p.m., Fox).

• A train trip across India becomes a path to reconciliation for three estranged brothers (Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Jason Schwartzman) in the 2007 drama “The Darjeeling Limited” (7 p.m., Sundance).

• A crime inspired by the Day of the Dead on “Blue Bloods” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Haunted prisons loom large on “Ghost Adventures” (8 p.m., Travel).

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