Some decades back, professional wit and Random House co-founder Bennett Cerf was asked if he had an idea for the title of a surefire best-seller. To his interviewer’s surprise, he took no time to reply and said, “Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog.” As a publisher, he knew that books on any of those subjects were always popular, so combining the three was a no-brainer.
I think cable television broadcasters have cottoned to the same philosophy. Certain words in any show’s title just seem to attract viewers. “Cajun,” ‘‘Storage,” ‘‘Ghost,” ‘‘Hunter,” ‘‘War,” ‘‘Car,” “Jersey,” ‘‘Dress, “Texas,” ‘‘Bride” and “House” show up repeatedly. Sometimes in odd combinations. Can “Cajun Bride Hunters” be far behind? How about “Jersey Ghost Storage Auction Kings”?
The possibilities are endless. And they include the real, or at least reality, series “Texas Car Wars” (9 p.m., Discovery). Set in Austin, “Wars” follows some furious bidding between auto body shops in the Lone Star State as they compete with each other to see who can turn an apparent pile of rust and junk into a gleaming gem that they can resell. Make that “flip” — another word to add to our list.
• Comedian Kevin Hart hosts the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards (7 p.m., MTV, VH1). The preshow and its attendant poses and interviews (6 p.m.) will be accompanied by electronica DJ Calvin Harris.
New award categories include the “Most Share-Worthy Video,” described by the network as among “the most impactful music videos of the year.”
Tonight’s other highlights
• Having just guaranteed Charlie Sheen 90 episodes, FX offers a five-hour marathon of “Anger Management” (5 p.m. to 10 p.m., FX). “Louie” is pre-empted.
• Coverage of the Democratic National Convention (6 p.m., CNN, Current; 7 p.m., PBS, MSNBC; 8 p.m., NBC and Fox News; and 9 p.m., ABC, CBS) continues. Live feeds of the gathering can be found on Internet sites maintained by YouTube and C-SPAN. Highlights include speeches by Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama.
• The top six emerge on “America’s Got Talent” (7 p.m., NBC).
• Graduation finally arrives on the season finale of “Glee” (8 p.m., Fox).
• A pedophile escapes and kidnaps a minor on the summer season finale of “Rookie Blue” (8 p.m., ABC).