It had to happen. In fact, why did it take so long for network television to turn chronic unemployment and widespread misery into an excuse for a game show? Produced by Michael Davies (“Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”) and Mark Burnett (“Survivor”) and hosted by Lisa Ling (“The View”), “The Job” (7 p.m., CBS) invites five hopefuls to apply for a dream job. The company offering the job is represented by three honchos and receives lavish product placement.
The first episode is an extended commercial for restaurant chain the Palm. Like “Undercover Boss,” these folks appear to promote their businesses and themselves. But unlike “Boss,” we never discover anything bad about their companies, only how much desperately unemployed people want to work for them.
Between commercial breaks, Palm managers shared do’s and don’ts of job interviews and other advice. This being reality television, two of the five applicants have sad backstories worthy of the old “Queen for a Day” series. One woman is a widowed mother of six, and another has just beaten a cancer diagnosis. You won’t need clairvoyance to pick the winner within the first two minutes of “The Job.”
As if they’re aware that the drama can sometimes flag, the producers of “The Job” bring three other business owners/managers on and invite them to poach a candidate of their choosing. This gives the show a feel-good moment, putting a long-term unemployed person in the driver’s seat for once, allowing him or her to choose between suitors. Of course, this is a gimmick well known to viewers of “Shark Tank” (9 p.m., ABC).
Tonight’s other highlights
• “Alpha Dogs” (8 p.m., Nat Geo Wild) profiles K-9 units in the military and Secret Service.
• Mac and Russell collaborate to save Christine on “CSI: NY” (8 p.m., CBS).
• Murder stalks an insular religious sect on “Blue Bloods” (9p.m., CBS).
• Arthur sets out to rescue Gwen on “Merlin” (9 p.m., Syfy).
• Deadly fumes hurt the Edge’s chances on “Bering Sea Gold” (9 p.m., Discovery).
• Bikers crash a local festival on “Banshee” (9 p.m., Cinemax).
• “The Jenny McCarthy Show” (9:30 p.m., VH1) debuts.
— Copyright 2012 United Feature Syndicate, distributed by Universal Uclick.