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Archive for Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Tune In Tonight: Fox’s celebrity high divers land in vat of cheese

January 9, 2013

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“Battle of the Network Stars” was one of the cheesy pleasures of the late 1970s, an era overstuffed with the overripe. For the uninitiated, these spectacles pitted “teams” from ABC, CBS and NBC in contests like tug of war, volleyball, tennis and bowling.

Featuring the likes of Dick Van Patten and Adrienne Barbeau, “Battle” was like the cast of a random “Love Boat” episode marooned in a surreal gym class or company picnic, all accompanied by Howard Cosell’s play-by-play delivered in his customary polysyllabic, nasal-inflected drone. “Battle” shows up occasionally on ESPN Classic, and there are many clips floating around YouTube.

Fox takes a chapter from “Battle” with “Stars in Danger: The High Dive” (7 p.m.). This two-hour spectacle invites Stephen “Twitch” Boss (”So You Think You Can Dance?”), David Chokachi (”Baywatch”), Jenni Farley (JWoww of “Jersey Shore” infamy), shark-bite victim Bethany Hamilton, NFL pass-catcher and tirade-thrower Terrell Owens, Alexandra Paul (”Baywatch”), Kim and Kyle Richards (”The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”) and Antonio Sabato Jr. (”General Hospital”) to learn and compete in the Olympic sport of high diving.

I’d watch only if they put piranhas in the pool.

• MTV offers a two-hour premiere of “Washington Heights” (9 p.m.), yet another reality series documenting a gaggle of 20-somethings. The short clip made available for review puts more emphasis on tales of career aspiration than partying and sexual melodrama.

If you were to turn “Heights” into a drinking game and consume a shot every time the word “yo” is uttered, you would probably overdose in the first 20 minutes.

Tonight’s other highlights:

• Celebrities pretend on “I Get That a Lot” (7 p.m., CBS), featuring Cheech Marin, Phil Keoghan, Jeff Gordon, Bruce Jenner, Jane Seymour and the late Larry Hagman.

• A rape victim becomes an arson suspect on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (8 p.m., NBC).

• Jay’s New Year’s plans unravel on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Severide comes clean on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC).

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