Sunday, January 14, 2007


The O’Reilly Factor, The Colbert Report Thursday 1.18 (Fox News, Comedy Central) The greatest crossover event in basic-cable history, or simply a shrewd promotional circle jerk featuring only two jerks in the circle? The Answer: Yes! Stephen Colbert, who’s based his Colbert Report character (or, by now, perhaps true persona—absolute power, etc.) on Bill O’Reilly, will appear on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor; then, O’Reilly will guest on Colbert’s Comedy Central show. Apparently, it’s all out of mutual professional respect: “I look forward to the evening,” Colbert said last week. “It’s an honor to speak face-to-face with a broadcasting legend, and I feel the same way about Mr. O’Reilly.” I honestly don’t know which show will be more entertaining …

Monk, Psych Friday 1.19 (USA) Season Premieres: Well, winter premieres—USA likes to break ‘em up and spread ‘em out. What’s new since The Only TV Column That Matters™ covered the late-summer finales of Monk and Psych? The former remains exactly the same; nothing much ever changes in Monkland except for the new USA show stars that Tony Shaloub has to shoot promos with—how ‘bout one with Jewel and Cowboy Troy? The latter’s funny formula (observant slacker passes himself off as a psychic to work with the police and pick up girls) hasn’t gone stale just yet, but it could easily Jump the Matlock. Right, Monk?

The Dresden Files, Battlestar Galactica Sunday 1.21 (Sci-Fi) Series Debut/Series Return: Speaking of NBC/Universal-owned quirky smart-ass detectives with fashionable stubble, meet Harry Dresden, the wizard P.I. The series is based on the novels of Jim Butcher, so expect the literati to complain even though Dresden is a well-executed, if simplified, adaptation, and leads Paul Blackthorne (24) and Valerie Cruz (Nip/Tuck) are far better than you’d expect from a Sci-Fi series without Battlestar in its title. As for Galactica, rumors are flying that beloved fuck-up Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff) will be killed sometime before the end of this season, but attention will soon be diverted to Cylon 6 (Tricia Helfer) in the February issue of Playboy. Trust me.

Prison Break Monday 1.22 (Fox) Return: Tonight’s Prison Break comeback episode is titled “John Doe,” which is funny because Dominic Purcell (the one with the thicker shaved head) starred in another Fox series long ago called John Doe. Even funnier, even though it was a high-concept science-fiction drama, it was still more believable than Prison Break. And we laughed …

Heroes, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip Monday 1.22 (NBC) Returns: Seems like it’s been forever, huh? I mean for Heroes; Studio 60 could have been running all-new episodes for a month now and you probably wouldn’t have noticed. Rejoining Heroes, Peter’s still in a coma, Eden’s still dead, Sylar’s still incapacitated (and listed as a non-permanent “guest star”), Hiro and Ando are searching for the samurai sword from Isaac’s painting, Niki/Jessica turns herself into the police against Jessica/Niki’s wishes, and Claire’s apparently never getting out of that cheerleader uniform (no complaints here). On Studio 60, Matt’s doomed obsession with Harriet continues, as does Danny’s doomed obsession with Jordan and producer Aaron Sorkin’s doomed obsession with Aaron Sorkin.

Bones Wednesday 1.24 (Fox) Return: Bones' serial-killer arch-nemesis Epps is on the loose (another one of those “prison breaks”), and Booth’s former/current flame Cam’s life is hanging in the balance! Who will win in this deadly game of cat-and-mouse? Oh, who do you think? The only real question is, is it too early in the season to send Cam to dirtnap central? Or do we have to wait until Sweeps? Just askin.’

Employee of the Month
Comedian Dane Cook’s bid to become a movie star is crushed by the thespian screen-dominance of Jessica Simpson’s tits … poor bastard never stood a chance. Still, there’s some funny to be found in this Office-Space-does-CostCo romantic comedy—too bad it was all in the trailers.

Gridiron Gang Why not just make The Scorpion King 2, Rock? Er, Dwayne? That’s what we all want from you, not the uplifting tale of a juvie-league football team battling against the odds to become The Bad News Ballers. So it’s based on a true story—big deal, so was The Scorpion King. Wasn’t it?

The King of Queens: Season 7 One of the most underrated sitcoms on network TV—even if you can only tell one season from another by Leah Rimini’s hair (Season 7’s was very good, BTW). No Valuable Life Lessons are ever learned on The King of Queens, but it never fails to deliver laughs. Yeah, it’s a UPS joke.

That’s So Suite Life of Hanna Montana Try to follow: Malibu teen Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) leads a double life as rock star Hannah Montana, a secret known only to her manager father (real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus) and, oh, pretty much everyone else. Why? Look, you’re already asking way too many questions …

In Case of Emergency
May have been hasty weeks ago in declaring ABC’s new In Case of Emergency sucktastic; the manic, politically/morally-incorrect sitcom about four 30-something friends who’ve taken a wrong turn or 12 in life is almost the network answer to cable’s It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Check the video clips—especially the critically-reviled “Korean massage” scene from the pilot. Ah, Kelly Hu …

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