What's On This Week

SUNDAY, OCT. 28

THE SILENCE OF THE BEES
TIMES MAY VARY | PBS
Disturbing episode of the documentary series Nature about the global bee crisis—hives abandoned and decimated by a phenomenon called Colony Collapse Disorder, or CCD.

BROTHERS & SISTERS
10:01 P.M. | ABC
Sarah Whedon is thrust into a custody battle for her children. This should give the formidable Rachel Griffiths—Emmy-nominated in the role last season—some juicy, powerful scenes.

MONDAY, OCT. 29

SEASON FINALE!

CALIFORNICATION
10:30 P.M. | SHOWTIME
David Duchovny's loose and sex-soaked satire about a Hollywood writer concludes its first season—the show has been renewed, probably for summer 2008—with a very messy wedding and an even messier little twist.

TUESDAY, OCT. 30

SEASON NEW!

NIP/TUCK
10 P.M. | FX
Drs. McNamara and Troy (Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon) move their practice from Miami to L.A. and become famous—as consultants on a TV show about plastic surgeons! This isn't so much jumping the shark as embracing it and letting it feast. The dependably offbeat guest list includes Portia de Rossi, Tia Carrere and, back as Dawn Budge, Rosie 'O'Donnell.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 31

SEASON FINALE!

LIVE WITH REGIS AND KELLY
TIMES MAY VARY | SYNDICATED
The hosts put such loving care into their Halloween costumes, and this year's show will be in 3D. 3-Dreeg!

NEW FACE!

CRIMINAL MINDS
9 P.M. | CBS
With the Mandy Patinkin era now at a close for this brisk, entertaining crime drama, Joe Mantegna—an actor who never makes a false step—shows up as Special Agent David Rossi.

THURSDAY, NOV. 1

UGLY BETTY
8 P.M. | ABC
More confusion in the touching, nerdy love of Betty (America Ferrera) for Henry (Christopher Gorham), who looks like Norman Bates in accounting. Marlo Thomas guests as a powerful advertiser.

CBS, Fridays, 9 p.m. ET

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NEW SHOW!

DRAMA

If you're going to have a vampire working as a private eye in sun-blanched Los Angeles, you'll have to adjust the rules. And so Mick St. John (Alex O'Loughlin) doesn't instantly incinerate if he steps outside wearing anything less than SPF 4500. And his image can be captured on-camera—if it's digital. Mick, member of a self-regulating society of several hundred vampires in L.A., gets his share of nutrition from blood banks and uses his heightened senses to protect regular humans from—well, bad vampires, stuff like that. O'Loughlin gives a nice, streamlined performance as the vampire, and the show is visually playful with its noir chic. (You don't expect to see vampires talking with Frank Gehry's Disney Concert Hall in the background, for instance.) And Sophia Myles, as a Lois Lane-like reporter, looks like Kate Winslet in a don't-mess-with-me mood.

PUSHING DAISIES (ABC). A demented yet glowing rhapsody to the power of romance. Lee Pace resurrects sweetheart Anna Friel, but the charm brings a curse: A second touch will kill. Is love to die for?

SAMANTHA WHO? (ABC) I get the feeling that Christina Applegate, fussily winsome as an amnesiac remembering past sins, is channeling Shirley MacLaine. Still, she and the show are absolutely adorable.

DIRTY SEXY MONEY (ABC). Like some earnest hero out of Dickens, civic-minded lawyer Peter Krause gets sucked into the machinations of a rich Manhattan clan. A big, shiny cast of pure silver.

GOSSIP GIRL (CW). A guilty pleasure. Blake Lively plays a young Upper East Sider who just knows there's more to life than class war and sexual intrigue. This could form a devotional triptych with The O.C. and The Hills.

REAPER (CW) Horror comedy with an unexpectedly dry wit to sop up the gore. Brett Harrison tracks down souls who've bolted Hell. His boss, Satan, is Ray Wise, laughing with false bonhomie.

THE LATEST DESPERATE HOUSEWIFE ... DANA DELANY

The China Beach star, who turned down a chance to play Bree in season 1, now plays her rival in domestic perfection, Katherine Mayfair.

ON PASSING ON THE FIRST GO-ROUND I don't really regret choices. [Creator] Marc Cherry had asked me to be on the show, but it was not what I wanted to do at the time. But I just finished doing a lot of serious stuff, so I wanted to do something lighter. So right now it's a really good fit. It's rare you get second chances in life, so I jumped in.

ON HER TV HUSBAND Nathan Fillion played my lover on [the 2001 series] Pasadena. He's an excellent, excellent kisser!

ON LOOKING GREAT AT 51 It's all yoga. And I do like to have a nice glass of wine. Nothing wrong with that!

FROM BAD PHARMACIST TO MAD SCIENTIST ROGER BART

Still known as Desperate Housewives' George the killer drug-filler, Bart, 45, stars in The New Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein.

ON STAGE FRIGHT [I get it when] my parents come—they've seen all my shticks. Or I feel badly that they created me.

ON DESPERATE INFAMY Pharmacists are still mad. At a bar, a lady moved her drink away, [worried] I'd put something in it. In L.A. people have yelled, "My wife hates you!"

NEW SEASON!

• WHITE-COAT ANXIETY. ABC's blockbuster enters its fourth season with two formidable performers no longer walking the halls: Isaiah Washington, now at Bionic Woman, and Kate Walsh, who's gotten her own spin-off, Private Practice. As if to distract us from this power vacuum, recent episodes have been crowded with new interns flopping around like baby seals hoping for anchovies from a trainer. So far the only thing they accomplish is to make the series regulars, now mostly advanced to residents, look as old as the cast of Friends.

• GREY ON GREY. Actually, there's one intern I like: Meredith's half-sister, Lexie Grey, played by Chyler Leigh. Fresh, slender and tremulous, she could hide behind get-well bouquets as camouflage.

• DIZZY IZZIE. Finally—Dr. Stevens seems to be over her bathetic mooning for dead Denny. In fact, Katherine Heigl's performance now has a lot of the same softly insistent comic timing she showed in this past summer's movie hit, Knocked Up. Would a doctor as harried as Izzie waste time trying to save a deer hit by a truck? Well, no, but Heigl breathed sweetness into the scene.