What's On This Week

SUNDAY, APRIL 27

THE TUDORS
9 P.M. | SHOWTIME
Sir Thomas More (Jeremy Northam) tells everyone what he really thinks of the king (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).

DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES
9 P.M. | ABC
At last, Mike (James Denton) learns who ran him over way back at the end of season 2.

MONDAY, APRIL 28

HOUSE
9 P.M. | FOX
Fresh episode! Dr. House's new staff (Olivia Wilde and Peter Jacobson) treat a patient whose sunniness may actually be a symptom.

TUESDAY, APRIL 29

WOMEN'S MURDER CLUB
10:02 P.M. | ABC
The lady-crimesolvers series, based on books by James Patterson, returns with Angie Harmon (left) hunting for a cop killer. Gerald McRaney plays her estranged papa.

LAW & ORDER: SPECIAL VICTIMS UNIT
10 P.M. | NBC
Robin Williams (right), with his subspecialty in banal-evil roles, plays an engineer with a warped enthusiasm for toying with the authorities.

FRIDAY, MAY 2

20/20: THE SISTINE CHAPEL
8 P.M. | ABC
Are secret messages embedded in the great mural? Call it The Michelangelo Code.

SPEED RACER: THE NEXT GENERATION
7 P.M. | NICKTOONS
A new take on the '60s cartoon. Chim Chim the chimp—now a robot? I nearly lost my sprockets!

CW, April 30, 9 p.m. ET | [

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REALITY

This dating show is The Bachelor fertilized with memories of Green Acres. It's not manure, no—still, who would have thought Average Joe might one day look like a sophisticated high point in the romance-reality genre? Matt Neustadt is the farmer. Single, 29, reedily good-looking, he spends his days tending livestock and crops under the Missouri sky. Suddenly this rooster has his choice of hens: Ten city women who are willing to sacrifice their lipstick-jungle lives for a chance at love. Arriving at the farm, they're given a roof over their heads—a snug house decorated with nice Shaker touches—taken on a charming hayride and put to work. The first challenge is capturing chickens and caging them in a coop. What can I say? I laughed at the girl who was terrified her eyes would be pecked out. And the farmer doesn't present roses: The lucky ones get eggs.

SHE'S BACK!

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD ON TODAY: HOW'S SHE DOING?

Kathie Lee Gifford is very much a showbiz personality, which explains why her new NBC job as Hoda Kotb's cohost for Today's fourth hour often feels as if a one-woman Broadway revue had opened in Rockefeller Plaza. As is so often the case with Gifford, who spent more than a decade teamed on-air with Regis Philbin, this makes for a brashly fascinating performance. In the course of a few mornings she ribs the crowd for not showing enthusiasm; belts out a few bars from South Pacific; asks Kotb about her divorce; mentions that she watched coverage of the Pope while doing Pilates; and notes that her daughter Cassidy prays for troubled young Hollywood celebrities. None of this is radically different from what Barbara Walters might say on The View, just delivered with a rat-a-tat fury that sends ripples across the surface of your coffee cup. Given that the headlines have been crowded with news about the Spitzers and the Lowes, she gets pointers for being forthright about her own past marital dramas.

Kotb pretty much just brightly laughs along. That's probably the sanest way to ride a roller coaster.

>• Stephen Paletta, a 43-year-old contractor, won Oprah's Big Give, her do-gooder reality show on ABC. Reward? $1 million.

HOW HE'LL SPEND HIS MILLION I'm going to give away as much as I can. I'll continue to build schools and libraries in Africa. And I'm returning to the Gulf Coast with Eric [Klein, another contestant] to build houses and community centers in some of the small towns that haven't received a dime yet.

GETTING TO KNOW O Oprah exceeded every expectation I ever had of her. When she would give me a hug, she meant it. My daughters got to sit with her after the finale, and I looked over and I was, "Wow! Oprah Winfrey is, like, just hanging out with my kids."

>Two cable hits for a woman who never operates on remote.

MEERKAT MANOR: SEASON 2 The nature series is all about the power of mother, even if she's a desert mongoose.

WHAT NOT TO WEAR: MOM MAKEOVERS As if Mom weren't already perfect the way she is!