What's On This Week


No longer tormenting the good people of Gossip Girl, Michelle Trachtenberg (right, with Drew Fuller) plays an up-and-coming star of the racing track.

9 P.M. | History
Season 2, and another long, cold haul as the delivery dudes (including Hugh Rowland, left) drive those slick chilly routes over the frozen Arctic Ocean.


9:30 P.M. | NBC
Antonio Sabáto Jr. and Rachel Hunter are among the stars learning big-top stunts. So who puts their head in the lion's mouth?

10 P.M. | BRAVO Chicago
provided the season's setting and theme, but the final culinary challenge takes place in Puerto Rico.


10 P.M. | BRAVO
The channel's first arts-awards event. That proud D-lister Kathy Griffin (right), whose Bravo reality show returns tonight too, handles the hosting.

9:30 P.M. | TBS
In the new season's opener, PJ (husky-voiced Jordana Spiro, left) arrives in Italy under muddled romantic circumstances. Then she's back in Chicago, still confused.


Lifetime June 8, 10 p.m. ET |

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The first season of Army Wives, Lifetime's most successful series to date, ended on an explosive note: An officer, enraged and despondent over the collapse of his marriage, strapped himself to the gills with bombs and detonated in front of his wife and other soldiers' spouses in a local joint called the Hump Bar. Season 2 sifts through the debris as the women, who share an endlessly problematic communal life in an Army post, try to hold on to their families and worry about husbands sent over to Iraq. The first episode builds to a sad revelation that requires a certain sleight of hand—not a necessarily original one, either. But it succeeds, in a corny way, and produces a brief but undeniable emotional surge. That's how the show works, as a tribute to the earnest, the unglam, the unsung yet worthy. With a large ensemble headed by Kim Delaney (as a woman who's tailored her strong personality to being the spouse of the post commander), it's like Lipstick Jungle dressed down and dirtied up.

Discovery, June 8, 9 p.m. ET |

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Discovery's three-night, six-hour history of NASA space missions is a cleanly told, bold-in-outline epic, starting with the manned Mercury flights of the early 1960s and wrapping up with the joint Soviet venture of the space station—the same station that has been in the news lately because of a toilet malfunction. Apparently there are still some frontiers to be conquered in the universe. The story (narrated by Gary Sinise) is most gripping in the second half, once NASA moves past the triumph of the moon landings and on to tougher, messier problems, notably the Challenger explosion and the humiliation of having to send up a crew to repair the bungled design of the Hubble telescope.

The digitally remastered footage from space is both exciting and often serenely, eerily gorgeous. In the words of one of the Mercury astronauts, Scott Carpenter, the view up there is "an addictive sight," and he's right.

HBO, June 9, 9 p.m. ET |

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Roman Polanski's best movies, from Rosemary's Baby to The Pianist, are exercises in intense, undermining paranoia—a quality that played out notoriously in his own life. In 1978, after pleading guilty to a charge of intercourse with a 13-year-old girl, the director fled to Europe rather than face sentencing from Judge Laurence J. Rittenband. According to this revelatory but very evenhanded documentary, he was right to be afraid: Attorneys for both sides say Rittenband was calculating, capricious and absolutely untrustworthy in his bargainings. Wanted is a significant update on an awful chapter in Hollywood history.

>The singer, 34, is on the judges' panel for the new season of Nashville Star, debuting on NBC June 9. Billy Ray Cyrus hosts.

ON PUT-DOWNS If I were a contestant, and someone said to me, "You didn't bring it," I'd be ticked. Why didn't I bring it? What do you mean by that? This isn't just television—it's people's lives.

ON HER NOTION OF A STAR My big three are: Play an instrument, write a song, sing it like it matters.

ON HER FRANTIC SUMMER I'll be flying in and out of Nashville, flying to do tour dates, flying to do TV on both coasts. After I Ieave Texas [she lives on a ranch], I don't think I'll be home again until August.