SUNDAY, OCT. 12
9 P.M. | SHOWTIME
Dex (Michael C. Hall), caught up in games of duplicity, isn't sure he should be getting along so well with the assistant D.A. (Jimmy Smits).
10 P.M. | HBO
Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven, awarded a fresh Emmy last month) angles to land a role for Vince (Adrian Grenier) by making a bet in a golf game.
MONDAY, OCT. 13
9:30 P.M. | ABC
The start of season 2 is a delight: Sam (Christina Applegate
, with Emmy winner Jean Smart, right) is determined to regain her dance-floor mojo.
TUESDAY, OCT. 14
10 P.M. | ABC
New season about the unlikely prophet (Jonny Lee Miller). Has brain surgery permanently swept the visions from his mind?
SEX CHANGE HOSPITAL
11 P.M. | WE
Well, the title gets your attention. New documentary series about sexual-reassignment surgery.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15
9 P.M. | BRAVO
Auf and out, Heidi Klum
! Wrap-up to a season of perplexing challenges—what designer would ever have to create a dress out of car parts?
10:30 P.M. | COMEDY CENTRAL
Premiere of David Alan Grier's sketch-comedy show on headline-fresh black topics. Spotty, but his Maya Angelou is good.
NBC, Oct. 13, 10 p.m. ET
Christian Slater, in his first starring vehicle for TV, is Edward Albright, a cold-blooded spy whose agency has engineered an elaborate cover for him. When he's not on assignment, his conscious mind is put to sleep, making way for an alternate personality: Henry Spivey, a blandly pleasant efficiency expert and family man.
Henry's office is always sending him out of town, at which point the agency puts him to sleep and brings back Eddie. But the programming has gone on the blink—Henry and Edward keep breaking through into each other's existence. It's an ingenious setup, well-executed, something like Chuck multiplied by two and driven to a nervous breakdown. With his thinly menacing voice, Slater makes a better Edward than Henry. The show might have had a little more bite if Henry were as ruthless at improving efficiency as Edward is at rubbing out targets.
Starz, Oct. 17, 10 p.m. ET
Starting with the same concept as the Oscar-winning film, Crash
is a 13-part series about lives intersecting—violently—along the fault line of race in L.A. The premiere (which includes a manic Dennis Hopper as a record producer) doesn't make clear how all that anger will pay off dramatically. It's like The Shield
, only everyone is Michael Chiklis.
NBC, Oct. 17, 8 p.m. ET
The arrival of this family-friendly adventure probably owes more to the swashbuckling success of Johnny Depp
's Pirates of the Caribbean
movies than to the Daniel Defoe novel of 1719. In the two-hour premiere, shipwrecked Robinson Crusoe (Philip Winchester, who looks as if he could have starred on Broadway in Disney's Tarzan
musical) has already set up a beautifully designed, presumably "green" tree home with his one and only companion, Friday (Tongayi Chirisa). Together they fight off a yellow-toothed pirate and other villains pursuing buried gold.
Kids should enjoy it. Grown-ups may be more intrigued by flashbacks to Crusoe's life in England, where a powerful but untrustworthy friend (Sam Neill) seems to have had it in for him. Or they may long for the stray metaphysical oddities that baffle the Lost castaways. Certainly a polar bear would be a nice thing.
ABC, Sundays, 9 p.m. ET
creator Marc Cherry took an unusual gamble with the new season, spinning the plot forward five years. This might seem a desperate way to freshen up an aging show in need of a little Botox—even after a cyclone hit last year, season 4 still felt saggy and slack—but it's paying off beautifully in the first few episodes.
The highlight has been the unveiling of the "new" Gaby Solis, frumpier, grumpier and with two plus-size young daughters. Eva Longoria
Parker has always been the show's most freewheeling actress, campily playing up Gaby's vanity and selfishness. But she's just as good as a Mama Gaby who's not only lost her looks but can't bear the thought that her daughters aren't runway-ready Mini Me's. Much of the improvements are more a matter of housecleaning: The Scavo twins are now two tall teenagers, saving us the tedium of marking the year-to-year maturation of the earlier kids. Come to think of it, maybe Grey's Anatomy
should try a new decade too.
Fashion expert, stylist and boutique owner Monahan, 38, is helping coach the fashion-clueless in season 2 of Bravo's Tim Gunn's Guide to Style
LIKING THE NEW GIG?
It's a dream for me. We don't make them over—they do it themselves. It's amazing.
WHAT DO YOU FIND IN PEOPLE'S CLOSETS?
We found a pair of really scary vinyl knee-high boots from a very classy lady. I wanted to know if she had some other job I wasn't aware of!
DOES WORKING WITH TIM GIVE YOU SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT YOUR OUTFITS?
I have third, fourth and fifth thoughts. Tim is perfect—I'll never catch up!
• He's host and mentor for Hulk Hogan's Celebrity Championship Wrestling
, premiering on CMT Oct. 18. Where else will you see Rodman vs. Bonaduce?
HOW REAL IS IT?
We taught them the art of wrestling. Telling a story, making people love you or hate you. It got very competitive right away. And it's hard to learn how to fall. Frank Stallone got a couple of cracked ribs. Danny Bonaduce bent a metal plate in his forearm. Everybody was ice-packed and whining and complaining.
Todd Bridges was the best athlete. But in his blood, in his veins? Screech! Dustin Diamond. He reminds you of Andy Kaufman. He's cunning in the ring and manipulates the audience.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT?
When we worked on character development, Dennis Rodman came out as Rodzilla, but Stallone came out as a drag queen! We said, "We don't have wardrobe for that," but he said, "I'll bring it from home."
• The ex-Beverly Hills, 90210
star, 35, plays a futuristic soldier in FOX's Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles
YOU MUST BE HAVING FUN.
It's like a movie every week. If they tell me to run or jump off something, our stunt coordinator loves it because he knows I'll do it. It's been one of the greatest experiences I've ever had.
Not really. I hang out with my son [Kassius, 6, with ex Vanessa Marcil] and he comes to the set and plays with the [props]. He loves it—to him it's like being a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.
YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE NEW 90210
I think it's amazing that they've been able to revamp the show. I'm excited for the new generation of fans.
YEAH, BUT WILL YOUR OLD CHARACTER, DAVID SILVER, TURN UP?
If it made sense, it would be fun to do just a couple of scenes.