SUNDAY, NOV. 16
THE AMAZING RACE
8 P.M. | CW
For the first time ever, the teams go to Borat's homeland, Kazakhstan, and run into an obstacle: an army of poultry.
ROBOT CHICKEN: STAR WARS EPISODE II
11:30 P.M. | ADULT SWIM
Carrie Fisher is one of the voices in this second set of Star Wars parodies.
MONDAY, NOV. 17
JON & KATE PLUS EIGHT
9 P.M. | TLC
In an hour-long special, the Gosselins (right) take all the kids off to Hawaii and renew their wedding vows after 10 years.
8 P.M. | CW
Jenny (Taylor Momsen, left) all but tells her father to drop dead for the sake of her fashion dream. Isn't she the most noxious little gumdrop?
TUESDAY, NOV. 18
9 P.M. | DISCOVERY HEALTH
Documentary about world-famous Thomas Beatie, who gave birth to a girl this year.
THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF ATLANTA
10 P.M. | BRAVO
Can the ladies sit down and break bread peaceably for the season finale?
WEDNESDAY, NOV. 19
8 P.M. | CW
Season wrap-up. The finalists do a shoot and tremble like gazelles as they await the decision of Tyra Banks
CBS, Mondays, 10 p.m. ET
In a generally tepid fall, CBS has been experiencing its best ratings in years, thanks to a smart decision to shun "edgy" shows (remember Viva Laughlin?) for the tried-and-true. Newcomers like The Mentalist and Eleventh Hour join the slick crime dramas that already fill the network's nights—CBS is practically a mall outlet for them. CSI: Miami
, in fact, turns in its 150th episode Nov. 17 with a satisfying, carefully plotted case involving an abducted baby. But the indispensable element here is David Caruso as Lieutenant Horatio Caine. Technically, his performance is nuts. He talks in a dead whisper and regards suspects with a faint smirk that makes me think of a nun pitying a student caught in a lie. Even so, he gives the show style and tone. This may be Miami in high-def color, but he's in a film-noir dream.
VH1, Thursdays, 10 p.m. ET
Back for a new season, this docureality series is a celebrity trainwreck—that goes without saying—but it doesn't allow you the cruel, cheap fun of rubbernecking at a D-list disaster. It's like The Surreal Life
but with nagging fears of death. I didn't enjoy seeing Nikki McKibbin from American Idol
checking into Dr. Drew Pinsky's clinic bloated and ragged from alcohol and drugs, or Taxi
's Jeff Conaway returning from last season, still addicted and looking like a battered gull. You can argue that televised rehab and therapy are a good, if desperate, career move. Or maybe it's the only form of rescue a D-lister understands.
• The 19-year-old has moved from the gritty streets of The Wire
to the posh 90210
BALTIMORE VS. BEVERLY HILLS—CONTRAST!
Baltimore [home to The Wire
] isn't as funny as Beverly Hills. They're different in their own way, but they're both very cool. 90210
is like high school; I can go out with them and have fun.
YOU'RE ALSO IN THE MOVIE THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES
WHERE YOU KISS DAKOTA FANNING! Inside I was very nervous, like, "Do I need a breath mint?" My friends all went to see it, and they were like, "Aw, man, I almost cried."
IT MUST WEIGH AS MUCH as a stone-dead Bobby Baccalieri and costs a hefty $399.99. This somber black box houses more than 30 discs: all six seasons of HBO's landmark gangster series, plus bonus materials such as dropped scenes, spoofs, music and Alec Baldwin interviewing creator David Chase.
1 BECAUSE, WHATEVER YOU think of her conservative politics on ABC's The View
, "Hot Topics" would never have reached such combustible highs during the election season without the excitable Hasselbeck. Joy Behar needed a foil to sharpen her liberal repartee, and it sure wasn't going to be Whoopi Goldberg. The Founding Fathers would have been proud to see Hasselbeck throw herself into such spirited debate. Though they might have asked her to turn her mic down.
2 BECAUSE SHE ALSO provides a cautionary example of how difficult it can be in America to express an unpopular opinion against a majority—and those other ladies on The View make up quite a powerful force. Hasselbeck never gave up, even as her chirpiness frayed into brittle hysteria (something captured very well by Kristen Wiig's impersonation on Saturday Night Live).
3 BECAUSE, POST ELECTION, she conceded John McCain's loss graciously, launching a calm transition into a liberal era. Now back to talking about Dancing with the Stars.
• How does the star of CBS's The New Adventures of Old Christine
handle career and home? Well, she doesn't sleep in.
ANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN YOU AND CHRISTINE? I'm also a working mother [to Henry, 16, and Charles, 11]. It can be fraught with tension at certain times. I definitely relate to the frantic fear that you're screwing up—of doing the wrong thing despite the best of intentions.
YOUR SECRET TO BALANCING WORK AND FAMILY? I get up very early and get a lot of things done before my kids get up. And I compartmentalize and medicate myself on a daily basis. Not really! I don't medicate. But I do get up early.
THAT WAS A GREAT MOMENT WHEN TINA FEY GAVE YOU A SHOUT-OUT AT THE EMMYS. I was so shocked. I had no idea that was coming. Honestly, I was pleased as punch. I sent her a gift.
ANY PLANS TO COSTAR ON EACH OTHER'S SHOWS? I barely have time to buy aluminum foil.