Tuesday, August 3, 2004

TV's best bets

Gannett News Service


The Real Olympics: Death or Glory, 9 p.m., Channel 48.

Death and glory weren't mutually exclusive options in the ancient Olympics.

One wrestler, receiving a fierce chokehold, came back with a punishing move of his own. His opponent surrendered - and the victor promptly died. It was considered a splendid finale.

That was one of many quirks. It was an all-male world, among naked competitors and spectators. Rules said any woman found should be thrown from a cliff.

Worth watching

Trading Spouses: Meet Your New Mommy, 8 p.m., Channels 19, 45. Tentatively planned is the first half of a story that has women from California and Massachusetts temporarily changing places.

Last Comic Standing, 8 and

9 p.m., Channels 5, 22. First, we get a rerun of last week in which the five ousted comedians competed for one final slot. That leaves six comics, with a change from the original plan. All will perform and viewers will vote. On Thursday we'll learn which three will be in next Tuesday's finale.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 8 p.m., Channels 9, 2. ABC keeps inserting its own reality shows here. Tonight, it reruns an episode centering on a busy single mom, foster parent and social worker. While she takes the kids to Disneyland, her house is remodeled.

Navy NCIS, 8 p.m., Channels 12, 7. Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is supposed to track his former commander, who is on the FBI's most-wanted list. Consider this a winner by default, because it's the only 8 p.m. show on one of the big networks that actually has a script.

The Player debut, 9 p.m., Channel 25. Dawn considers herself a real player. Amid Miami glitz, she dates for fun, not for husband-prospecting. Now this eight-week series puts her in a mansion along with 13 guys who also consider themselves players. With the help of two friends, she'll trim the field.

Amazing Race, 10 p.m., Channels 12, 7. Last week, this oft-classy reality show sank to the Fear Factor level. It forced each duo to have one person eat two pounds of caviar. Losing was the older couple that met on the Internet. They did fine in the eating portion, but they had flight problems. Now the seven surviving duos head to Egypt.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, 10 p.m., Channels 5, 22. An apparent rape case soon turns into a complex suicide question.

Late Show with David Letterman, 11:35 p.m., Channels 12, 7. Former president Bill Clinton spends an hour with Dave.

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