- The Washington Times - Monday, January 2, 2006

Many happy returns

It’s the third day of the new year, and many revamps, returns and additions are on the horizon for television viewers, Scripps Howard News Service notes.

Here’s what’s in store:

Tonight

“Scrubs” (9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., NBC): Finally, “Scrubs” is back with back-to-back episodes. Hopefully, NBC won’t kick it to the curb for good. (“My Name Is Earl” and “The Office” move to Thursdays beginning this week.)

Thursday

• “Dancing With the Stars” (8 p.m., ABC): Last summer’s reality/competition hit returns with a two-hour show, then goes to 90 minutes weekly, with a half-hour results show airing Friday evenings at 8. The new group of hoofers includes actors Tia Carrere, George Hamilton, Tatum O’Neal, ESPN’s Kenny Mayne, pro wrestler Stacy Keibler, newscaster Giselle Fernandez, rapper Romeo and NFL Hall of Famer Jerry Rice.

• “Four Kings” (8:30 p.m., NBC): New from the producers of “Will & Grace,” a new sitcom about four childhood buddies (including Seth Green) living together in Manhattan. Wackiness ensues.

Friday

• “Book of Daniel” (9 p.m., NBC): Some TV watchdog groups have begun attacking this ambitious project, although its first episode has yet to air. Aidan Quinn stars as Daniel Webster, an Episcopal priest and Vicodin addict with a family full of troubles and a problem involving the embezzlement of church funds. Oh, and he also talks to Jesus Christ. “Daniel” is planned as a limited-run series ending Feb. 3 and will air at 10 p.m. in the weeks after the two-hour premiere.

• “Battlestar Gallactica” (10 p.m., Sci Fi network): The second season debut for this remake of the 1970s series.

Monday

• “Emily’s Reasons Why Not” (9 p.m., ABC): Heather Graham is a bright, accomplished beauty, but she can’t find the right guy.

• “Jake in Progress” (9:30 p.m., ABC ): This comedy starring John Stamos gets another shot.

• “The Bachelor: Paris” (10 p.m., ABC): This latest installment has a Nashville doctor going to the City of Lights to choose his one true love from a new assortment of suitors.

Jan. 10

• “The Shield” (10 p.m., FX): Emmy-winner Michael Chiklis is back as Vic Mackey in all his morally ambiguous glory.

Jan. 11

• “South Beach” (8 p.m., UPN): The real news on this nighttime soap is that Jennifer Lopez is its producer. The story centers on two Brooklyn pals (Marcus Coloma and Chris Johnson) who head for Miami and the South Beach social scene, where they, of course, run into all the cliche Miami characters. Former Miss America Vanessa Williams stars with actor Giancarlo Esposito.

• “Lost” (9 p.m., ABC): New episodes begin at long last.

Jan. 12

• “Beauty & the Geek 2” (9 p.m., WB): More smart guys and more not-so-smart women pair up to win stuff and embarrass themselves. It was, actually, surprisingly good-hearted the first time through.

• “Crumbs” (9:30 p.m., ABC): A promising new comedy with Fred Savage as the son returned from failing in Hollywood. Jane Curtin and William Devane are his divorced parents.

Jan. 13

• “Monk” (10 p.m., USA network): Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) is back for another season of brilliant crime solving and equally brilliant neuroses.

Jan. 15 and 16

• “24” (8 p.m., Fox): Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) had to fake his own death and is living in Bakersfield, Calif., as Frank Flynn. Eighteen months later, there’s an international terrorist threat, the world is at stake and, well, you know the drill. It’s another very long day for Jack. It starts with four hours over two nights, then settles into its regular 9 p.m. Monday slot Jan. 23.

Jan. 17

• “American Idol” (8 p.m., Fox): “Idol’s” two-hour premiere will focus primarily on bad singers who didn’t make the cut. Another hourlong show airs the following night, and the first live competition is Feb. 23.

• “Love Monkey” (9 p.m., CBS): Maybe you can get past the title. Tom Cavanagh (formerly of NBC’s “Ed”) stars as a record executive roaming New York in search of the next star and his next romance. He also hangs with four buddies (including Jason Priestley and Christopher Wiehl). It’s a drama, it’s a comedy, it’s a dramedy.

Jan. 18

• “Skating With Celebrities” (9 p.m., Fox): It’s like “Dancing With the Stars” but takes place on the ice. It also has a lineup of lower-ranked celebrities, including Bruce Jenner and Jillian Barberie. It moves to Mondays at 8 p.m. on Jan. 23.

Jan. 23

• “Courting Alex” (8:30 p.m., CBS): Jenna Elfman returns to prime-time as the anti-Dharma in this comedy about an all-business lawyer who has everything — except a life beyond her career.

Compiled by Robyn-Denise Yourse from Web and wire reports.

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