New trivia show's focus on junk -- food

Monday, August 25, 2003

A lot of shows have been compared to junk food, but the makers of the new game show "Trivia Unwrapped" (9 p.m., Food Network) don't mind that reputation. Marc Summers is host of this quiz show confection, dedicated entirely to empty-calorie facts about snacks, candy and other nutrition-free delights. The former "Double Dare" star ladles out such weighty questions as, "How many twists are in every Twizzler?" and "Where did Fats Domino find his thrill?" You'll never get into a competitive university playing this version of "Jeopardy" Lite. But you might just win a fellowship at the Carvel College of Ice Cream Knowledge.

Keith Carradine narrates "Wild West Tech" (8 p.m., History), a glance at the inventions, weapons and scientific breakthroughs that made the settlement of the Wild West possible. Tonight's segment, "Outlaw Tech," examines how both lawmen and desperadoes tapped into cutting-edge 19th-century know-how, such as photography, dynamite, the telegraph and the transcontinental railroad.

Jennie Garth and Holly Robinson Peete are hosts of the "Fifth Annual Family Television Awards" (8 p.m., WB), honoring those (few) network shows that children and their parents can watch together without bouts of embarrassment and mortification. Participants include Garth's "What I Like About You" co-star Amanda Bynes, "Gilmore Girls" regular Milo Ventimiglia, and Joe Mantegna, star of the forthcoming CBS drama "Joan of Arcadia."

"History Detectives" (7 p.m., PBS) visits New York City. The show's team of archivists and researchers examines a ventriloquist dummy named Sam that belongs to a Brooklyn woman whose father was a famous black performer. The "detectives" look into how Sam was created and evaluate the theory that he was meant as a protest against minstrel show-era racial prejudice.

Tonight's other highlights

Cult choice

An innocent (Barbara Parkins), a talented firecracker (Patty Duke) and an exploited beauty (Sharon Tate) careen through a showbiz jungle in the over-the-top 1967 adaptation of Jacqueline Susann's novel "Valley of the Dolls" (12:55 a.m. Tuesday, AMC).

Series notes

Remedial classes on "Yes, Dear" (7 p.m., CBS) ... Dawn's second chance "The O.C." (7 p.m., Fox) ...

A sleazy game of musical beds on "Paradise Hotel" (8 p.m., Fox) ... Pampered at the spa on "Half and Half" (8:30 p.m., UPN) ... Arthur's brother (Shelley Berman) moves nearby on "King of Queens" (8:30 p.m., CBS) ... Three suitors vie for a cheerleader's hand on "Meet My Folks" (10:10 p.m., NBC).

Late night

Chris Rock and P. Diddy visit on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Kevin Costner on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

Tina Fey and Jack and Kelly Osbourne visit "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC).