'Best in Show' is always a winner

What makes a successful comedy movie? Is it box-office revenue? Or the ability to find an audience through word of mouth and bear up to repeat viewing on videotape and DVD? The 2000 comedy "Best in Show" (7 p.m., Comedy Central) falls into the second category. For the uninitiated, the documentary style "Show" follows a group of quirky dog owners to a Westminster-type competition in Philadelphia.

Christopher Guest, writer and creator of "This is Spinal Tap," "Waiting for Guffman," and "A Mighty Wind," is virtually unrecognizable here as a backwoods hound-dog owner. Memorable lines come courtesy of Fred Willard as a crass sportscaster assigned to provide colorful commentary, and Parker Posey in an incredible turn as a brittle yuppie who goes ballistic when her pampered pooch loses his "Busy Bee" chew toy. A wonderful ensemble piece, worth watching for the first time or the 40th.

  • Last week, the scandal-plagued bachelor Rob Campos gave the label-obsessed Kelly the heave-ho, setting up Paige and Erin as the last two willing women on "For Love or Money" (8 p.m., NBC). A "winner" emerges tonight. As the show's title implies, she either gets the guy or the dough. Only we know that Rob knows that the ladies have been at least partially motivated by money. But do we care?

As usual, the choice has boiled down to two female archetypes. Paige, the 21-year-old, has played the innocent, while Erin, 30, seems a tad more mercenary. Before choosing, Rob would do well to peruse the show's official Web site. When asked which three men would combine to form her ideal mate, Erin replied Frank Sinatra, James Bond and Superman. Rob the lawyer just might not measure up. Paige's answer reflects surprisingly eclectic tastes. Her model beau would combine the attributes of Bob Marley, Hugh Hefner and Conan O'Brien!

Tonight's other highlights

  • "Biography" (7 p.m., A&E;) profiles the campy TV show "Batman" in the first of a weeklong look at cult series.
  • Jesse James plays host to a western-themed episode of "Monster Garage" (8 p.m., Discovery) in which he and his crew transform a Ford Ranchero into a mechanical bull.
  • This time it's personal for Horatio on "CSI: Miami" (9 p.m., CBS).
  • A special edition of "PrimeTime" (9 p.m., ABC) examines the investigation into the crash of the space shuttle Columbia on Feb. 1.

Late night

Bruce Willis appears on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno plays host to Sally Field and Monica on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).

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