Wednesday, July 9, 2003
Can Simon Cowell breathe life back into the flat-lining reality genre? Audiences have been bombarded with dumb dating shows, endless talent contests and other unscripted fare. To date, none have caught our fancy. Cowell, the persnickety star of "American Idol," returns tonight with "Cupid" (9 p.m., CBS), a one-hour dating show that sounds dreadfully familiar.
"Cupid" asks TV viewers to decide on a suitor for Lisa Shannon, an advertising copywriter who just hasn't found Mr. Right. Hundreds of dateless guys will contend for her hand. Shannon and her two pals will pare the list down to 10, and then home viewers will get to play Cupid and vote off one guy a week until only one remains. If Lisa and the last lucky guy stick together for a year, they will receive a $1 million prize.
Do they expect me to care, or even notice, a year from now? I don't remember who was in the Superbowl a week after the game. If Simon Cowell weren't on this show, he might call it "horrible."
- Musicians honor their own at the 34th annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards (8 p.m., Bravo). This year's inductees include Queen, Phil Collins, Van Morrison and Little Richard. All of the honorees will perform, along with Ray Charles, Barry Manilow, Billy Joel, Pink, Jerry Seinfeld and Alicia Keys. In addition, Patti Labelle, Tony Bennett, Clive Davis, Jimmy Webb and Martin Bandier will receive lifetime achievement awards.
- Turner Classic Movies celebrates Tom Hanks' birthday with a mini-marathon of his films, including "Splash" (7 p.m. Central), "A League of their Own" (9 p.m.), "Philadelphia" (12:15 a.m.) and "Sleepless in Seattle" (1:30 a.m.). The boyish "Bosom Buddies" star and two-time Oscar winner turns 47 today.
Tonight's other highlights
- Scheduled on "60 Minutes II" (7 p.m., CBS): children and lead poisoning; Yogi Berra.
- Joey Fatone is host of "Fame" (7 p.m., NBC).
- Exes dwell in close proximity on "Big Brother 4" (8 p.m., CBS).
- In 1983, Sean Connery was shaken and stirred back to his 007 role in the thriller "Never Say Never Again" (8 p.m., TNN). But he's said never since then, and his word is his Bond.
- An exotic dancer tries to hide her past on "Dating Experiment" (9 p.m., ABC).
Renee Zellweger and Jack Johnson appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Will Smith, Brian Williams and The Wallflowers on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).