Hip-hop hoe-down no 'Idol' endeavor

Friday, November 14, 2003

Fans of the kind of rap contests showcased in Eminem's autobiographical movie "8 Mile" might enjoy "The Next Episode" (9 p.m., Showtime). An "American Idol" for the hip-hop set, this six-part documentary series travels to six cities, where the best MCs face off in a lyrical contest before live audiences. The winners will be flown to Los Angeles for a final showdown.

"Next" is certainly not for every taste. The lyrics feature incessant threats of homicidal violence, racial epithets and sexually demeaning language. Frequent use of the terms "dawg," "chill" and "aiiight" may also offend, or at least annoy, those allergic to urban cliches and tiresome stereotypes.

Tonight's other highlights

Late night

Jessica Lynch and Shelby Lynne appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno greets Dennis Rodman and Elvis Costello on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).