'80s show strikes back on VH1

The 1980s will never return, but nostalgia for the shoulder-pad decade seems about as hot as the Cabbage Patch Doll craze. Picking up from last night's opener, "I Love the '80s Strikes Back" (8 p.m., VH1, concludes Friday) presents four more hours of pop-cultural ephemera, from "Fraggle Rock" to Fawn Hall. Does anybody remember those "Coffee Achiever" commercials?

"Love the '80s" offers a torrent of clips from films, music videos and TV shows, as well as snide commentary from a peanut gallery of celebrities and has-beens who either made pop-culture in the 1980s (Deborah Gibson, Joey Lawrence, David Lee Roth, etc.) or, like Mo Rocca, merely remember it. While some of the memories recycled here are fairly predictable (who doesn't recall Michael Jackson's "Thriller"?), the vintage commercials for toys and candy are always a treat. I'll bet my old Heaven 17 albums that this series will spark a lot of memories.

  • Diane Russell (Kim Delaney) returns to help on a serial-killer case on "NYPD Blue" (9 p.m., ABC). It may take more than the sight of the former "Philly" star to revive the fortunes of the sagging "Blue." Once considered groundbreaking, the cop drama has lost more than a quarter of its audience compared to just a year ago. Much of that erosion is due to tougher competition from "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit." Let's face it, "Blue" had a strong run. And all shows (with the possible exception of "Law & Order," "The Simpsons" and "Soul Train") must eventually come to an end.
  • The "GQ Men of the Year" Awards" (8 p.m., Spike) fetes the year's 18 most notable beau brummels. Presenters include Charlize Theron, David Spade, Eva Mendes, Kim Cattrall and Mandy Moore. Spike TV's newest star, Matt Kennedy Gould (the lovable dope --make that dupe -- from the "The Joe Schmo Show"), will also be on hand.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Game 3 of the World Series (7 p.m., Fox).
  • Rory re-enters the dating pool on "Gilmore Girls" (7 p.m., WB).
  • A credit crunch turns Nick into a bill collector on "The Guardian" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • A priest's killer may not be of sound mind on "Judging Amy" (9 p.m., CBS).
  • The mother of an abandoned newborn is found slain on "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (9 p.m., NBC).

Late night

Dr. Phil McGraw, David Bowie and 2004 Miss America Ericka Dunlap appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno greets Rosie O'Donnell, Boy George and Jack Black on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).


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