New WB series an inspired amateur hour

Steve Harvey returns to the WB to host "Steve Harvey's Big Time" (7 p.m., WB), a talent showcase featuring unknown performers with unusual talents. Or at least unusual acts.

Don't go looking for the adult material and blue humor from Harvey's standup film "The Original Kings of Comedy." The pilot episode of "Big Time" is refreshingly G-rated. Harvey's guests include a 10-year-old -- sporting a crew cut worthy of a Mercury astronaut -- who does a pretty good James Brown imitation. The second act performs a Houdini-like escape from handcuffs while trapped in the spin cycle of a washing machine.

Harvey and his audience sit in awe of a typically nervous 4-year-old who can name the governors of all 50 states and every member of the president's Cabinet. When Harvey, in best Art Linkletter form, asks the 4-year-old to name the chancellor of Germany, she shouts out "Gerhard Schroder" as if every preschool student knew that. If every episode lives up to this debut, Harvey's oddball amateur hour "Big Time" might become a pleasant harbor for parents and children not up to the steamy shenanigans on "Friends" and "Survivor."

-- "Frontline" (7 p.m., PBS) repeats one of its best documentaries from 2002, "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero." This intelligent and reflective film examines the role of faith in healing the wounds of Sept. 11, 2001, and also probes the role that faith played in the terrorists' actions. As one clergyman observes, "Religion drove those planes into those buildings."

Tonight's other highlights

  • Holly runs romantic interference on the second-season premiere of "What I Like About You" (8 p.m., WB).
  • Scheduled on "Primetime" (9 p.m., ABC): Homeland security; babies born to 9/11 widows.

Late night

Regis Philbin and Seal appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno hosts Adrien Brody and Karolina Kurkova on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC).


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