Saturday, January 17, 2004
Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey play host to "Saturday Night Live" (10:30 p.m. today, NBC), featuring musical guest G-Unit with 50 Cent. They are the first married couple to be host since Alec Baldwin and Kim Basinger in 1994. I wonder if the "Newlyweds" stars will revive the popularity of those "Stupid" and "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts that were so popular some time back.
- To trap a murderer, Monk takes a job as a substitute teacher on "Monk" (9 p.m. today, ABC). Naturally, standing before a roomful of fighting students presents a challenge for the orderly, germ-phobic detective (Tony Shalhoub). This episode, from the series' second season, originally aired on USA, which is currently airing original episodes of the third season on Friday nights. Got that?
- Art imitates life -- or, rather, the reality television version of life -- in the clever and entertaining television film "I Want to Marry Ryan Banks" (7 p.m. Sunday, ABC). Former "90210" heartthrob Jason Priestley stars in the title role as a once-hot actor in a career spiral (what did I say about art imitating life?) because of his reputation as a cad. His friend and manager Todd (Bradley Cooper, "Alias") decides to cast Banks in his very own "Bachelor"-like reality show so America will fall in love with him all over again.
- Is America ready for a sapphic soap opera? "The L Word" (9 p.m. Sunday, Showtime) follows a circle of gay women and their friends in a pleasant Los Angeles neighborhood. This being television, almost all of the ladies are very attractive and model thin. In fact, some seem in need of a good meal. While the dialogue is frequently intelligent, "L" offers no shortage of stereotyping and less-than-casual sex. In one commendable scene, two women actually discuss their love of literature, a shared passion that eventually leads to other things. I have to applaud any adult program that acknowledges the intellect as an active erogenous zone.
- Jennifer Aniston and her husband, Brad Pitt, appear on the nature special "Growing Up Grizzly 2" (7 p.m. Sunday, Animal Planet). But neither of these two media-certified hotties are as cute as Bart and Honey Bump, the orphaned bear cubs raised by professional animal trainers Doug and Lynne Seus.
- TV Land offers a 48-hour marathon of "Carol Burnett and Friends" beginning at 5 a.m.
- Helen Hunt and Jack Nicholson won Oscars for their roles in director James L. Brooks' 1997 comedy "As Good As it Gets" (7 p.m., NBC).
- Arsenio Hall plays host to "Star Search" (7 p.m., CBS), featuring performances by new talent and past champions.
- A slippery lawyer (Jim Carrey) has a problem with the truth in the 1997 comedy "Liar, Liar" (7 p.m., ABC).
- Patricia Heaton and Jeff Daniels star in the 2004 remake of Neil Simon's comedy "The Goodbye Girl" (7 p.m., TNT). The film repeats at the same time on Sunday night.
- The Philadelphia Eagles play host to the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship game (5:30 p.m., Fox). "American Idol" winner Ruben Studdard will sing the national anthem.
- Scheduled on "60 Minutes" (6 p.m., CBS): a retrospective of the TV newsmagazine's first 35 years.
- Macy Gray guest stars on "American Dreams" (7 p.m., NBC).
- Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore and Meryl Streep star in the 2002 drama "The Hours" (7 p.m., Showtime).