'Blue Collar' too blue for time slot

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Make no mistake about it, "Blue Collar TV" (7 p.m., WB) is a major departure for its network. Whether it represents a new direction or a sign of desperation remains to be seen.

A half-hour sketch-comedy series featuring the stand-up trio of Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall and Larry the Cable Guy, "Blue Collar" has some impressive comedy credentials: the Blue Collar Comedy tour remains the second-highest-grossing stand-up act ever; the movie of the tour sold more than 2.5 million DVDs; and the "Blue Collar" TV specials have set ratings records on Comedy Central.

But the show is a bundle of contradictions. The "Blue Collar" tour was a stand-up smash, but this is a sketch show in which most of the sketches are flat, obvious, crude and invariably way too long.

Tonight's other highlights

Late night

Natalie Portman visits "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Michael Moore on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC). ... Brad Pitt and Janet Jackson chat on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC)