Spike serves up lame new 'Schmo'

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The reality spoof "Joe Schmo" (9 p.m., Spike) returns for a second season. If it had a subtitle, it might be "The Revenge of the Actors and Writers." As we all know, reality TV has decimated the ranks of comedy actors and scriptwriters. "Schmo" offers a cast of comedians the chance to play stereotypical reality-show denizens, including a dumb blonde, a rich heir, a gay guy and a scheming harpy. They all appear on "Last Chance at Love," a strange his-and-hers variation on "The Bachelor" in which a co-ed cast plays for the affection of two beautiful people, but two players don't know that the whole show is an elaborate put on. As always, the host is a smarmy, cliche-spouting bore. While the writers have provided many absurd situations, some of the actors don't quite get the fact that they are supposed to act "real." At one point, Ingrid, the female "mark," remarks, "Everything sounds so scripted ... I feel like I'm on 'The Truman Show.'" Oops.

Tonight's other highlights

Late night

Ben Stiller and Beastie Boys appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) ... Jay Leno welcomes Shawn Wayans and N.E.R.D. on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) ... Jay Mohr and The Killers appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC). Jackie Chan, Tim Russert and Franz Ferdinand are booked on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) ... Bob Marley and The Crusty Demons of Dirt are on "The Late, Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (11:37 p.m., CBS).