Reality shows' resemblance is intentional

Producer Rob Burnett continues to dominate Thursdays with his twin creations "Survivor: All-Stars" (7 p.m., CBS) and "The Apprentice" (8 p.m., NBC). In addition to their shared paternity, these reality shows have been following similar story lines. Did you notice that the same week Nick and Amy teamed up on "The Apprentice," Amber and Boston Rob were seen canoodling under the palm fronds on "Survivor"? And last week, both shows lost strong-willed (and unpopular) female contestants. Sue's emotional exit inspired Tom to do a little jig. And if the coming attractions are to be believed, Omarosa's demise will be an occasion for some of The Donald's hopefuls to break out the bubbly. Coincidence? I think not.

Both shows are probably diminished by these departures. Sue Hawk's tirade left an ugly taste in everybody's mouth, on and off the island. She leveled some pretty serious charges at Richard Hatch, who remains the most recognizable "Survivor" of all time. Alas, cooler heads have prevailed, and both Hatch and Hawk buried the hatchet on a CBS morning news show last Friday. Too bad -- I would love to have seen Hawk v. Hatch show up on Court TV. Talk about immunity challenges!

We knew Omarosa was doomed the moment The Donald dismissed her "concussion" and snapped, "Give me a break." But will "The Apprentice" falter without her? After all, she was the Joan Collins of this "Dynasty." With the exception of the potty-mouthed Heidi, none of the other players has any edge.

  • OutKast and Beyonce are among the artists nominated for the 35th NAACP Image Awards (7 p.m., Fox). The nominations span 35 categories honoring outstanding achievements and performances by people of color in literature, television, motion pictures and recording arts. The Showtime drama "Soul Food" leads with seven nominations in the television categories, including three Outstanding Actress nods for Malinda Williams, Nicole Ari Parker and Vanessa Williams. In the recording categories, OutKast leads with six nominations; Beyonce received four.

Tonight's other highlights

  • Scott Hamilton and Christopher Dean lead "Stars on Ice 2004" (7 p.m., A&E;).
  • George C. Scott was awarded, but did not accept, an Oscar for his role in the 1970 biography "Patton" (7 p.m., AMC). Francis Ford Coppola shared his first Oscar, for best screenplay, with co-author Edmund H. North.
  • A corpse beneath a prison bus gets some unwanted attention on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS).
  • The revelations continue on "Princess Diana: The Secret Tapes" (9 p.m., NBC).
  • Scheduled on "PrimeTime" (9 p.m., ABC): an interview with Billy Ray Cyrus; a half-billion-dollar art heist that remains unsolved.

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