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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight, Sept. 10

A select viewing guide for Monday, Sept. 10

1 of 5

TALK SHOW. Katie. NBC Syndicated, CITY-TV, 4 p.m. ET; Is Katie Couric the new Oprah? Former CBS news anchor Katie Couric promises to take a “smart with heart” approach with this new daytime talker that appears to be directly modelled on the Oprah Winfrey TV template. Taped daily before a live audience in New York, the show will feature two or three segments per episode of Ms. Couric talking to a female celebrity or newsmaker (don’t expect an appearance by former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin). In today’s opener, Couric interviews actress/tabloid oddity Jessica Simpson to open up about her efforts to lose the 80 pounds she gained during pregnancy, and gets singer Sheryl Crow to provide the details of her recent benign brain tumour.

2 of 5

REALITY. The Voice. NBC, CTV Two, 8 p.m. ET/PT; The surest sign of the new season’s arrival is the return of TV talent contests. Back tonight for a third season, this breezy singing competition draws a fraction of the ratings of American Idol, but NBC is sticking with the search for the next great pop star. Unlike Idol, the show begins with tonight’s innovative “blind audition” process, wherein resident musician coaches Blake Shelton, Adam Levine, Christina Aguilera and Cee Lo Green judge the contestants solely on their vocal performances, not on appearance. If more than one coach pushes their button, the decision shifts to the singer to choose which coach they want to work with. Carson Daly returns to host.

Lewis Jacobs

3 of 5

REALITY. Hoarders. A&E, 9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT; Looking for incentive to clean out your garage or basement? Returning for its sixth season, this series profiling compulsive hoarders is not easy viewing. Each episode introduces an average person whose life is awash in clutter and provides much-needed counselling to help them clean up the self-made mess. Tonight’s season opener focuses on a seemingly normal woman named Debra who has filled her house to the rafters with an avalanche of clothes and accessories. Debra’s shopping sprees have left her with a $50,000 credit-card debt and enough clothing to outfit a small army regiment. Her wake-up call comes when her husband and kids threaten to move out and leave her to wallow in the mounds of unworn chemises and tracksuits, most with the price tags still attached.

4 of 5

COMEDY. Men At Work. Comedy Network, 10 p.m. ET/PT; The old-school sitcom is alive and well on American cable. This pickup series from the U.S. superstation TBS follows the incredibly interesting lives of four thirtysomething men working at a Manhattan magazine. The central figure is the glum Milo, played by That 70’s Show’s Danny Masterton, who has just been dumped by his long-time girlfriend. His best friend Gibbs (James Lesure) is a serial womanizer, while Tyler (Michael Cassidy) is a nitwit and Neal (Adam Busch) is the only one in the group with a serious girlfriend. In tonight’s opener, Milo receives advice on how to get back into the dating game and Tyler is infuriated when Gibbs sleeps with the maid. Although the show is light years removed from the sitcom sophistication of Modern Family or 30 Rock, clever dialogue abounds.

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5 of 5

MOVIE. Garden State. Vision, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT; Where have you gone, Zach Braff? Midway through his nine-season run on the NBC sitcom Scrubs, the affable comic actor drew solid notice for writing, directing and starring in this 2004 comedy filmed mostly in his hometown of South Orange, N.J., but since then he seems to have disappeared from both film and TV. Braff is very believable in the lead role of Andrew, an aimless actor/waiter who returns to his Jersey birthplace to attend his mother’s funeral. While trying to reconnect with his emotionally distant psychiatrist father (Ian Holm) and trying to wean himself off antidepressants, Andrew reconnects with his past by visiting old haunts and reuniting with old friends. Along the way, he meets the winsome Sam (Natalie Portman), who readily admits to being a compulsive liar. A sharp comedy gently told.

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