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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

off the map

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On Today: 'Off the Map,' Luise Rainer's 101st

off the map
Shonda Rimes insists her new TV drama "Off the Map" (ABC, 9 p.m.) is not "Grey's Anatomy" in the jungle. And strictly, speaking it's not. Had it been, it would have been a little better than it is.
As it is, the drama about a handful of vaguely familiar and needlessly good-looking young doctors in a vague third world setting (it's supposed to be South America but is shot in the studio they built in Hawaii for "Lost") is substandard "Grey's," with a disaster of the day (tourist caught up in zipline) and side servings of other stories, most of which point out that these well-meaning doctors hadn't learned a lick of Spanish before packing.
Among the cast are a few notable faces -- Connecticut's Mamie Gummer, Caroline Dhavernas (of the late, lamented "Wonderfalls") and Zach Gilford of "Friday Night Lights." But is that enough to sustain this thin series?
Jeff Bridges may have gotten more acclaim lately than he's gotten in his long career in films. But is it time now for the life retrospective he reeives in "American Masters" (CPTV, 8 p.m.)? Well, the affable man who went into the family business is certainly game for one.
German-born Luise Rainer was the first actress to win back to back Oscars in the 30s before she left the country and acting altogether. Last year, at age 100 she was invited to an interview with Robert Osborne. In "Luise Rainer: Live at the TCM Classic Film Festival" (TCM, 9 and 11 p.m.) in which she's just as radiant as she was in her Oscar winning performances in "The Good Earth" (TCM, 8:30 p.m.) and "The Great Ziegfeld" (TCM, 11:30 p.m.). Today is her 101st birthday.
Spend your snow day with two of the greatest screen comics ever: Lutrel & Hardy star in films all day including "Our Wife" (TCM, 6:45 p.m) and "Be Big!" (TCM, 8:30 a.m.). 
Jeremy Irons pops up as a sex therapist on a new "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit" (NBC, 10 p.m.).
On a new "Modern Family" (ABC, 9 p.m.), Alex may be studying too much.
"Live to Dance" (CBS, 8 p.m.) goes live tonight, but will not reveal the ouster of its dancers, now numbering 17, until the last minute.
Two episodes of "Human Target" (Fox, 8 and 9 p.m.) run back to back. 
Daytime Talk
Regis and Kelly: Vince Vaughn, Minnie Driver, Jerry O'Connell. The View: Spke Lee, Tonya Lewis Lee, Martin Henderson. The Talk: William Shatner. Ellen DeGeneres: Jenny McCarthy, Chris Harrison, Joyce House. Wendy Williams: Suzanne Somers, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Weir and Chrisette Michele.
Late Talk
David Letterman: Kevin James, Olivia Munn, Blake Shelton. Jay Leno: Seth Rogen, Ted Williams, Bettye Lavette. Jimmy Kimmel: Sandra Oh, Rico Rodriguez, Nolan Gould, Ariel Winter, Fitz & the Tantrums. Jimmy Fallon: Paul Giamatti, Faith Hill, Cake. Craig Ferguson: David Duchovny, Jo Frost. Carson Daly: "Catfish" filmmakers, Big Freedia, the Morning Benders (rerun). Jon Stewart: Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Stephen Colbert: Bernard-Henri Levy. Conan O'Brien: Denis Leary, Ice Cube, Tim Minchin. George Lopez: Roseanne Barr, Danny Pudi, El Debarge featuring Faith Evans, Michael Bearden & the Ese Vatos. Chelsea Handler: Sara Bareilles, Loni Love, T.J. Miller, Bobby Lee. 

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