It's the season of the summer blockbuster and that means one for-sure thing for the stars of these pictures: promote the hell out of them on late night television talk shows. This week we've got Halle Berry jumping all over Manhattan to plug her latest credit, CATWOMAN. About the only talk show that Halle isn't appearing on is THE VIEW, but her co-star Sharon Stone has that covered this coming Friday. Speaking of THE VIEW, can someone explain to me why Elizabeth Hasselbeck's head is lower down than all of her other co-hosts on the show's official website? I realize that she's the new kid on the block and has to still put in her dues, but come on, that group shot of the five VIEW ladies makes her look like she's still in grade school and is only doing this job for the summer.
I worry about these things as I cull this week's television shows for you. Elizabeth, write to me and let me know if thing's aren't cool for you on THE VIEW, OK? I'm worried that they're making you do their laundry or go fetch coffee refills between commercial breaks.
Up this week for TIVOing:
MONDAY, JULY 19
FEAR FACTOR (8 PM, NBC) Part two of last season's Fear Factor in Las Vegas sees the remaining three contestants win a Mazda RX-8 and then go for $50K. One will take it and then bet it all on a casino's double-or-nothing game. Crazy TV programming, peacock network style. (Repeat)
CSI: MIAMI (10 PM, CBS) A gunfight in a club kills the bodyguard of a rapper and it turns out the cause for the shooting may involve plagiarism. That's some hardcore copyright laws they've got in the sunshine state. (Repeat)
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (11:30 PM, CBS) Dave's got Denzel Washington on the program to talk about THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.
TUESDAY, JULY 20
TRADING SPOUSES: MEET YOUR NEW MOMMY (8 PM, FOX) In a new primetime network move that brings the world one step closer to Armageddon, FOX's latest reality series has Moms and Dads ditching their families to try raising someone else's children.
NIP/TUCK (10 PM, FX) After Sean has a frightening car accident, he begins to start taking extreme risks to return to his adrenaline high. Meanwhile, Christian's custody battle for his son intensifies. Doesn't anyone get plastic surgery this week?
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (11:30 PM, CBS) Halle Berry pleads to the studio audience to go see CATWOMAN. Won't you give generously?
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21
SMALLVILLE (8 PM, WB) First episode: "Rush" Pete and Chloe get infected by parasitic worms, use red kryptonite on Clark and they all get jiggy wit' it. Second episode: "Suspect" Who shot Lionel Luthor? All evidence points towards Springfield and Montgomery Burns. (Repeat)
ENTERPRISE (8 PM, UPN) The double shot of Wednesday night ENTERPRISE continues. This week: In "Proving Ground", Andorian captain Shran and his crew arrive in the Delphic Expanse to lend a hand to the pinkskins. At 9 we've got "Stratagem" where Captain Archer meets face-to-face for the first time with the designer of the Xindi superweapon, Degra, and asks him "Dude, where's your planet?" (Repeats)
THE SIMPLE LIFE 2: ROAD TRIP (9 PM, FOX) Poor little rich girls Paris and Nicole meet their new host family who are deeply religious and don't tolerate any swearing in their home. Break out your popcorn 'cuz this one will be good.
RESCUE ME (10 PM, FX) Series premiere. Denis Leary plays New York City firefighter Tommy Gavin who lives with the pressure of a high-risk job and an ailing family life. Leary created the series and modeled it after real-life firefighters he knew, including a cousin and a close friend who died while putting out a fire five years ago.
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (11:30 PM, CBS) Now it's Sharon Stone's turn to beg audiences to see CATWOMAN this coming weekend.
LATE NIGHT WITH CONAN O'BRIEN (12:30 AM, NBC) Quentin Tarantino is on. Maybe he'll be hosed on the hooch, just like when he went on Leno during promo for KILL BILL VOL. 1.
THURSDAY, JULY 22
LEGALLY BLONDE (8 PM, FOX) The movie that made Reese Witherspoon a rising star and set back blonde relations twenty years.
SCRUBS (8 PM, NBC) Four episodes of back-to-back-to-back-to-back SCRUBS is on tonight, giving audiences the opportunity to watch two hours of medical sitcom bliss. Why not make it a hospital evening and watch ER after SCRUBS? (Repeats, the lot of 'em.)
CSI (9 PM, CBS) "Dead Ringer." While participating in a nighttime relay race, Grissom discovers a dead body of a Los Angeles police officer. Was it murder or natural causes? Come on, what do you think the answer is on a show like this? (Repeat)
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (11:30 PM, CBS) Matt Damon reaches across the desk and asks Dave "What's this about going to see CATWOMAN when THE BOURNE SUPREMACY opens this Friday?" Off to the side of the stage, Ben Affleck holds a bat in one hand and a pair of brass knuckes in the other.
FRIDAY, JULY 23
STARGATE SG-1 (8 PM, SCIFI) The new Russian liason to SGC becomes ill with a strange disease, forcing the base into "Lockdown" mode. But is it really a disease? Daniel doesn't think so.
JOAN OF ARCADIA (8 PM, CBS) Hey, if you've been meaning to check this show out, this week the network is repeating the pilot episode which shows Joan's first talk with God who urges her to get a part-time job. Sounds more like Joan's parents than the Supreme Creator of All Things to me. (Repeat)
STARGATE ATLANTIS (9 PM, SCI FI) "Hide and Seek." As the Atlantis team continues to explore the Ancients' city, they accidentally set free a dangerous entity that could drain all the power from the city. No power, no Stargate. This being only the second episode of the series, that would definitely be a bad thing.
THE LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN (11:30 PM, CBS) Not satisified that her latest film has been adequately represented on late night television, Brittany Murphy comes on to tell Dave's audience to not see CATWOMAN or "that silly BOURNE movie" and instead see her new movie, LITTLE BLACK BOOK. In the green room, Paula Poundstone paces.
SATURDAY, JULY 24
CHICKEN RUN (8 PM, NBC) It's Mel Gibson playing the role that prepared him to direct THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST.
UNBREAKABLE (8 PM, ABC) Disney cashes in on M. Night Shyamalan's soon-to-be-released next film THE VILLAGE by airing the filmmaker's ode to superheroes. During the movie the network will offer a special look at THE VILLAGE.
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (11:30 PM, NBC) Before one of them went into rehab, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson hosted the show. Musical guests J-Kwon. (Repeat)
SUNDAY, JULY 25
THE SIMPSONS (8 PM, FOX) "Fradulent News." After Mr. Burns buys all of Springfield's newspapers to stop printing negative stories about him, Lisa starts her own free press newspaper and takes him to task. (Repeat)
THE 4400 (9PM, USA) "Becoming." Becoming what? Why is the USA Network website horrible when it comes to getting information about next week's episode of this series? Now I'm becoming despondent.
THE DEAD ZONE (10 PM, USA) "Looking Glass." Johnny see a vision of a murder committed by a stranger wearing a mask. The weird thing is, the killer wanted him to see it happen.
TV Wasteland is our weekly Television column.