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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Tube notes

By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service


"American Idol" season opener, 7 p.m., Fox. TV's most entertaining reality series is back, ready to propel fresh rounds of day-after arguments. Sure, this show has had flaws. One judge (Paula Abdul) went most of last season with nothing to contribute. The male contestants have been weak. When voting, viewers have shown a bias toward the young and cute. Still, "Idol" grabs us. It has two smart judges (Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson), a buoyant host (Ryan Seacrest) and contestants who seem to overflow with optimism and idealism. The season starts, as usual, with auditions. Tonight's opener is scheduled to include the Chicago stop.


"The Italian Job" (2003), 5:30 p.m., FX. Sure, there was no great need to remake the 1969 Michael Caine film. Still, this is an entertaining heist movie, with a twisty script, two clever schemes (one involving boats, the other involving tiny Cooper cars) and a dandy cast. Mark Wahlberg stars and Charlize Theron who has shown immense range and skill lately is superb in support. There's also Edward Norton, Mos Def, Seth Green and more.

"NCIS," 7 p.m., CBS. Here is trouble: An abducted Navy officer had information about a key nuclear shipment.

"Gilmore Girls," 7 p.m., WB. Luke was slow to tell his fiancee, Lorelei, that he has learned he has a 12-year-old daughter. Things become more complicated when the girl decides to spend the day at his diner.

"Nova: Deadly Ascent," 8 p.m., PBS. How can we explain some of the medical crises people have while mountain climbing? In this documentary, scientists study the effects while climbing Mount McKinley in Alaska.

"Commander in Chief," 8 p.m., ABC. The crisis escalates when North Koreans learn a U.S. sub has wandered into their waters. Some sides want Mac to rush to war.

Mike Hughes, Gannett News Service