By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"The Office," 7 p.m., NBC. This comedy has nimbly found a middle road. It's a little like the original British version of the show, droll and distant. Still, it adds enough punch lines to satisfy American viewers. The show centers on an office and its boss, Michael (Steve Carell), who isn't nearly as bright or important as he imagines. In the first rerun, a fire alarm sends everyone to the parking lot, where games-playing begins. In the second, Michael and his boss chase a new client (Tim Meadows). In the third, Michael panics over performance reviews. In the fourth, he may be spying on his employees' e-mails.
"Scripps National Spelling Bee," finals, 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. (live), ESPN; and 7 p.m. (delayed), ABC. For the first time this contest reaches prime time on a broadcast network. Think of it as a game show but not one we can play along with. This started with 10.5 million grade-school students. A total of 275 (the youngest age 9) have reached the finals, including 37 who were home-schooled.
"The Princess Bride" (1987), 5 p.m., AMC. Rob Reiner directed this fun broth, filled with fairy-tale characters. The pretty stars (Cary Elwes and Robin Wright) seem bland here but they have quickly grown into skilled actors. The supporting cast is wonderful, including Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Fred Savage, Peter Falk and (really) Andre the Giant.
"Gameshow Marathon," 7 p.m., CBS. The second round of this summer show, which puts celebrities into various classic TV games. Tonight is "Let's Make a Deal."
"The Human Behavior Experiments," 7 p.m., Court TV. Some classic experiments showed that many people would go to extremes — even inflicting pain on others — if instructed by someone in authority. This documentary revisits those studies.
"Without a Trace," 9 p.m., CBS. When a therapist disappears, the team assumes one of her former patients is responsible.
"ER," 9 p.m., NBC. Neela just wants to go on a ride-along with a handsome ambulance driver (John Stamos). They end up at a disaster site with dozens of people trapped.
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