By Mike Hughes
Gannett News Service
By Mike Hughes
"School of Rock" (2003), 7 p.m., Fox. Jack Black plays Dewey, a hard-living rocker with no money and few prospects. Mike White is Ned, a responsible roommate who pays the rent by being a substitute teacher. Then Dewey intercepts a call: A private school needs a long-time sub. Can Dewey get cash by claiming to be Ned? Will he convert these kids into young rockers? That could have been a loud and simple movie, the kind we forget in an hour or so. But "School of Rock" has two big advantages. One is that White wrote the script. In all of his writing — "Orange County," "The Good Girl," TV's "Pasadena," more — he juggles humor, human portraits and some warmth. The other is that Richard Linklater directed. His early films — "Slacker," "Dazed and Confused," "Before Sunrise" — made him a favorite of critics. Now he shows that a light subject and an artful director can combine.
"Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" debut. 7:30 p.m., Disney Channel. Then it airs at 9 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. After 78 years as an animation star, Mickey Mouse has his first go-around in computer animation. His pals — Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Daisy, Donald — are there, too. It's aimed at the pre-school set, complete with a shape-changing clubhouse. Some words will be similar to those of the old "Mickey Mouse Club." Viewers will hear about Mousketools and a Mousekedoer. To start the story, they'll be urged to shout the magic phrase "Meeska, mooska, Mickey Mouse!"
"Ghost Whisperer," 7 p.m., CBS. In the second half of the season finale, Melinda faces an overwhelming situation: After a plane crash, hundreds of spirits want her attention. But an entity wants to keep them from following the light. Instead, they would be used for evil purposes.
"Close to Home," 8 p.m., CBS. A high school basketball star shoots his teammate and then claims it's an accident.
"Las Vegas," 8 p.m., NBC. Skating star Sasha Cohen plays herself, visiting the casino. Meanwhile, Delinda must decide whether to accept a handsome doctor's proposal. Danny and Mike help two gamblers learn whether their wives are cheating. And we re-meet the mismatched couple from crossover episodes — Sam (Vanessa Marcil) goes on a vacation with Woody (Jerry O'Connell of "Crossing Jordan").
"Conviction," 9 p.m., NBC. Reiko Aylesworth, who was so good as Michelle in "24," guests as a lawyer who kills her husband, then defends herself.
"Numb3rs," 9 p.m., CBS. After Don busts some credit-card scammers, he finds his own account has been invaded.