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TELEVISION: Turn-ons and Turn-offs


Five New Shows to Watch

"Everybody Hates Chris" (UPN, Thursdays at 8 p.m.)

Chris Rock narrates this "Wonder Years"-gone-horribly-wrong account of his childhood with trademark wit and jokes that you'll be dying to claim as your own. If you saw "The Office," you know this isn't a good idea.

"Prison Break" (Fox, Mondays at 9 p.m.)

Possibly this year's best argument for getting TiVo, this gripping episodic drama stars Wentworth Miller as a structural engineer (no, wait — keep reading!) who intentionally goes to prison to bust out his wrongly convicted brother. Like "Oz," with less rape and more tension.

"Criminal Minds" (CBS, Wednesdays at 9 p.m.)

You would be right if you said America's fascination with missing young white women was out of control. You'd also be nuts to miss this creepy nail-biter starring Mandy Patinkin as a serial-killer catcher who will not be bursting into song.

"Invasion" (ABC, Wednesdays at 10 p.m.)

Aliens infiltrate Florida's society, a concept that won't be unfamiliar to anyone who's watched the news in the past decade. Taking the lead of "Lost," the mystery will unfold excruciatingly slowly. Created by Shaun Cassidy. Yes, that Shaun Cassidy.

"The Apprentice: Martha Stewart" (NBC, Wednesdays at 8 p.m.)

Remember "Wickedly Perfect," CBS's ham-fisted reality attempt at finding the next Martha? Me neither! Anyone who tells you they won't be watching this is either boring or lying. Memo to contestants: Learn the color of Araucana eggs now.

Five New Shows NOT to Watch

"Ghost Whisperer" (CBS, Fridays at 8 p.m.)

Jennifer Love Hewitt couldn't save this warmed-over retread of NBC's "Medium" if she did the entire show in a bikini. I'll admit the prospect of seeing her embrace her Goth-icon destiny is tempting, but really, it's a total rip-off.

"Inconceivable" (NBC, Fridays at 10 p.m.)

To think I once imagined a bunch of people filling petri dishes with agar would be less than compelling. This comic drama set at a fertility clinic — oops, my brain involuntarily locked up just typing those words. Next!

"Freddie" (ABC, Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m.)

I have a soft spot for Freddie Prinze, but sadly it's nowhere near my yuk-yuk bone. He has an unpredictable Latino family. Misunderstandings, wackiness and life lessons ensue. Look out for a sassy grandma!

"Killer Instinct" (Fox, Fridays at 9 p.m.)

This year's "Johnny Zero" award goes to Johnny Messner, as a San Francisco cop who deals with the worst crimes imaginable in that city (no, not voting Republican). As it turns out, Messner's cop has a few personal demons of his own. Yawn.

"Sex, Love & Secrets" (UPN, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.)

Do not watch this evening soap starring Denise Richards as a 30-something L.A. hipster under any circumstances, as it will slowly take over your life. You remember how you got about "Melrose Place"? OK, me too! Meet me at my house! Something's got to fill the void left by Tommy Lee. — Andrew Beaujon

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