What's On: The Land of Poliwood


On the eve of Edward Norton's By the People: The Election of Barack Obama's HBO premiere, Showtime rolls out Barry Levinson's Poliwood, a documentary examining the positive and negative effects that celebrities have on politics. The program revisits last year's Democratic and Republican national conventions to explore the public's take on movie stars' political outspokenness. The 90-minute film includes conversations with Ellen Burstyn, Susan Sarandon, Sting, Elvis Costello, Annette Bening, Tim Daly (who also produced the documentary) and many others.

Poliwood [7:30 PM, Showtime]

Academy Award-winning Levinson examines the converging worlds of politics and entertainment, thanks to dialogues with over 20 celebrities. The film has been promoted as an all access pass for regular audience members like ourselves to see how high-profile celebs roll in the political arena.

I Want To Work For Diddy [10 PM, VH1]

The second season of Diddy's reality quest for a personal assistant begins tonight with 11 new contestants including a female beauty queen, a pro footballer and a few smarmy PR types. For anyone that remembers that episode of Making the Band where the music mogul forced his aspiring performers to prove their dedication by hoofing it to Diddy's favorite Harlem bakery to pick up his favorite baked good, you know that tonight's opener will be equal parts ridiculous hazing rituals and shots of Diddy's cushy Bad Boy headquarters.

Gossip Girl [9 PM, CW]

Last week, Jimmy Fallon flew relatively under the radar with a 30 Rock cameo and tonight, the Late Night host makes another, less expected cameo in Gossip Girl when Olivia (Hilary Duff) says something she regrets during an appearance on his talk show. Meanwhile, Nate (Chace Crawford) is concerned with the lengths his grandfather is willing to take to help Tripp (Aaron Tveit) win an election. Blair (Leighton Meester) tries to make Serena (Blake Lively) jealous by befriending a new "It Girl."


North by Northwest [10:15 PM, TCM]

As "wrong man" suspense thrillers go, North by Northwest might be the gold standard, but it is also a paragon of action comedy. Cary Grant knew how to lighten up a situation, but Ernest Lehman's script does not reserve all the good lines for the leading man. James Mason and Eva Marie Saint get in on the snappy banter as well, with Mason delivering deadly threats with his sinister but winning panache. About the only person not in on the joke is henchman/consigliere Martin Landau, but someone had to play the heavy.