What's On: Party at Lopez's


The weekend premiere of The Wanda Sykes Show came and went without too much fanfare, and many night owls might not realize it replaced another unheralded late-night effort, Talkshow with Spike Feresten. Then again, that was on Saturday, a night that you're supposed to have an excuse not to watch television. Monday nights are a different story -- one that now has a Latin flair as Lopez Tonight drops on TBS. Comedian George Lopez promises a fresh take on the white-guy-and-desk formula, but probably not major ratings.

Lopez Tonight [11 PM, TBS]

George Lopez has spent months promoting his "block party" talk show, so let's pray that the streets are properly barricaded, there's plenty of cheap beer, and the kids stay far away from the Roman candles during tonight's premiere. Lopez will probably loosen up the studio audience by dancing with guest Ellen DeGeneres before welcoming friend and actress Eva Longoria Parker, athlete Kobe Bryant, and legendary rock musician Santana to the cul-de-sac.

How I Met Your Mother [8 PM, CBS]

One of the inherent charms of HIMYM (aside from Neil Patrick Harris and Robin's surprisingly catchy "Let's Go To The Mall" song) is the number of celebrity cameos the show has scored in recent seasons. Tonight, the tradition continues with Alan Thicke appearing as himself to dispense advice when Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney's (Neil Patrick Harris) improbable relationship crumbles.

CSI: Miami [10 PM, CBS]

For the first time in CSI history, all three series will cross over, beginning with tonight's Miami, continuing with Wednesday's New York and concluding in Las Vegas on Thursday. The "triple crown" starts when Horatio Caine (David Caruso) calls Ray Langston (Laurence Fishburne) after finding the appendage of a girl who went missing from Vegas. The investigation continues when the NY team finds a trucking crew harvesting human organs.


Kite Runner [10 PM, TMC]

Once the historical moment of health care reform ends, the American public will once again remember that a major war is on in Afghanistan. With the technology-dependent brand of soldier replacing the heart-and-hand-grenade model of World War II and Vietnam and globalization displacing the Monroe Doctrine, the most compelling narrative strategies for film artists looking to dramatize this and other foreign conflicts will be through adapting stories like The Kite Runner. The drama might require empathy and a bit of reading on the part of the audience, but Americans can learn to appreciate stories (albeit subtitled ones) that teach them things other than how CGI technology has advanced. Foreign stories of loss and kinship don't make great talk show fodder, but at least talking about this film will make you seen smarter.