What's On: Ancestry with the Stars
It may seem like celebrities were placed on earth by God himself but they actually descended from a messy web of ancestors just like the rest of us. That might be the point of NBC's new Friday night placeholder Who Do You Think You Are? Of course, the point could also be that it is pretty inexpensive to throw together a field crew, get some lab nerds to run some DNA, and then dig deep into the music library for motifs that can disguise blandness and shallow emotional content.
Who Do You Think You Are? [8 PM, NBC]
You may not have the resources to employ a crack squad of genealogists to trace your family's history and then fly around the country to follow up on a few ancestors who were involved in the Salem witch trials, but do you know who does? NBC, who is going to spend their budget providing these services for someone else who has the kind of resources to back this ancestor-hunt, like Lisa Kudrow, or in tonight's season premiere, Sarah Jessica Parker.
Supernanny [8 PM, ABC]
It's hard to believe that Jo Frost has been playing child whisperer for six seasons but she has, and in tonight's episode she encounters an entirely new kind of family. The kind of family that owns a coffee shop and allows kids to rough house inside. The episode will more than likely end in tears for both children and adults and no less than a dozen exasperated glances toward the camera by Jo.
Life and Times of Tim [9:30 PM, HBO]
If you haven't seen the first season of this animated series by former copywriter Steve Dildarian, tune in tonight for a new episode in which a firefighter claims to have saved Tim's life. Meanwhile, Tim gets swallowed up in a coworker's life. Past guest voices have included Bob Saget, Jeff Garlin and Cheri Oteri.
The Silence of the Lambs [8 PM, AMC]
You may have noticed Ted Levine, the actor responsible for Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb, in Shutter Island, which may have been a serious mindf*ck but nothing as evil or haunting as Jonathan Demme's 1992 thriller which swept five major Academy Awards (Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Actress in a Leading Roll, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Writing - Screenplay Based on Material From Another Medium). Downgrade to Oxygen at 9:30 PM for the sequel, Hannibal.