Two new sitcoms hit the airwaves tonight and Thursday for your viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, I haven't seen advance episodes of either, so I can't really tell you much about them.
"Are You There Chelsea?" (NBC, 8:30 p.m.) debuts tonight, based on the books of comedienne Chelsea Handler. Laura Prepon plays Chelsea in this version, about a bar worker trying to get her life in order after getting busted for a DUI. Handler has a recurring role on the show as Chelsea's religious sister.
Handler does have a strong following of fans, thanks to her talk show on E and her books, so it will be interesting to see how that translates into ratings. NBC badly needs something to catch fire.
So far, the reviews have been a little mixed. "Entertainment Weekly's" review of "Chelsea" said the show isn't as bad as "Whitney," the show that precedes it and one of the worst-reviewed new shows of the season. Talk about damning with faint praise.
Also new this week is "Rob," which debuts on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. after "Big Bang Theory." It stars comic Rob Schneider as a man who marries a Hispanic woman and tries to fit in with her large family, headed by Cheech Marin.
The reviews for this show haven't been kind thus far, and I'm not a huge fan of Rob Schneider to begin with. I've made a point of avoiding movies like "Deuce Bigelow" and its ilk.
Again, it will be interesting to see how well it does ratings-wise. CBS yanked "How To Be A Gentleman" earlier this year after three episodes because it lost so much of its lead-in from "Big Bang," even though its overall numbers -- about 9 million viewers in its debut -- would have made it a hit on NBC. (Bad reviews didn't help that show, either.) What sort of numbers will "Rob" need to stay on the air?
Anyway, like I said, I haven't seen either show, so check them out if you like and judge for yourself.
WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: "Chelsea" follows "Whitney," which has moved to a new night. It's followed by a new "Harry's Law," which guest stars Erica Durrence of "Smallville" as a woman who thinks she's Wonder Woman. This is a really tough dilemma for me -- do I want to waste hour watching something written by David E. Kelley, or do I want to watch Erica Durrence dressed as Wonder Woman? Decisions, decisions. They are followed by "Law & Order: SVU" at 10 p.m.
NBC's sitcoms face the unenviable task of facing the ABC lineup, headed up by new episodes of "The Middle" and "Suburgatory" running opposite them, and followed by new episodes of "Modern Family," "Happy Endings" and "Revenge." In quasi-related news, ABC announced that "Cougar Town" definitely will return at some point, but didn't say when.
CBS airs "The People's Choice" at 9 p.m. Whatever, it's all just a popularity contest -- in this case, literally. Fox continues to air "Mobbed" at 9 p.m. for reasons unknown.
On cable, SyFy brings back the reality makeup competition "Face Off" at 10 p.m. Meanwhile, "State of Play" (BBC America, 10 p.m.) wraps up its six-part series.