Thursday's Best Bets

Just a quick update for today...

I caught all three premieres of the Thursday's new shows last week. Of the three, only "Parks & Recreation" (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) is the one I can imagine tuning in for on a weekly basis.

Is it as good as "The Office?" Well, it's not really a fair comparison for a brand-new show to go against one of TV's top sitcoms over the past few years. I thought back to the first few episodes of the US "Office" and tried not to compare it too much to the UK version, even though they used a lot of the same storylines.

As with any show, it took "The Office" a few episodes to find its own legs, and I think it will be the case for "Parks & Rec." Still, I think Amy Poehler has hit the right comedic note with her character.

As for the two 10 p.m. new offereings, NBC's "Southland" and CBS' "Harper's Island," all they did was make me wish for the return of USA's "Burn Notice" several months early.

The super-serious "Southland" isn't terrible, just a bit generic. But the cast is decent enough where it could develop into a decent show. I just don't get the feeling it will be given much of a chance to grow.

The hackneyed "Harper's," however, was a complete waste of time. Some people might feel it has a goofy charm to it, but I felt pretty unmoved at its silliness.

As for the rest of the night, it's a mix of new episodes and reruns. ABC has new episodes of "In The Motherhood" and "Samantha Who?" but reruns the rest of the night.

"CSI" (CBS, 9 p.m.) looks interesting tonight since a murder takes place at a convention for a "Star Trek"-like TV series. ("Galaxy Quest," perhaps?) Anyway, it's notable for the appearances of "Battlestar Galactica" creator Ron Moore as himself and star Kate Vernon as a doctor. The episode is credited to former "Star Trek: TNG" writer Naren Shankar.

"Bones" (Fox, 8 p.m.) airs a new episode in its regular timeslot, followed by "Hell's Kitchen. On NBC, "My Name Is Earl" is back with a new installment at 8 p.m., followed by "P&R," "The Office" and "30 Rock," all new.

Finally, on cable, the A&E drama "The Beast" nears the end of its first and likely last season at 10 p.m. with its penultimate episode.