If it's summer, you know it must be time for the relatively cheap reality and variety shows to hit the airwaves.
Perhaps the most intriguing is "America's Got Talent," (NBC, 9 p.m.), which has generated a lot of interest over the past few weeks, ever since Susan Boyle hit international stardom on "Britain's Got Talent."
It was hard to take "AGT" seriously, with Jerry Springer serving as host and David Hasselhoff and Sharon Osbourne serving as two of the judges. After all, if the judges don't have talent, it doesn't say much for the contestants. Additionally, NBC seemed content to promote the more silly acts rather than anyone who might have had talent.
Enter Susan Boyle. With a gajillion Web hits on sites like YouTube, Boyle has risen to international star even though she didn't win the contest this year. Now judges are hoping to find an American Susan Boyle, and there's talk that they are trying to get the real Boyle to appear on the show in some capacity.
Nick Cannon, who has had a successful music career, replaces Springer as host. If they could replace Hasselhoff and Osbourne, this show might suddenly seem like a genuine talent competition. As it is, we'll see how successful the makeover is.
Meanwhile, Bravo debuts "NYC Prep" at 10 p.m., which is supposed to be essentially "Gossip Girl" with real life teens. You'd think that such a premise wouldn't work, but this is the same network that delivers "Real Housewives," so who knows who will tune in.
Finally, ABC introduces "The Superstars" from 8-9:30 p.m. It sort of revives memories of the old "Battle of the Network Stars" from the 1970s and early 80s, but in this case, it's a mix of actors and athletes competing. I think the show would be more fun if they had to compete on the "Wipeout" course, but that's just me.
R.I.P. ED MCMAHON: The most famous sidekick in history was 86. He had a variety of health issues over the past few years. He also served as host of the original TV reality talent contest, "Star Search."
TUESDAY'S BEST BETS: After "The Superstars," my TV section says the episode of "Better Off Ted" (ABC, 9:30 p.m.) is new.
"Mental" (Fox, 9 p.m.) seems to be crossing into River Phoenix territory as an actor goes nuts -- or does he?
On cable, "The Cleaner" (A&E, 10 p.m.) returns for a new season, with guest star Whoopi Goldberg appearing as Benjamin Bratt's former sponsor.
"Rescue Me" (FX, 10 p.m.) continues its excellent run as Black Shawn finds himself the guest at a Gavin family dinner. Oy.
Also new are TNT's "Hawthorne" at 9 p.m. and "Saving Grace" at 10 p.m.
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