NFL Draft Tonight

OK, so in case you haven't heard, ESPN and the NFL have managed to make the longest-lasting sports-related event -- the NFL Draft -- even longer by expanding it to three days.

Tonight, the first round of the draft (ESPN, 7:30 p.m.) takes place, and ESPN has slotted something like eight hours for just this lone round, to give an idea about the glacial pace it takes.

Most of the time is taken up with teams scrambling to make last-minute deals, but often, there's little surprise (except when the Raiders pick) because you have the Mel Kipers telling you which team is going to pick what.

To be sure, there are a few players -- most notably, Florida QB Tim Tebow -- who are wildcards and could go as high as the first round or a lot lower, but the surprise element of the draft is how little surprise there is, assuming trades don't shake things up.

For Middle Georgia football fans, we have three area players who have a chance to get picked pretty high -- Alabama cornerback Kareem Jackson (Westside-Macon), Georgia Tech WR Demaryus Thomas (West Laurens), and Marshall RB Darius Marshall (Baldwin). That's in addition to other players from Tech, UGA and perhaps Georgia Southern.

Anyway, pull up a very comfortable chair, keep your six-pack in a handy cooler, break open the bag of nachos and enjoy.

THURSDAY'S BEST BETS: "Fringe" (Fox, 9 p.m.) has been on a stellar run of late, with two of the best hours of TV I've seen all year (the episode three weeks ago exploring Peter's "death" and last week's with guest star Peter Weller as a time traveller). It's new tonight, following a new "Bones."

"Supernatural" (CW, 9 p.m.) is always stellar and is also new, following last week's 100th episode. It follows a new "Vampire Diaries."

Dmitri's (John Cho) death day has arrived on "FlashForward," (ABC, 8 p.m.), followed by new episodes of "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice."

NBC's comedies return for with all-new episodes from 8-10 p.m., followed by the season finale of "The Marriage Ref" at 10 p.m.

CBS is all-new with "Survivor," "CSI" and "The Mentalist."