TV

No 'Sunshine' Here; 'Justified' Returns

ABC airs a new episode of a show starring a former "Friends" castmate at 9:30 p.m. Unfortunately, it's not a new episode of Courtney Cox's wickedly funny "Cougar Town."

Instead, it's the new Matthew Perry vehicle "Mr. Sunshine," which debuts tonight.

Unlike "Cougar Town," which is clever and different, "Mr. Sunshine" doesn't offer much in terms of off-the-wall laughs. Perry stars as the manager of a large arena in San Diego, owned by a loony pill-popper (Allison Janney). He tries to have a friend-with-benefits relationship with a hot co-worker (Andrea Anders), but she only has eyes for an upbeat co-worker (James Lesure). Jorge Garcia of "Lost" has a guest role as a building maintenance worker.

Unlike Cox, who plays a completely different character than her anally retentive Monica Gellar from "Friends," Perry seems to be playing a different shade of Chandler Bing, slightly older, but still cracking wise. Even Matt LeBlanc is showing a wider range playing an absurd version of himself on Showtime's hit "Episodes."

"Sunshine" plays a bit like an early edition of "Scrubs," minus the lead character voice-over. There are some elements that made me laugh, but not enough that it's a worthy replacement of "Cougar Town."

Meanwhile, FX returns one of TV's best shows from last year with Season 2 of "Justified," kicking off at 10 p.m. Timothy Olyphant plays US Marshal Raylen Givens, charged with cleaning up his old stomping grounds in Kentucky.

This time around, Givens is squaring off with a backwoods clan of criminals. Will he be helped or hindered by his long-time rival (Walton Goggins), who became his ally as Season 1 ended?

It should be interesting to watch. The character of Givens was created by author Elmore Leonard, and the writers do a fantastic job of capturing that Leonard-style dialogue. Olyphant and Goggins complement each other perfectly.

FX has been delivering some of the best programming around, and "Justified" is at the top of that list.

WEDNESDAY'S BEST BETS: ABC has a whole night of new episodes of its sitcoms before "Mr. Sunshine," followed by a new "Off The Map" at 10 p.m.

CBS is brand-new with "Live To Dance," "Criminal Minds" and "Blue Bloods," while Fox has "American Idol" at 8 p.m., followed by the season finale of "Human Target" at 9 p.m.

At 10 p.m., there's a new "Law & Order: SVU" on NBC.

Finally, if you've heard about the new IBM computer that will debut on "Jeopardy" next week, "NOVA" (PBS, 10 p.m.) is running a special about its creation and a behind-the-scenes look as the computer, named Watson, faces off against "Jeopardy" legends Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings.

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