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Wednesday: What to Watch, What to TiVo

Pretty much everyone will (hopefully!) be tuning in to the vice presidential debate on Thursday night, but primetime Wednesday is a different story. There are four big season premieres and one even bigger season finale, all airing within the same three-hour span–which poses that not-so-age-old predicament: to TiVo or to watch live? Here is my, er, bailout plan (still too soon for that joke?).

WHAT TO WATCH LIVE

[IMG:L]Pushing Daisies (Season Premiere) — 8/7c on ABC

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Fine, so this selection is a no-brainer, because Daisies is the only one of the five big shows tonight that doesn’t conflict with the others–making it the obvious choice at 8:00. But even if it was facing stiff timeslot competition (which it actually is, in the form of Bones and New Adventures of Old Christine), Daisies should take precedence–especially since we’re talking season premiere. It was the best new show of fall 2007, and sophomore seasons tend to be where such series hit their stride. In the second-season opener, Chuck (Anna Friel) investigates the mysterious death of a spokesmodel (The O.C.‘s Autumn Reeser) for a honey-based cosmetics company, while Ned (Lee Pace) bemoans her growing independence.

[IMG:R]America’s Got Talent (Season Finale) — 9/8c on NBC

Full disclosure: I’ve only ever braved the cringe-fest that is America’s Got Talent when mining for priceless, nonsensical David Hasselhoff quotes; they’re unintentional-comedy gold! But obviously AGT is hugely popular–the summer American Idol, if you will–and such time-sensitive, results-based TV is perishable. If you think you can TiVo this finale and get through all of work on Thursday without hearing or reading who was crowned champion, then you must work at a place without a water cooler or Internet access! It’d be like TiVo-ing the Super Bowl and hoping not to find out who won. Well, almost.

[IMG:L]Dirty Sexy Money (Season Premiere) — 10/9c on ABC

Ah, perfect scheduling–no need to choose between this and the time sensitivity of the hour-long America’s Got Talent finale. Which is crucial because ABC’s deliciously soapy Money is just the type of buzzy show whose premiere would be the topic of procrastination conversation the following day in just about any workplace–and you’d need to be on full alert for potential spoilers. Don’t do that to yourself. Plus, you don’t want to be the last to find out who dies in the DS$ season premiere, now do you? ‘Nuff said.

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WHAT TO TIVO
 

[IMG:L]Friday Night Lights (Season Premiere) — 9/8c on DirecTV Ch. 101

Finally, a reason for me to be happy that my building requires DirecTV. (Pardon my tangential venting, but I can’t be the only one whose ‘signal’ goes out every time there’s a light drizzle within a 5-mile radius!) Tonight’s episode is the first since Friday Night Lights was punted (yesss!) from NBC to the leading satellite provider’s network of roughly 52,000 channels. Again, it’s an exciting premiere, but if you’re an America’s Got Talent fanatic, there’s no chance you’re forgoing that show’s finale for the football drama’s third-season premiere. TiVo now, enjoy later.

[IMG:R]Private Practice (Season Premiere) — 9/8c on ABC

This, too, is a big, highly anticipated season premiere, but in my opinion, Private Practice, more than of tonight’s shows, is a must-see-at-a-later date–meaning it can definitely wait to be viewed at your leisure with little to no risk of overhearing a recap. Save it for Thursday night to watch in Grey’s Anatomy’s stead (since the Palin-Biden debate bumps Grey’s for this week).

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