7 p.m. Thursday, March 20
The dust has settled. Lifetime has emerged victorious from the protracted network battle over the “Project Runway” franchise, and on Thursday, it's flaunting its new prize like only it knows how. Surely, you've been there, or at least know some one who has. One minute you're lingering on one provocatively titled Tori Spelling movie — “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger” maybe — and suddenly you've lost an afternoon gobbling up “Gospel of Deceit” and “My Stepson, My Lover,” too. Thursday, the Estrogen Channel presents three and a half hours of “Project Runway”-related programming. Here's betting most fans don't even bat an eye at that kind of commitment. First up, from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m., the main event, as far as Central Arkansas is concerned: Mabelvale's Korto Momolu returns to the runway to battle against seven other former contestants for a $100,000 prize. Nicole Kidman is serving as a special guest judge. The show's already taped, and in Sunday's Democrat-Gazette, Korto said, “Eventually, it's the last man who's standing that wins — not the person they claim is, quote-unquote, the winner,” which probably means she didn't win, but may mean she destroys everyone in some sort of fashion battle royale. The premiere of season six follows at 9 p.m., with a new companion series about the models of the show finishing out the block at 9:30 p.m.
CHILDREN OF EARTH
Given that I've become a huge fan of the “Doctor Who” spin off “Torchwood” over the past few years, I can't believe I let “Torchwood: Children of Earth” slip by without a mention. Just to get you up to speed, “Torchwood” is an original series by the BBC about a super-secret group of agents who track, collect and maintain any alien technology that falls to earth, often while saving the world in the process. Led by Capt. Jack Harkness (John Barrowman), a guy who is apparently immortal and who is omni-sexual (he's easily the baddest-ass gay dude on TV), the show is a real sci-fi tour-de-force — funny, sharp, intelligent, with some of the best mythology and plotlines around. That said, “Children of Earth” might be the best product of an already amazing show. A five-night miniseries, “Children” follows Capt. Jack and Torchwood over the course of five days. It all starts when every child on earth stops in his or her tracks. While frightened parents all over the world look on, their kids begin repeating: “We are coming.” Just what is coming ends up being at the heart of one of the best sci-fi storylines I've seen in years, full of twists and turns, and all capped off with an ending so shocking that I honestly don't know if an American TV series could have gotten away with it. In short, it's a brilliant piece of work, by a show that has been a consistent crowd-pleaser since its debut. “Torchwood: Children of Earth” is out on DVD and Blu-ray now, so if you've got Netflix or are in the market for some good sci-fi, get it soon.
8 p.m. Wednesday, August 26
This writer is out of the closet now as a weekend paranormal investigator – so much so that a friend told me the other day that I'm now officially that reporter who was always chasing the Incredible Hulk on the old TV show back in the '70s. The hardest part of telling people that I'm interested in paranormal research is explaining to them that I'm really a fairly hardcore skeptic – an open-minded skeptic, but still a skeptic, especially when it comes to all the hocus-pocus, crystal worshipping and general kookiness that goes on in the field. Given that, I've got a real love/hate relationship with the SyFy (that would be pronounced “Sci-Fi”) Channel show “Ghost Hunters.” Sure, the team followed on the show – The Atlantic Paranormal Society, or TAPS, for short – is a pretty good representation of the best of amateur paranormal research: rational, skeptical, always looking for the natural explanation before the supernatural. At the same time, though, it's still a TV show, and “Ghost Hunters” (purposefully, I think) gives a VERY skewed version of what it's like to go on an investigation. Week to week, it's pretty much an episode of “24” except with ghosts instead of terrorists. In reality, an overnight vigil – for most people – would be about as much fun as watching dishes dry in a sink. Methinks there might be some reality-show drama-churning afoot. Whatever the case, “Ghost Hunters” is back for an all-new season. Check it out, if you dare.