TV Daily

Salon's guide to what to watch on Friday and this weekend: Wannabe Hooties and Teslas and teen rockers duke it out on the "The Next Great American Band."

Published October 19, 2007 10:00AM (EDT)

Weekend Pick

The never-ending search for the next "American Idol" continues with Fox's "The Next Great American Band" (two-hour episode premieres at 8 p.m. EDT Friday), which parades a dizzying array of bands in front of the camera to compete for a recording contract. During the first round of auditions, at least, the show casts a wide net, featuring pop bands, bluegrass bands, R&B bands and gothic clown rockers (don't ask). None of the bands on the bare-bones highlights reel we were sent struck us as stars in the making, but it is interesting to note the dramatic sonic difference between the obvious pros, who sound tight and move together as a unit, and the amateurs, who every other second threaten to fall apart onstage. Hearing a soloist's voice crack or watching a dancer stumble doesn't come close to watching a band struggle to follow the same rhythm. It's tough to say whether this competition will develop into an exciting TV event or a big, huge mess, but either way, witnessing the wannabe Hooties and Teslas and teen rockers of the first episode is pretty fun, like attending a fast-motion, ultra-cheesy Fox-sponsored Battle of the Bands.


On Saturday, FX is airing a "Damages" marathon (starts at 8 a.m. EDT) so those who missed the countless shocking revelations of the season can catch up before Tuesday night's season finale. On Sunday, "Incredible Human Machine" airs at 8 p.m. EDT on National Geographic, and the 37th season of "Masterpiece Theatre" premieres (9 p.m. EDT on PBS, check listings) with the first episode of the five-part series "Amazing Mrs. Pritchard," about a grocery store manager who becomes a politician. And on "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (10 p.m. EDT on HBO), Larry's DVR breaks down, causing serious marital discord.

On the talk shows -- Friday

Regis and Kelly

ABC, 9 a.m. EDT

Denzel Washington, Vern Yip, guest co-host Mark Consuelos

The View

ABC, 11 a.m. EDT

Donny Deutsch

Ellen DeGeneres

Syndicated, check local listings

Reese Witherspoon

Oprah Winfrey

Syndicated, check local listings

"I'm the Other Woman"

Charlie Rose

PBS, check local listings

Jude Law

Larry King

CNN, 9 p.m. EDT


David Letterman

CBS, 11:30 p.m. EDT

Amanda Peet, Patrick Warburton, Jeff Caldwell

Jay Leno

NBC, 11:35 p.m. EDT

Halle Berry, Greg Grunberg, Dwight Yoakam

Tavis Smiley

PBS, check local listings

Chris Mooney, Keith Urban

Jimmy Kimmel

ABC, 12:05 a.m. EDT

Terry Bradshaw, Keith Urban

Conan O'Brien

NBC, 12:35 a.m. EDT

Josh Hartnett, Jack McBrayer, Brother Ali

Craig Ferguson

CBS, 12:35 a.m. EDT

Kenneth Branagh, Todd Sawyer

Contributors: Megan Doll, Heather Havrilesky, Eryn Loeb, Amy Reiter

By Salon Staff

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