WASHINGTON, March 12, 2013 —Since both NCIS series are running repeats, tonight’s a night when reality shows dominate with original episodes of “Celebrity Wife Swap,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “The Taste.” As a rule I avoid reality shows. In fact, I have been accused of trying to singlehandedly erase the entire genre from TV.
However, I am a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsay when they’re in their natural habitats, so the night isn’t a total bust. Also on “Celebrity Wife Swap,” tonight’s wife swap has the potential to be hilarious.
Gilbert Gottfried has quite possibly the most annoying voice on the planet, not to mention a face that only a mother could love. Combine this with his frugal lifestyle, (he’s a cheapskate) and all these combined could be the fodder for a “Celebrity Wife Swap” actually worth watching.
While Mr. Gottfried was reluctant to participate in “Celebrity Wife Swap” (on which he and Ms. Gottfried trade partners with Alan Thicke and his wife, Tanya Callau) he conceded that reality TV has become a necessary evil for maintaining a showbiz career.
“To the public,” Mr. Gottfried said, “Kim Kardashian is a much bigger name than Robert De Niro.” Mr. Gottfried is certainly accurate in his assessment, but if I ever see Robert De Niro on a reality show, I’ll be using my flat screen for target practice.
Come to think of it, there is one reality show that would work for De Niro. Picture Robert De Niro with a Mohawk haircut and in character as Travis Bickle in “Taxi Driver,” picking up unsuspecting passengers.
The required reality show gimmick would be to have De Niro staying in character, regardless of what his customers say. The next part is tricky, but essential for the ratings. Somehow the producers have to find a way to get celebrities into the cab.
Given the outrageous formats reality shows have already pulled off, I have no doubt creative producers could manipulate celebrities into a taxi cab. They can always recruit Betty White to do this, because everyone loves Betty and would do anything she asks.
Imagine Donald Trump in a cab with De Niro as Travis Bickle, and it’s easy to see the potential for such a show. The thought of De Niro glaring at Donald “The Donald” Trump through his rear view mirror with those crazy Travis Bickle eyes would be priceless. It sounds a bit preposterous, but never underestimate the acting skills of two time Oscar winner De Niro. Or “The Donald,” for that matter.
Between the self-absorption of celebrities and De Niro’s acting skills, odds are he could pull it off. We can call it “Celebrity Taxi Terrors” and move it to a different city each season to keep it fresh. To the eager beaver reality show producers who may be reading this, you can send my royalty checks in care of Washington Times Communities.
All times are EST:
ABC: Celebrity Wife Swap: (New) Actor Alan Thicke’s wife, Tanya, finds comic Gilbert Gottfried’s economical ways a shock when she leaves her lavish life to trade places with Gottfried’s wife, Dara.
CBS: NCIS: (Repeat) Gibbs teams up with FBI agent T.C. Fornell on a joint investigation when Fornell becomes the target of a shooting. The case gets more complicated when their mutual ex-wife, Diane, becomes involved. Meanwhile, rumors run rampant when Diane stays overnight at McGee’s place.
FOX: Hell’s Kitchen: (New) The 11th season opens with 20 aspiring restaurateurs presenting signature dishes in Las Vegas, where they split into two teams and attempt to impress Chef Gordon Ramsay. Later, they settle into their dorms and prepare the first dinner service, which goes badly and results in incomplete dishes being served to patrons.
NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (Repeat) A troupe of senior citizens pulls pranks on unsuspecting folks in this hidden-camera series. Appearing: Nicole Richie.
CW: Hart of Dixie: (Repeat) A distracted Lavon needs help with Pioneer Day, so Zoe and Wade portray the town’s Founding Couple while Lemon and AnnaBeth cater the First Feast. Elsewhere, George counsels Brick on his love life.
NBC: Betty White’s Off Their Rockers: (New) A best-of installment culled from Season 1 episodes includes a prankster pulling out his own tooth; a lady at an airport hoping to join the “mile-high club”; and a man trying to secure his car with tape.
ABC: The Taste: (New) The final four contestants each present three dishes to the judges; after an elimination the remaining contestants must prepare their most decadent dish in hope of wowing the judges and claiming the grand prize.
CBS: NCIS: Los Angeles: (Repeat) The body of a retired marine is found at a bomb-making compound in Afghanistan, following a drone strike on the facility. The team investigates to determine why the soldier was there and if he betrayed the U.S.
NBC: Go On: (Repeat) Ryan becomes a big-brother figure for Owen. Meanwhile, Yolanda believes she can graduate from the group.
CW: Beauty and the Beast: (Repeat) Cat introduces Vincent to Heather. Meanwhile, Evan receives a proposition.
NBC: The New Normal: (Repeat) The guys accidentally discover the sex of their baby. Elsewhere, Shania gives a stirring performance at a school assembly, inspiring Goldie to pursue her dreams.
ABC: Body of Proof: (New) Megan and and her team are shot at as they investigate a crime scene involving the murder of a notorious mobster’s son; after a suspect is gunned down, Megan realizes the case needs to be solved quickly before the body count rises.
CBS: Golden Boy: (New) Clark investigates the death of a police officer who was moonlighting for a hip-hop mogul; and he gets to turn the tables on Arroyo by threatening to expose his relationship with McKenzie.
NBC: Smash: (New) Eileen’s Bombshell decision puts Derek and Karen in a tough position as Hit List faces its first performance. Sean Hayes, Jesse L. Martin and Nikki Blonsky guest star.
New episodes of:
Dual Survival at 9 p.m. on DSC
Top Gear at 9 p.m. on History Channel
Income Property at 9 p.m. on HGTV
Dance Moms at 9 p.m. on LIFE
Doomsday Preppers at 9 p.m. on NGC
Face Off at 9 p.m. on Syfy
19 Kids and Counting: Duggars Do Asia at 9 p.m. on TLC
Wild Things With Dominique Monaghan at 10 p.m. on BBC
The Millionaire Matchmaker at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Dual Survival: Untamed at 10 p.m. on DSC
Chopped at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Justified at 10 p.m. on FX
Snooki and JWoww at 10 p.m. on MTV
Apocalypse 101 at 10 p.m. on NGC
Alien Encounters at 10 p.m. on SCI
Robot Combat League at 10 p.m. on Syfy
Cougar Town at 10 p.m. on TBS
Armed and Ready at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
For movie lovers:
Catwoman on AMC
Crazy, Stupid Love on CINEMAX
Jack on FLIX
Wanderlust on HBO
Great Expectations on SUND
Hang ‘em High on TCM
The Vow on STARZ
Tombstone on MOMAX
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows on HBO
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs on FMC
Outbreak at 9:40 p.m. on ENC
Swordfish at 10 p.m. on AMC
From Dusk Till Dawn at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
The Westerner at 10 p.m. on TCM
The Hills Have Eyes at 10:15 p.m. on IFC
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