TV tonight: Fashion Star; hour-long promo for Macy's, Saks and Express

The cast of “Fashion Star” takes it to the runway for season two premiere tonight.
Photo: NBC/Fashion Star

WASHINGTONMarch 8, 2013 —With “Project Runway” on Lifetime now in its eleventh successful season, it comes as no surprise that one of the major networks would take their proven concept and “pimp’ it up for prime time TV. That effort is called “Fashion Star,” and it airs its second season premiere tonight at 8 p.m. on NBC.

But, unlike Lifetime Network, NBC has taken the concept to another level by offering up the winning designs for purchase at Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue or Express immediately following the show. This may seem like the ultimate dream for budding designers, but make no mistake, their success as a designer is second to the bottom line profits of the show’s sponsors.

It’s quite brilliant from a marketing stand point, but as entertainment, not so much. “Fashion Star” is nothing more than an hour-long commercial for its sponsors, wearing the thinly veiled disguise of a reality competition show.

“Fashion Star” has the feel of that late night infomercial that insists to the viewer their life will be an empty and pointless existence if they don’t immediately purchase the product in question. Add to this pressure the assurance of famous fashionistas that the garment in question is a must-have for hip wardrobes, and it sounds like a recipe for buyer’s remorse on a national level.

“Fashion Star” reinforces the consumer ignorance that compels people to believe there are experts to consult for everything from clothes to breast size. It sells the idea that to succeed in this country, one has to fit into a manufactured look decided by experts with way too much time on their hands.

The majority of Americans are just trying to keep their head above water these days. If merchandisers insist on occupying TV programming by blatantly pushing their products, at least make it something useful and practical.

Design a pair of shoes that is comfortable enough to make it through a ten hour work day without leg pain. Then show us where to buy these shoes at a good price. Stop wasting our time with lofty goals of fashion immortality and focus on real ways to improve the quality of our lives.

If networks can’t do this, at least stop trying to sell us something and just entertain us. The last thing we need is yet another reminder of the tacky consumerism in this country that insists we trade individuality for conformity.

Tonight’s viewing:

All times are EST:

8 p.m.

ABC: Last Man Standing: (New) When Mike hires a private soccer coach in hope of helping Eve land a scholarship, the ladies of the Baxter household are charmed by the young man.

CBS: Undercover Boss: (New) Andy Wirth, President and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, two ski resorts located in Lake Tahoe, ventures to the top of an unsafe cliff to post warning signs while training with a ski patrol. Olympic Gold Medalist Jonny Moseley joins Wirth in a ruse to help protect his true identity in the small ski town.

FOX: Kitchen Nightmares: (New) Chef Ramsay’s quest to help a tyrannical bistro owner continues.

NBC: Fashion Star: (New) A chance to win a multi-million dollar prize - and launch collections at Express, Macy’s and Saks!

CW: Nikita: (New) n order to gain control of the black box, Amanda makes plans to kidnap Ari’s son Stefan to use him as leverage. Still in Division’s protective custody, Ari begs Nikita for help. However, Stefan’s bodyguard Krieg manages to capture both Nikita and Amanda and the two must work together to escape.

8:30 p.m.

ABC: Malibu Country: (New) Kim’s husband greets Reba with an overly friendly kiss; Lillie Mae gets a full-body sunburn after a visit to a nude beach; June decides to test Reba’s boundaries.

9 p.m.

ABC: Shark Tank: (New) A workout program that teaches people how to exercise in their heart rate zone; throwing dance parties for kids with a traveling disco van; a damage-proof cell phone case; an update on The Painted Pretzel.

CBS: Golden Boy: (New) Clark and Owen investigate the murder of a gang member at a housing development, where a teen was also injured; and Arroyo threatens to go public with evidence that Clark gave a criminal informant confiscated money.

FOX: Touch: (New) Lucy is offered an unthinkable deal for Amelia’s return.

NBC: Grimm: (New) Nick and Renard finally go head-to-head in light of Nick’s discovery, while Juliette and Renard’s magnetic attraction reaches dangerous new heights.

CW: Cult: (New) Jeff finds a surprise visitor in Nate’s apartment who tells him about a dangerous on-campus game that Nate had been hosting known as “Being Billy,” which involves role-playing scenes from past “Cult” episodes. Jeff and Skye follow clues that might explain the next scene the players will try to recreate.

10 p.m.

ABC: 20/20: (New) Housing threats and problems; unexpected homes; realtor tricks; famous homes; bad neighbors.

CBS: Blue Bloods: (New) When an off-duty cop tries to stop a bank robbery, he is disarmed by the “Bonnie and Clyde” robbers who take his gun and wound an innocent bystander. Meanwhile, Frank considers getting romantically involved with a woman from the ACLU who happens to be Erin’s acquaintance.

NBC: Rock Center with Brian Williams: (New) Brian Williams explores poverty in the U.S. by visiting Camden, N.J.; Richard Engel interviews author Gianluigi Nuzzi, who casts light on the secrets and inner workings of the Catholic Church. Also: a portrait of Kevin Plank, CEO of the Under Armour sports-apparel company.

Basic cable:

New episodes of: 

Four Weddings at 8 p.m. on TLC

Ghost Ships of the Black Sea at 8 p.m. on NGC

Best Ever: Log Homes at 8 p.m. on HGTV

Gold Rush: The Dirt - Porcupine Boys at 8 p.m. on DSC

Yukon Men at 9 p.m. on DSC

Extreme Homes at 9 p.m. on HGTV

Gold Rush Ghost Ships at 9 p.m. on NGC

Ghost Adventures at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel

Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta at 9 and 9:30 p.m. on TLC

Bering Sea Gold at 10 p.m. on DSC

Out There at 10 p.m. on IFC

Something Borrowed, Something New at 10 p.m. on TLC

The Dead Files at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel

House Hunters International at 10:30 p.m. on HGTV

For movie lovers

8 p.m.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance on ENC

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life on FLIX

X2 on FMC

Wanderlust on HBO

Open City on TCM

Inglourious Basterds on TNT

9 p.m.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights on BBC

One Day on HBO

Spartacus: War of the Damned on STARZ

Failure to Launch on TBS

Hotel California on TMC

Later tonight:

The Samaritan at 9:25 on SHO

Full Metal Jacket at 9:40 p.m. on ENC

Next Day Air at 10 p.m. on BET

The Others at 10 p.m. on FLIX

Paisan at 10 p.m. on TCM

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Lisa King

I was born and educated in Southwest Virginia, traveled with my job all over America in my twenties and early thirties then came back to the mountains to raise my daughter.

I’ve been employed as everything from a quality control technician in industrial construction, to a mail processing plant manager, to postmaster of a small town. I’ve been to forty nine of the fifty states, as well as many other countries. Traveling will always be a passion I indulge, and something I’ll call upon often in my writing. 

I come from a long line of story tellers, and will shamelessly exploit a family tree resplendent with colorful and unique characters, both past and present.

In short my perspective will reflect the pride and familiarity I have of my Appalachian heritage. My stories will be a reflection of the values I believe we hold dearest here, all embellished with a healthy dose of Southern Appalachian flare.


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