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What to Watch on Monday: What will 'Dancing' crush?

There's a lot to choose from on TV tonight.

CBS has new sitcoms -- How I Met Your Mother, Big Bang Theory, etc., and also CSI: Miami.

NBC has new episodes of Chuck (left), Heroes, and The Medium.

And Fox gives us new House and 24.

But for better or worse, all of that will probably get crushed by ...

Dancing with the Stars (8pm, ABC) - It's back. For the 8th time. The stars and dancers are introduced tonight, and we learn who is replacing broken stars Jewel and Nancy O'Dell. (Rumors are Melissa from The Bachelor and Playboy Bunny Holly Madison...)

"Amazing Race": The Deaf Guy Came to Play!


In the past, the U-turn was an underused device on "The Amazing Race."

It was deemed too cruel, a thing used only under imminent threat.

But that barrier has been broken.


Margie & Luke
aren't as sweet as they look. More on that later.

After
leaving the pitstop near Vlad the Impaler's house in Transylvania, the 8 teams are headed for Siberia by way of Moscow. They get a monetary note with the clue -- they are to head to a hydroelectric dam depicted on the note.

Mel & Mike, the gay dad and son, are the first to leave. Mike describes his dad as "part Woody Allen, part Billy Graham with a splash of Judy Garland," which he sees as a formula for success. I'm not sure how intimidating a neurotic Jewish evangelical druggie torch singer can be, but it's a great image, no?

Bachelor's Melissa now Dancing with the Stars

People Magazine is reporting that the most famous dumpee in America will reality-show-hop from The Bachelor to Dancing With the Stars.

Melissa Rycroft (left), who was jilted last week by The Bachelor, Jason Mesnick, is slated to take the place of injured Nancy O'Dell on ABC's hit show tomorrow night.

Melissa is a former Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader, but could be at a disadvantage since this means she's only had a few days to practice.

If she manages to stick around awhile (can you say "sympathy vote?") this should be a ratings bonanza for ABC, which owns both of the hits. 

So, will Melissa dance all her cares away (and possibly fracture some bones), or will she get humiliated in front of America -- again?

"The Rock Obama" gets angry. We so like.

Can Dwayne Johnson come back every week to do Barack Obama?

This week's SNL was a much welcomed improvement over the last several shows. Host Johnson's opening musical number was hilarious, as was his turn as a bitter, serenading Hawaiian waiter. But the highlight was his portrayal of the angry "Hulk" side of Barack Obama's mild-mannered personality. I thought he sounded just like Obama. Maybe he can at least give Fred Armisen some voice lessons?

What to Watch on Sunday: Is Kitty leaving the Senator?

Amazing Race (8pm, CBS) - The fourth leg of the race has the teams traveling from Romania to Siberia. The twist is coming. Wait for it...

Celebrity Apprentice (9pm, NBC) - And tonight's corporate sponsor is ... Zappos.com! The teams design and costume a new comic book character, so let's just assume it's some kind of shoe.

Brothers and Sisters (10pm, ABC) - So last week when Kitty (left) told that baby, "It's just you and me," did that mean she's leaving the hunky heart-attacking hubby? Crazy woman. Also - Tommy's finally going down, down, down.

Breaking Bad (10pm, AMC) - Would it help if we said it was a reality show about drug dealers? Second season premiere tonight.

What to Watch on Saturday: Ashes to Ashes on BBC

Ashes to Ashes (9pm, BBC America)

The premiere of a new series which is also the sequel to the British version of Life on Mars. In Ashes to Ashes (also a David Bowie song), a policewoman is shot and wakes up in 1981. If you're finishing out the American Life on Mars (which is not being renewed by the geniuses at ABC) and also didn't see the end of the British version, Ashes to Ashes could give away a little of how the American show may conclude. But facing the prospect of no Life on Mars at all, it's worth a shot. Now if someone can just put Jason O'Mara in a new show fast.

Saturday Night Live (11:30, NBC) - Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson returns as host, and Ray LaMontagne is the musical guest. 

New 'Real Housewife of Atlanta' named

Bravo dismissed DeShawn Snow from Real Housewives of Atlanta earlier this year because she was "too human for a circus show." So now the drama pressure is on for the newest Atlanta diva, R&B singer-songwriter Kandi Burruss (left).

Burruss was a member of the 90s group Xscape and has had success as a solo singer. Read EW's exclusive report here.

Like several other "housewives" from the Bravo franchise, Burruss is not married. She has a daughter from a previous relationship, and a boyfriend. 

Is "Law & Order" on the way out?

Maybe. It seems, once again, the long-time NBC show is on the bubble -- that insecure spot where its unclear whether the ratings (or advertising dollars) warrant the show's return for another season.

(Although with reruns of the various L&Os on Bravo, TNT, USA and network TV we'll always have Jack, Lu, Lenny and the gang.)

And what of "Chuck" and "Medium"? Or the CW's last comedies "The Game" and "Everybody Hates Chris"?

This Variety piece explores what's bubble-licious and how showrunners deal with the uncertainty. Read it and find out whether you need to get those 'save my show' campaign ideas rolling.

Hey, DWTS: Stop Breaking the Stars!

Dancing with the Stars hasn't even started yet -- that happens this Monday night (8pm) -- and already three of the stars have been felled by injury.

Jewel and Nancy O'Dell's injuries were so severe they've withdrawn from the show. Jewel (left) suffered from a fractured tibia in both legs and can't even walk, much less dance. O'Dell suffered a knee injury -- a torn meniscus -- that will require surgery. Sex in the City actor Gilles Marini developed tendonitis in his shoulder and groin, and is taking anti-inflammatory medications. He says he plans to . . .

Excellence on TV: Breaking Bad returns

Breaking Bad, Sundays at 10pm, AMC

For all those who bemoan the fact that there's nothing good on TV, it's put-up or shut-up time. We're telling you -- start watching Breaking Bad or stop the whining.

The Emmy Award-winning show, about a high school chemistry
teacher with lung cancer who decides he must start cooking crystal meth to earn money for his family, is definitely one of the best dramas ever on television. It's not on HBO, where you might expect it, it's on basic cable (AMC). And it's better than anything on HBO or Showtime right now. 

It's raw, it's intense, and it's sometimes hard to watch. But it's excellent television.