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Wednesday Watch List: Leno! Oprah! Newman!

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV that may be worth avoiding that charity fundraiser. $200 a head? Who’s this money REALLY going to? LET’S GO!

    THE TONIGHT SHOW – 11:30PM (NBC)

    Jay Leno won his old timeslot when he returned on Monday. Now, let me explain to you why he’ll stay #1. You may have issues with Jay Leno. I know I do. But the fact of the matter is that all the bad press and Team Conan stuff that happened in the past few months has NO effect at all of Leno’s core audience of middle aged women from the Midwest. They don’t care about any of that, and they found Conan’s humor far too weird and edgy for their sensibilities.

    While people may sniff at Leno’s primetime ratings, he still pulled in an audience far larger than that of any late night show, and he’ll likely bring those people back with him. People who watch Leno aren’t watching for cutting edge humor. They are looking for someone who will tell them very gentle, easy jokes at the end of a very long and tiring day, and right after a local newscast filled with shootings and overeager weathermen. They need a palate cleanser, and that is what Jay provides.

    Also, Jay won’t have to fight with Conan for guests anymore, and his L.A. base makes drawing big names easier for him than Letterman, who operates out of New York. So get used to Jay being right back where he used to be: firmly entrenched at the top of late night.

    Tonight, Jay welcomes the entire cast of Jersey Shore. If J-Woww is wearing any sort of bottom, I will be stunned. ANTICIPATION: TRASHY

    OPRAH WINFREY’S OSCAR SPECIAL – 10:00PM (ABC)

    Oh, I see. Butting in on Baba Wawa’s territory, are you, O? No one crosses Barbara Walters and lives to tell about it. Ask Rosie. Tonight, Oprah interviews Halle Berry (why?), James Cameron, and Penelope Cruz. AND SHE GIVES THEM ALL FREE CARS! SO COOL! ANTICIPATION: TEARS

    MODERN FAMILY – 9:00PM (ABC)

    Cameron and Mitchell invite Lily’s pediatrician over for lunch. If she’s anything like the pediatricians I know, she’ll show up 50 minutes late and leave 5 minutes later. And, somehow, I will never work up the courage to tell her off. ANTICIPATION: FRUSTRATING

    15 X-TREME OUTDOOR PROJECTS – 8:00PM (Fine Living)

    You know they’re extreme projects because the X is right there in front. Anyway, this show profiles outdoor home projects that require “drilling, wrecking, demolishing, and rebuilding.” Sounds like Mickey Rourke’s face. AM I RIGHT? HIGH FIVE! ANTICIPATION: XXXXXXXX-TREEEEM!

    COOL HAND LUKE – 8:00PM (TCM)

    Join me as I both watch this movie and eat 100 eggs. What we’ve got here is… failyahh to communicate. ANTICIPATION: SOMETIMES NOTHIN’ IS A PRETTY COOL HAND.