By Tom Gliatto Ulrica Wihlborg Joanne Fowler
October 11, 2010 12:00 PM

Dancing with the Stars

ABC, Mondays, 8 p.m. ET/PT, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT |

REALITY

American Idol is being anxiously overhauled, but ABC’s reality powerhouse has just launched its 11th season untweaked and to great ratings. It’s easy to dismiss DWTS as Swan Lake for C-listers: How can a cast as freakishly diverse as Bristol Palin, Florence Henderson and the Situation share a stage without triggering a Fringe-like rip in the space-time continuum? But the show is closer to an intergalactic space parliament. Four ego-driven species-judges, dancers, celebrities, cohosts-are given equal room on-camera, and audiences like the resulting laughs and goodwill. Who ever leaves a loser? Maybe David Hasselhoff, bounced after week 1. The poor guy arrived having already overdone the self-mocking camp. DWTS is the chance to try a new step.

Running Wilde

FOX, Tuesdays, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT |

COMEDY

Will Arnett has one of the best deliveries in comedy. He speaks in a low, sarcastic growl that occasionally flares up into a squeal of panic. I just wish he’d run away from this dead horse of a sitcom. Arnett plays a silly, spoiled oil-company heir smitten with a penniless woman who’d like to reform him-yet wouldn’t object to being pampered herself. Keri Russell, as the love interest, doesn’t have the comic instincts to play off Arnett. She’s charming at times, but mostly blank-eyed and earnest. Then again, Amy Poehler couldn’t have made this twerpy farce work either.

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