July 25, 2011 12:00 PM

America’s Got Talent

NBC, Tuesdays-Wednesdays, 9 p.m. ET/PT |

REALITY

The sixth season of the NBC hit has already done its job by providing national exposure for Melissa Villasenor. The 23-year-old impressionist does a great Natalie Portman-an actress so identified with her beauty I would’ve thought she couldn’t be impersonated. This is a small yet great accomplishment, like copying a Rembrandt onto a penny. The show is basking in the glow of the success of last year’s runner-up, child singing phenom Jackie Evancho, but the winner doesn’t matter as much as the odd parade of talent. This is a happy carnival of singers, magicians, dancers and-this season-what appear to be gnomes. On the judges’ panel, Howie Mandel has turned out to be an improvement over thumpingly earnest David Hasselhoff. He’s more analytic and less indulgently jokey than you’d expect-and a better match for Piers Morgan, who always looks as if he smelled something unpleasant. Perhaps Melissa can work him into the act.

Covert Affairs

USA, Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET/PT |

DRAMA

In season 2 this fluffy spy caper about gorgeous CIA operative Annie Walker is starting to deliver on the seductive fun promised by Piper Perabo’s sly, flirtatious smile in the opening credits. Perabo has an unusual but real chemistry with Christopher Gorham, who plays her office mate Auggie. They don’t even make eye contact-Auggie’s blind-but there’s a steady current between them: They’re one TV couple who should go undercover.

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