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Thursday Watch List: Activate The Chenbot!

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Julie Chen is set to co-host a new daytime talk show.

    Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and prepare to watch the space shuttle take off for the last time tomorrow. And let me be the first to say that I’m really sad that they never managed to equip the shuttle with both laser torpedoes and force fields. I thought we would have had it outfitted with those a decade ago. LET’S GO!

    BIG BROTHER 13 – 9:00PM (CBS) You know you’re in the dregs of summer when CBS busts out their annual reality bacchanalia featuring a bunch of strangers stuck inside a house giving each other highly communicable diseases. Julie Chen’s hard drive has been booted up, and she’ll be presiding over the drama with her trademark brand of frozen cheer. This year’s house will feature a mix of new contestants and old fan favorites that you loved to hate, or hated to love, or hated to hate. Hate was in there somewhere, I know that much. ANTICIPATION: SHADY!

    AN AMERICAN FAMILY: ANNIVERSARY EDITION – 8:00PM (PBS) On the heels of HBO’s movie “Cinema Verite,” which dramatized the making of PBS’ “An American Family,” the first ever televised “reality” show, PBS now digs into its archives to re-air portions of the seminal program. Watch with horror as the Loud family goes through the turbulence of divorce and closeted homosexuality in front of the nation, then flip over to “Big Brother” to see the end byproduct. Fun! ANTICIPATION: UNCOMFORTABLE!

    GREAT DINOSAUR ESCAPE – 8:00PM (NatGeo – an NBC/Universal network) This NatGeo special traces the migratory habits of dinosaurs over 65 million years ago. Because dinosaurs are related to birds. I know this because Sam Neill said so in “Jurassic Park.” Everything I know about dinos I learned by watching that movie. ANTICIPATION: HOLD ONTO YOUR BUTTS!

    WILFRED – 10:00PM (FX) I gave the premiere of “Wilfred” a shot because hey, I got nothing better to do. And while it was enjoyable odd, it was never actually all that funny. And that’s a problem. “Louie,” which comes on after this, is a weird show, but often a very funny one. And so at some point, the people behind this show are gonna have to dedicate more time to funniness than to eccentricity. ANTICIPATION: FINGERS CROSSED!

    LOUIE – 10:30PM (FX) Your guest star tonight is Donna Hanover. Yes, Donna Hanover, the ex-wife of Rudy Giuliani. And man, it has been a very long time since I’ve heard that name. Maybe Lizzie Grubman will also show up, just to complete the 2000 New York local news media cycle. ANTICIPATION: HIGH!