The bitch is back


“Melrose Place”
Tuesday 9pm, CW

History has a way of repeating itself, and the execs at the CW are sure hoping that’s the case this week as Heather Locklear once again joins the cast of a ratings-deficient show called “Melrose Place.” La Locklear saved “Melrose” once, driving ratings through the roof when she came on during its original run back in 1993. It’ll be interesting to see if she can still generate the buzz, but I for one hope it works, because the show has some promise. I like several of the new characters, especially Lauren, a.k.a. Dr. Prostitute, and NuAmanda, Ella. Plus, things should improve now that the two worst actors are out as of January. Sayonara, Ashlee Simpson, you hack! Now, who do I see about bringing back the wailing guitars?

“In the Spotlight with Robin Roberts: Janet Jackson Special”
Wednesday 10pm, ABC

With Michael Jackson mania still running strong, it’s no surprise that ABC would try to goose its ratings for sweeps by airing a Jackson-related special. And it’s also no surprise that one of the Jackson clan would take the opportunity to cash in. But it is kind of surprising that the sibling in question is Janet, who has long seemed the least-desperate member of that tabloid-fodder family. This special promises to take us inside Janet’s personal life like never before. But I thought Privacy was her middle name! Next you’re going to tell me her surname isn’t Control. But I still wouldn’t dare call her “Baby,” since I am, in fact, nasty.

“General Hospital”
Friday 3pm, ABC

Last month news broke that A-list Hollywood actor James Franco—of Spider-Man, Milk and Pineapple Express fame—had agreed to take on a recurring role on this long-running daytime soap. It’s perplexing because most actors try bitterly to get out of acting in soaps, and here’s a buzzed-about leading man voluntarily consigning himself to that televised purgatory. Maybe he’s trying to be ironic, or make a statement about how offensive the Hollywood hierarchy is. Or maybe he just really likes the show. Look for Franco to come to Port Charles for several weeks as a character named…Franco, who apparently is involved with the mob, and makes life difficult for some character named Jason Morgan. In other Franco/TV news, he also just agreed to guest on an episode of “30 Rock.” Now that I can understand.