“Around the World in 80 Plates”
Wednesday 10pm, Bravo
Bravo attempts to launch another culinary competition show with this wild hybrid of several reality-TV concepts. “Around the World in 80 Plates”—hosted by celebrity chefs Cat Cora (“Iron Chef America”) and Curtis Stone (seemingly every show on television)—blends the cooking competition elements of “Top Chef,” the global travel of “The Amazing Race,” and the strategic voting of “Survivor.” The 12 contestants will travel 60,000 miles to various cities across the globe. There they will participate in various challenges as teams, learn the cuisine and culture, and then take over a restaurant and try to cook successfully for the locals. The losing team votes off one of their own, while the ultimate winner takes home $150,000.
Sunday 9pm, ABC
“Desperate Housewives” premiered in October 2004 and became an almost instant ratings smash. A revival of the campy nighttime soap, it featured some legit acting and gripping mysteries (at least in the first season). It had its ups and downs over the course of eight seasons, but the ladies of Wisteria Lane call it quits tonight. The series finale wraps up the storylines for the four main characters—it is kind of astonishing that Teri Hatcher, Felicity Huffman, Eva Longoria, and Marcia Cross have been on the show the entire run—and features appearances by former castmates Dana Delaney (Katherine), James Denton (Mike Delfino), Steven Culp (Rex), Roger Bart (creepy George), and even Brenda Strong as Mary Alice, whose murder started off the whole series.
“America’s Got Talent”
Monday 9pm, NBC
After six seasons Executive Producer Simon Cowell knows his national talent show needs a buzzed-about star (Susan Boyle) like its across-the-pond predecessor (it looks like Britain’s got another one with viral-video stars Charlotte and Jonathan). So he’s given “America’s Got Talent” an image makeover, most importantly filling Piers Morgan’s former seat with legendary shock jock Howard Stern. Stern may not be the cultural juggernaut he was in the ‘90s, but he’s a great fit for the judging panel, which is rounded out by Sharon Osbourne and Howie Mandel. Nick Cannon continues on as host and the season preview shows some pretty astonishing acts, including human cannonballs, water-skiing squirrels, a goth opera singer, a formerly homeless contortionist, and a dog riding a pony. Honestly, we can call it a day after that. Pony Dog FTW!