“Hellcats,” “Vampire Diaries,” “2010 MTV Video Music Awards”



Wednesday, 9pm, CW

The new fall season is here, and CW is first up with this new series set in the competitive world of collegiate cheerleading. The cast looks like the remainders of a discount Disney Channel talent bin, with Alyson Michalka (“Phil of the Future,” one half of the pop duo Aly & AJ) and Ashley Tisdale (the “High School Musical” franchise, for whom it must sting to go from a number-one motion picture to second banana on a CW show). The tone is described as Bring It On meets Election, and if it is even one-tenth as entertaining as either of those fine 90’s films it should be a lot of fun. Early reviews cite its promise and smart casting, but say it lacks pep. Someone call Sparky Polastri; we need some spirit fingers!


“Vampire Diaries”

Thursday 8pm, CW

After one of the best cliffhangers of last season, the sophomore season of this super-addictive supernatural soap kicks off with the fate of several characters in the balance. Will Jeremy transform into a vamp? Is Uncle John dead after his encounter with crazy vampiress Katherine? Will teen witch Bonnie ever find a hairstyle that works for her? So many questions. This season, look for a new character played by Courtney Ford, last seen as the Trinity Killer’s daughter on “Dexter.” She’ll be doing all kinds of poking around that nest of Virginia vampires, both in terms of research and naughty bits.


“2010 MTV Video Music Awards”

Sunday 9pm, MTV

For reasons that mystify me, cable talk-show host and D-list comedian Chelsea Handler is hosting this year’s VMAs. I’m thrilled that Russell Brand isn’t handling the emcee duties again (I’m sorry, I just don’t “get” him), but I’m hard pressed to think of a more random choice to replace him. Was Rip Taylor busy? Anyway, this is historically the part where I bitch about how out of touch MTV is, but the show actually has some cool performers this year. Yes, you’ll have to sit through Usher (ugh) and Justin Bieber (UGH), but you’ll also get to see resurgent pop star Robyn and Florence + The Machine, whose “Drumming Song” has been stuck on repeat on my iPod for the last month or so. Plus, that total jerk Ke$ha is presenting, inevitably giving us more fodder to mock her F-grade Gaga shtick come morning.