“Live to Dance,” “The Cape,” “Shameless”

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“Live to Dance”
Tuesday-Wednesday 8pm, CBS
I’m all for the resurgence of dance in pop culture, but I wonder if we haven’t hit the saturation point with televised dance competitions. I guess we’ll find out. CBS tries its hand at the genre with this new show, headed up by Paula Abdul, who acts as both a mentor to the dancers and head judge. She’s joined by Michael Jackson’s former choreographer Travis Payne and ex-Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt. The show is open to dancers from all styles, of any age, and even groups, making it a combination of “So You Think You Can Dance” and “America’s Best Dance Crew.” The question is, will people keep watching once “Idol” starts up against it in a few weeks?

“The Cape”
Saturday 9pm, NBC
Superhero shows have had a rough go of it recently. “Heroes” went to hell after Season 1, and “No Ordinary Family” is racking up less-than-extraordinary ratings. This new entry doesn’t even try to do the postmodern route, going straight for balls-out heroics, capes, super villains and secret identities. David Lyons (“E.R.”) stars as an honest cop on a corrupt police force who is framed for a bunch of murders, and then fakes his own death. Determined to clean up his city, he falls in with a group of circus freaks/bank robbers and trains to take on the mantle of his son’s favorite comic-book vigilante, The Cape. The show could go really wrong really fast, but in the plus column are James Frain, who was awesome as crazy vampire Franklin on “True Blood” last season (he plays the bad guy here), and nerd masturbation bait Summer Glau as a conspiracy-theorist blogger.

“Shameless”
Sunday 10pm, Showtime
Showtime continues its streak of getting well respected, underserved actors and putting them in comedies with gonzo premises (see: Mary Louise Parker in “Weeds,” Laura Linney in “The Big C,” Edie Falco in “Nurse Jackie,” etc.). This time it’s William H. Macy’s turn, as he stars as Frank Gallagher, the self-destructive single father of a brood of working-class Irish Chicagoans. He spends what little money he has on booze and, well, booze. His six kids are similarly dysfunctional, from the insecure, directionless teen daughter (Emmy Rossum, Phantom of the Opera) to the science whiz who trades tutoring for sex, to the closeted gay son in Army ROTC.

 

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