Wednesday 8pm, CW
When the fall of Western Civilization comes —and it is coming, I think we all know that —and someone asks you to pinpoint the moment you knew it had all gone wrong, I hope you say: extreme musical chairs. That’s the concept behind this new competition, in which a dozen contestants compete for $50,000 by trying to outsmart, outwit, and outlast each other in a cracked-out version of the popular children’s birthday party game. Instead of a scratchy record player blaring “Pop Goes the Weasel,” a live band will provide the sounds. Instead of rickety stools, there are space-aged perches (between this and “The Voice” we are living in a golden age of giant, ugly televised furniture). And instead of going around in a circle, these assholes will have to fight through ridiculous obstacle courses, pushing and shoving their way to victory. Congratulations, America: this is something that exists! Hosted by Jamie Kennedy (Scream) and Jessi Cruickshank, who I don’t think is Hermione Granger’s cat, but I can’t be sure.
“Married to Jonas”
Sunday 10pm, E!
I am a whore for celebrity gossip, and I love a juicy blind item. A few months ago there was a particularly interesting one floating around the blogosphere (are we still calling it that?) that many believed pointed to this new reality show starring Jonas Brother Kevin (a.k.a. the one everyone forgets) and his wife, Danielle. I won’t go into the details, because I would like to not get sued. But suffice it to say, more than a few people have wondered about the origins of this series, which revolves around Danielle and her Jersey-fied family.
Monday 10:30pm, MTV
British teen sitcom “The Inbetweeners” is one of the funniest shows I’ve ever seen. The tale of four horny smartass losers trying to navigate through high school was every kind of wrong, which wrapped it back around to right. It found a cult following in the States, and when MTV announced last year that it was making a U.S. version, the original show’s fans were furious. Their concerns are justified: the former music video channel completely blew the American version of my beloved “Skins.” But just based on the preview for “Inbetweeners,” the casting at least looks decent, and there are already jokes at the expense of the handicapped. So the spirit of the original, hopefully, has made its way across the pond.