Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 67° Cloudy
News >  Features

‘Takedown’ bets on beating casino

Kevin McDonough United Feature Syndicate

When folks look back at our current television culture, they may remember it as a time of craps tables and cadavers.

According to my unscientific survey, half of our new shows seem bent on making us see dead people in various stages of decomposition, while the other half want to promote gambling and extol the hip attractiveness of casino culture. “CSI,” television’s most popular show, manages to do both!

“The Takedown” (10:30 p.m., Court TV) falls into the latter category.

On this new series, a team of expert cons will attempt to beat a Lake Tahoe casino with quick hands, studied diversions and a pair of magnetic dice. In true “Ocean’s Eleven” style, the team operates against a ticking clock and in full view of a team of casino security agents armed with surveillance cameras, high-tech gadgets and burly bouncers trained in the rougher art of persuasion.

With all of the nail-biting on display here, there’s plenty of time to plug the casino – mention its name, show its swanky locale and even display its sign. On future episodes, “The Takedown” team will use its skills to confront martial artists and a corrupt hustler running a pool hall.

And while we’re on a Nevada theme, “Reno 911!” (10 p.m., Comedy Central) enters its third season. The absurd “Cops” parody picks up from last season’s cliffhanger, with the Reno cops de-deputized and sent to prison.

This season will see the introduction of a new female officer, Deputy Cheresa Kimball (Mary Birdsong); a possible SARS outbreak; a sting operation on a hot-tub franchise; an assignment to safeguard Liberace’s piano; and a very surprising marriage proposal.

Britney Spears and Kevin Federline discuss their surprise wedding on the one-hour finale of “Britney and Kevin: Chaotic” (8 p.m., UPN). Yes, even “Chaotic” must come to an end. It seems like only yesterday (or was it three weeks ago?) that Britney first embarked on her documentary filmmaking career.

For those keeping score, last Tuesday CBS debuted “Fire Me … Please” (9 p.m., CBS) on the very same day that General Motors announced layoffs of 25,000 employees. There’s no word if CBS has sent cameras to document the “hilarity” of those workers losing their livelihoods and benefits.

According to early ratings information, “Fire Me” attracted more than 8 million viewers, but its ratings reflected a decline from its lead-in show a repeat of “NCIS.” Treat your audience with contempt, and it will flee the room.

The cable documentary series “Deadliest Catch” (9 p.m., Discovery) has won a faithful audience with its more respectful treatment of the rewards and dangers of working life. In tonight’s season finale, boats rush toward shore to offload their crab catch.

Other highlights

A phone call from Rome on “Gilmore Girls” (8 p.m., WB).

A plague in a baby ward forces House to play God on “House” (9 p.m., Fox).

Game 3 of the NBA Finals (6 p.m., ABC).

Scheduled on “48 Hours Mystery” (10 p.m., CBS): a man’s legal and emotional nightmare begins when his wife and daughter vanish.

Spurned by his family, a gay black man finds solace in studying the life of a Harlem Renaissance writer in the film “Brother to Brother” on “Independent Lens” (10 p.m., KSPS).

A youth, missing since the 1980s, is discovered on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (10 p.m., NBC).

Cult choice

Walter Pidgeon stars in “Forbidden Planet” (5 p.m., TCM), a 1956 update of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” set in outer space.

Series notes

Gibbs fears the worst when his former colleagues are found murdered on “NCIS” (8 p.m., CBS) … Joe Rogan hosts a two-hour “Fear Factor” (8 p.m., NBC) … Parallel wives on “Trading Spouses” (8 p.m., Fox)… Michael stoops to odd stunts to meet his hoop dream on “My Wife and Kids” (8:30 p.m., ABC).

A schoolgirl moonlights as a private eye on the pilot episode of “Veronica Mars” (9 p.m., UPN) … A daring game on “One Tree Hill” (9 p.m., WB).

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.