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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Features

‘Mr. Romance’ searches for cover guy

Kevin McDonough United Feature Syndicate

What do you get when Gene Simmons of Kiss joins forces with Fabio, the face and body that has graced the covers of more than 1,000 romance novels? You get “Mr. Romance” (10 p.m., Oxygen), a cheeky reality competition out to find the next beefy guy to sell a million bodice rippers.

Produced by Simmons and hosted by Fabio, “Mr. Romance” follows 12 sculpted worthies as they sweat their way through something called a “romance boot camp” and prepare for a “Mr. Romance” man-pageant in the hopes of landing a deal to appear on the covers of Harlequin novels and win a $50,000 prize.

Just in case you didn’t know you were supposed to watch this with your tongue firmly in cheek, Fred Willard of “Best in Show” fame shows up to offer colorful commentary at the pageant finale.

In addition to Fabio, the five-episode series features Cindy Guyer, who has appeared on more romance novel covers than any other model. She acts as the “headmistress of the romance academy.”

You may also recognize Guyer from her appearances on “Nancy Drew” book covers.

It’s so special when television promotes literacy!

Michelle Dessler (Reiko Aylesworth) returns to “24” (9 p.m., Fox) as the head of the Counter Terrorist Unit. She replaces Tony (Carlos Bernard), who just happens to be her ex-husband and who risked everything to save her life last season. So I guess they have some “issues.” Why should they be any different?

Just this season, we’ve seen Jack torture the husband of his girlfriend, Audrey (Kim Raver). And Audrey’s dad, Secretary of Defense Heller (William Devane), ordered the torture of his own son.

Former CTU chief Erin ordered the torture of CTU employee Sarah (Lana Parrilla), but Sarah was such a good sport about it.

And those are the good guys!

When family members on “24” aren’t torturing each other, they’re killing each other (like the terrorist who ordered hits on his son and wife) or committing suicide. Poor beleaguered Edgar’s mother vowed to do herself in rather than face radiation poisoning, and Erin’s daughter killed herself right in the CTU medical facility.

The bodies are piling up higher than in the fifth act of “Hamlet,” and “24” still has more than half a day to go.

Are parents and coaches pushing young athletes too hard? “Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” (9 p.m., HBO) examines the surprising number of college and high school athletes undergoing surgery to remove and replace damaged ligaments. One doctor reports he’s seen overworked elbows in pitchers as young as 12.

“Real Sports” has been nominated for five Sports Emmy Awards. The awards will be presented (but not televised) on May 2.

Other highlights

Three sets of twins make for six headaches on “Nanny 911” (8 p.m., Fox).

Viewers chose tonight’s repeat of “Everybody Loves Raymond” (9 p.m., CBS).

A Marine may be rotten to the Corps on “Las Vegas” (9 p.m., NBC).

Death by speed-dating on “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS).

Allison’s one-track mind may be on to something on “Medium” (10 p.m., NBC).

Older parents face young demons on “Supernanny” (10 p.m., ABC).

Cult choice

The King plays a fisherman in the Aloha State in the 1962 Elvis Presley musical “Girls! Girls! Girls!” (8 p.m., AMC

Series notes

Bill cooks up a storm on “Still Standing” (8 p.m., CBS) … Joe Rogan hosts “Fear Factor” (8 p.m., NBC) … House-raising Arizonans on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How’d They Do That?” (8 p.m., ABC) … Top-heavy management on “One on One” (8 p.m., UPN) … Annie feels protective on “7th Heaven” (8 p.m., WB).

Soccer woes on “Listen Up” (8:30 p.m., CBS) … Rich man, poor man on “Cuts” (8:30 p.m., UPN).

New faces for two on “Extreme Makeover” (9 p.m., ABC) … Dueling daddies on “Girlfriends” (9 p.m., UPN) … Bradin’s attitude irks Ava on “Summerland” (9 p.m., WB) … Charlie’s confession rattles Alan on “Two and a Half Men” (9:30 p.m., CBS) … Mona’s beau needs help on “Half & Half” (9:30 p.m., UPN).

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