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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘All Access’ takes in ‘Thin Hollywood’

Kevin McDonough United Feature Syndicate

Hollywood stars have the power to make us laugh, cry, shriek and gasp. And I’m just talking about their plastic surgery.

The gentle vivisection of celebrities’ appearances has become a multibillion-dollar industry. But nothing inspires more gawking and horror-stricken rubbernecking than the sight of a particularly scrawny star or starlet.

Who can forget the howls of abject pity and fear that echoed through the gossip pages and picture magazines when Calista Flockhart exposed her bony frame to a phalanx of shutterbugs?

“All Access: Shockingly Thin Hollywood” (9 p.m., VH1) dishes up the skinny on Tinsel Town’s newest disturbing trend – celebrity self-starvation.

According to “Shockingly,” three young stars – Jessica Simpson, Nicole Richie and Lindsay Lohan – all have lost dramatic amounts of weight in a disturbingly short span of time.

The expose also discusses the pressure on older actresses to shed pounds, a trend amplified by the sight of the female cast members on “Desperate Housewives” cavorting in slips, nightgowns and negligees in nearly every scene of that Sunday-night soap.

Is celebrity starvation a passing fad? Will it spread beyond the San Fernando Valley? Gossip columnists, nutritionists and other “experts” weigh in on the subject.

You can’t judge a movie by its cast, but sometimes that’s all you have. According to Lifetime, the made-for-TV thriller “The Last Sign” (9 p.m., Lifetime) makes its American premiere tonight. Not available for review, the film stars Andie MacDowell (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) as a widow haunted by the ghost of her abusive alcoholic husband. Despite this spectral static, she does find a warm body to comfort her in the form of a French engineer (Samuel Le Bihan).

“The Last Sign” also stars Margot Kidder (“Superman”) and Tim Roth (“Pulp Fiction”).

The cartoon scamps from the “Rugrats” spinoff “All Grown Up” (8 p.m., Nickelodeon) spend Columbus Day on the road in the cartoon special “R.V. Having Fun Yet?” The tweens’ highway adventure takes them past the Grand Canyon and Indian reservations of the Southwest.

With gasoline prices what they are, perhaps the only way to afford an RV trip is in a cartoon.

Must-see show

Allison’s sleepwalking habit disturbs the family on “Medium” (10 p.m., NBC). Patricia Arquette’s recent best-actress Emmy was well-deserved: Her empathetic and consistently believable performances are the dramatic ballast that makes this often-farfetched supernatural series so consistently rewarding.

Other highlights

Major League Baseball divisional playoffs, if required (5 p.m., Fox).

A pageant queen switches homes with a cosmetics-shunning, home-schooling Earth mother on “Wife Swap” (10 p.m., ABC).

Romance blooms on “Las Vegas” (9 p.m., NBC).

The Chargers host the Steelers on “Monday Night Football” (6 p.m., ABC).

Horatio helps a wronged man on “CSI: Miami” (10 p.m., CBS).

Cult choice

Rutger Hauer, John Hurt, Craig T. Nelson, Dennis Hopper and Burt Lancaster appear in the 1983 mystery “The Osterman Weekend” (7 p.m., Fox Movie Channel). Based on a book by Robert Ludlum, this was director Sam Peckinpah’s final film.

Series notes

Feeling left out on “The King of Queens” (8 p.m., CBS) … Tracking a mystery critter by GPS on “Surface” (8 p.m., NBC) … Arnaz steps out on “One on One” (8 p.m., UPN) … Simon does not protest enough on “7th Heaven” (8 p.m., WB).

Lessons from the laundry on “How I Met Your Mother” (8:30 p.m., CBS) … A keyboard connection on “All of Us” (8:30 p.m., UPN).

Berta moves in on “Two and a Half Men” (9 p.m., CBS) … The mother of all manipulations on “Girlfriends” (9 p.m., UPN) … A real estate agent in need on “Just Legal” (9 p.m., WB).

A pooch plays favorites on “Out of Practice” (9:30 p.m., CBS) … Training day on “Half & Half” (9:30 p.m., UPN).

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