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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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‘FlashForward’ loses steam

The more shows imitate “Lost,” the more I appreciate “Lost.” “FlashForward” (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) is no “Lost.”

First a quick summary: Everyone on Earth has a blackout lasting a little more than two minutes. During that time they have a dream or vision of something occurring six months in the future. Figuring out just what the heck happened and what the dreams foretell seems to fall to intrepid FBI agent Mark Benford (Joseph Fiennes) and his fellow officers.

And that, to quote Marx (Groucho, not Karl), is “the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.” Asking the FBI to unravel a cosmic mystery is like assigning Jack Bauer to prevent the Rapture.

It also requires us to sit through a lot of procedural, bureaucratic nonsense as well as that bane of all high-tech thrillers – endless scenes of diligent agents clicking away at computer keyboards and experiencing “Eureka!” moments.

“FlashForward” kicks off with a bang and with an expensive-looking production featuring widespread panic and destruction in most of the world’s cities. But for all of the calamity, it lapses back to the normality of police procedural just a tad too quickly.

Tonight’s season premieres

A traffic accident may be more on “CSI” (9 p.m., CSI, TV-14).

The aftershocks from George’s death reverberate on “Grey’s Anatomy” (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).

Jane’s team loses the Red John case on “The Mentalist” (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).

Tonight’s other highlights

Toby and Dwight play detective on “The Office” (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).

A highway tunnel yields strange evidence on “Fringe” (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).

“Extreme Cuisine with Jeff Corwin” (9 p.m., Food) visits Morocco.

Heidi Klum hosts “Project Runway” (10 p.m., Lifetime, TV-14).

A road trip to the Grand Canyon on “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).

Cult choice

Sam Peckinpah directs James Coburn, Kris Kristofferson and Bob Dylan in the 1973 Western “Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid” (11 p.m., TCM).

Series notes

Another “Saturday Night Live Weekend Update” (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14) … A suspect dies for a briefcase on “Bones” (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14) … Friday nights are alright for biting on “Vampire Diaries” (8 p.m., CW, TV-PG, D, L, V) … Controlled substances on “Parks & Recreation” (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-14) … Jeff continues to purse Britta on “Community” (9:30 p.m., NBC, TV-14) … Sam feels beside himself on “Supernatural” (9 p.m., CW, TV-14, D, L, V).

Late night

Rush Limbaugh, Smokey Robinson and Joss Stone appear on “The Jay Leno Show” (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14) … Rod Blagojevich is scheduled on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (11 p.m., Comedy Central) … Ken Burns is booked on “The Colbert Report” (11:30 p.m., Comedy Central) … Craig Ferguson, Snow Patrol and John Key appear on “Late Show with David Letterman” (11:35 p.m., CBS) … Conan O’Brien hosts Joel McHale and India.Arie on “The Tonight Show” (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Rob Lowe, Lisa Lampanelli and Tommy Lasorda appear on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” (12:05 a.m., ABC) … Megan Fox, Anthony Anderson and Phoenix chat on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” (12:35 a.m., NBC) … Craig Ferguson hosts Jason Schwartzman on “The Late, Late Show” (12:37 a.m., CBS).

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