MTV offers the Cent of desperation

By Kevin McDonough

United Feature Syndicate

Everybody on reality TV wants to mentor. "50 Cent — The Money and the Power" (9 p.m., MTV) invites 14 aspiring entrepreneurs to learn life and business lessons from the rapper behind the 2005 release "Get Rich or Die Tryin.’" We have to hope there will be a greater chance of the former than the latter.

According to the network, the contestants will compete in "various street-smart, hustler-driven challenges." I guess that means they won’t be selling lemonade, as they once did on "The Apprentice."

"Mr. Cent" wants to teach them the ropes and impart some of the wisdom that took him from "the street" to the corridors of corporate power. His public resume includes time spent as a drug dealer. He claims to have been shot nine times.


Other highlights

  • Virginia Tech hosts Maryland in football action (6:30 p.m., ESPN).
  • Joy sets her sights on winning a science fair on "My Name is Earl" (7 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • Betty covets her neighbor’s attention on "Ugly Betty" (7 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
  • Alyson Hannigan ("How I Met Your Mother") plays a big fat Greek punch line in the 2006 cinema spoof "Date Movie" (7 p.m., FX, TV-14).
  • Lady Heather offers advice about an unlikely suspect on "CSI" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-14,V).
  • Angela and Andy choose a venue for their big day on "The Office" (8 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • Liz seeks wisdom from Oprah (who appears as herself) on "30 Rock" (8:30 p.m., NBC, TV-PG).
  • An epidemic looms on "Eleventh Hour" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-14,V).
  • Morris becomes a mentor on "ER" (9 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
  • A brutal murder sparks a riot atmosphere on "Life on Mars" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
  • "Cities of the Underworld" (9 p.m., History, r) explores the labyrinth of tunnels and bunkers built by the Japanese during World War II to defend Okinawa.

Series notes
Jeff Probst hosts "Survivor" (7 p.m., CBS). … Gordon Ramsay hosts two helpings of "Kitchen Nightmares" (7 p.m., r and 8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … A crystal makes things clear on "Smallville" (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG,D,L,V) … Love invites an allergy attack on "Kath & Kim" (7:30 p.m., NBC, TV-14) … The Chief inspires a surgery competition on "Grey’s Anatomy" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14) … A wishing well spawns havoc on "Supernatural" (8 p.m., CW, TV-14,D,L,V).

Late night

Ben Stiller and Q-Tip appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS) … Jay Leno hosts Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jimmie Johnson and David Archuleta on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) … Samuel L. Jackson, Bridget Regan and Hinder appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC) … Madeleine Albright and Lordi chat on "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Craig Ferguson hosts Elizabeth Banks on "The Late, Late Show" (11:37 p.m., CBS).

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