Reformed dogs salute their ‘Whisperer’

By Kevin McDonough

United Feature Syndicate

Cesar Millan’s big week continues with the 100th episode of "The Dog Whisperer" (8 p.m., National Geographic, r). The celebrated dog trainer assembles many of his successful cases, including Wilshire the fire dog, Luna, Kane the Great Dane and the Pink Lady and her pink dog. Millan’s two-legged fan club appears as well, including celebrity guests Jada Pinkett Smith, Patti LaBelle, Virginia Madsen, Ed McMahon and Daisy Fuentes.

The rapid replay of Millan’s greatest hits and rescues remind us that he’s much more of a human trainer than a dog therapist. Entirely too many of his clients put their pets’ indulgence ahead of their family’s welfare. The recaps underscore Millan’s zest for launching into New Age aphorisms and other forms of dogged Oprah-speak. He utters the phrase "calm submissive state" so often that it begins to sound like a satellite campus of the University of California.

• On tonight’s "20/20" (9 p.m., ABC), Diane Sawyer interviews actor Alec Baldwin, the Emmy-nominated star of "30 Rock" who can’t seem to avoid controversy.


In a recent profile in The New Yorker, Baldwin appeared less than thrilled to be associated with a situation comedy and offered unsolicited and uncharitable comments about other NBC comedies, including "My Name is Earl" and "Scrubs."

The character that emerges in the magazine piece is at once pompous and miserable, an awkward combination of working-class Irish Catholic pugnacity and pampered Hollywood entitlement. It’s hard not to groan when someone bemoans his descent from A-list movie stardom to "mere" TV celebrity.

At the same time, Baldwin’s bravado and self-loathing come across brilliantly in his arrogant and deeply neurotic "30 Rock" character Jack Donaghy. Who says geniuses don’t suffer for their art?

Baldwin can also be seen tonight in the 2001 war epic "Pearl Harbor" (7 p.m., AMC, TV-14).

Other highlights

• Robert Rodriguez ("Spy Kids") directs the 2005 adventure "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl" (7 p.m., Disney).

• Pairs of parents and children square off in extreme competition with an accent on the messy "My Family’s Got GUTS" (7 p.m., Nickelodeon).

• Johnny Depp stars in the 2006 sequel "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest" (7 p.m., USA, TV-PG).


• On two episodes of "Numb3rs" (CBS, r, TV-PG), a killing in a cult compound (8 p.m.), terror charges strike the squad (10).

• On two episodes of "The Grizzly Man Diaries" (Animal Planet), an earthquake (8 p.m.), Treadwell mourns the loss of a fox pup (8:30 p.m., r).

• Keller vanishes on "Stargate Atlantis" (9 p.m., Sci Fi).

Series notes

Melinda plumbs a mystery about her father’s disappearance on "Ghost Whisperer" (7 p.m., CBS, r, TV-PG,V) … A Texas oil rig tests competitors on "America’s Toughest Jobs" (7 p.m., NBC) … Jeff Foxworthy hosts "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (7 p.m., Fox, TV-PG) … Tom Bergeron hosts a two-hour "America’s Funniest Home Videos" (7 p.m., ABC, r) from both Paris and Disneyland … Wrestling on "Friday Night SmackDown!" (7 p.m., CW, TV-PG) … Wayne Brady hosts "Don’t Forget the Lyrics" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-PG).

Late night

Robin Williams, Shannen Doherty and Duffy appear on "Late Show with David Letterman" (10:35 p.m., CBS, r) … Jay Leno hosts Brooke Shields and Dolly Parton on "The Tonight Show" (10:35 p.m., NBC) … Michelle Monaghan and Cold War Kids appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:05 p.m., ABC) … Ice-T, Dwayne Wade and Shane Mauss chat on "Late Night with Conan O’Brien" (11:35 p.m., NBC) … Craig Ferguson hosts Kristen Bell and Josh Radnor on "The Late, Late Show" (11:37 p.m., CBS).

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