What's on TV

SHOWS FOR SEPT. 20-26

Sunday 9/21

The Emmy Awards (Fox, 8-11 p.m.): Eleven is better than one. Or at least that's the thinking from the folks behind the annual TV awards show. Instead of picking just one host, they chose 11 comedians to perform stand-up routines and present awards. Usually awards shows are dullsville, so let's hope that Ellen DeGeneres, Conan O'Brien, Martin Short, Jon Stewart, and Dennis Miller will keep our bellies shaking with laughter. "The West Wing," "The Sopranos," and "Six Feet Under" lead the pack with the most nominations in the major categories. TV-PG

Monday 9/22

Two and a Half Men (CBS, 9:30-10 p.m.): Charlie Sheen plays an overpaid, overplayed wiseacre who has no sense of responsibility to the women he dates or anyone else. Ah, but when his distraught, uptight brother (Jon Cryer) moves in with his preteen son, Jake, Uncle Charlie finds himself metamorphosing into a decent human being. Well, kids can do that to a guy. While so much of pop culture argues for the Peter Pan syndrome (never grow up), here's one more witty argument for "It takes a man to be a father." The real star behind this star vehicle is the writing. Situation comedy tends to be fairly dull-witted, so writing this good is a treat. TV-PG

Friday 9/26

Miss Match (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Once again, witty writing (and a gifted comedian) saves a daffy premise. This sweet, amusing romantic comedy could only star Alicia Silverstone (who played a failed matchmaker in "Clueless"). And she is terrific here, toned down and matured from her teen-idol persona. Silverstone plays Kate Fox, an enterprising divorce attorney in her dad's law firm where she sooo doesn't belong. When she realizes she is gifted at getting couples back together or setting them up, it makes her think harder about her own career. Ryan O'Neal is dead-on as her hard-to-love papa. TV-PG

The Animated Century (Bravo, 8-10 p.m.): This charming documentary is as amusing as it is informative. It shows snippets of 160 films from 26 countries (although it leaves out the best of American avant-garde art animation), sweeping through a long history - from Disney to Japanese animé - and a wide variety of techniques with skill and humor.

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