Friday Sept. 24
Joan of Arcadia (CBS, 8-9 p.m.): Joan (Amber Tamblyn) returns home after a summer spent in a special camp. Apparently her parents took a dim view of her talking (out loud) to God. The psychiatrist did, too. So poor Joan became convinced she was a bit balmy. She may have lost her faith in God, but fortunately for us God hasn't lost His faith in her. God insists on coming to her in the guise of ordinary-looking people.
Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Christine Lahti stars as Rose, the wife of a philanderer who abruptly announces he is leaving her for another woman. To make matters worse, the younger woman is her assistant at the newspaper where husband and wife work. Guess who loses her job? Not the mistress. Fortunately, this film comes up with a creative solution to Rose's situation. Witty writing and Lahti's flawless performance make this TV film entertaining and even mildly meaningful.
Clubhouse (CBS, 8-9 p.m.): This new family drama may be set in the world of sports, but the whole family will enjoy and understand the genuine moral issues presented here. Young Jeremy Sumpter stars as a newly inducted bat boy for the New York Empires, a pro baseball team. The adults refrain from dishing out easy answers to the complex problems in this show.
Nova: Origins (PBS, Parts 1&2; Parts 3&4 follows Wed., Sept. 29, check local listings): Fantastic special effects, old sci-fi footage, and excellent interviews with scientists illustrate new theories about the origin of the universe. From the birth of the material world to questions about whether aliens exist, this august documentary never loses its sense of wonder.