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NBC comedy machine is back full force

Normally the Thursday ‘Comedy Done Right’ stands on its own. Tonight because of “Idol Gives Back,” it has some serious competition.

Alec's got problems on '30 Rock' and hits the bottleWith “My Name is Earl,” “30 Rock” starring Tina Fey, Steve Carell’s “The Office” and Zach Braff’s “Scrubs,” NBC should triumph in the ratings tonight.

Tonight on TV

ABC starts with a rerun, but what a rerun – it’s the “Desperate Housewives” tornado that tore down Wisteria Lane. Follow that with a new episode of “Eli Stone” with guest star Katy Sagal.

CBS merges the tribes on “Survivor: Micronesia,” and “CSI” and “Without a Trace” are both brand-spanking new.

NBC has the comedy machine working with new episodes of “My Name is Earl,” “30 Rock,” “The Office” and “Scrubs” followed by “ER.”

The CW is still in rerun mode (not much longer) with “Smallville” and “Supernatural.”

Against all of that even “American Idol” may not pull in a win for Fox.  That’s followed by “Don’t Forget the Lyrics.”

Over on Bravo, don’t miss the new series “Step it Up and Dance.”  There’s an encore of the premiere episode at 9:00 followed by a new installment at 10:00. 

News and notable

— If you’re a fan of an ABC series, you can make it clear on your blog or MySpace through the use of the new ABC widgets.  Choose from “The Bachelor: London Calling,” “Brother’s & Sisters,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Samantha Who?” and “Ugly Betty.” Clips, photos and more, delivered right to your personal webspace.

— Broadcast and Cable is reporting that Blockbuster is developing a set-top box that will allow video streaming straight to your TV. Like On Demand only with a much larger library of movies to chose from.

— USA Today is reporting that this will be the final season for “ER”.  Stars Maura Tierney and Goran Visnjic are already slated to leave mid-season.  Producer Wells says he’d love to get Clooney back for one episode but no decisions have been made in that regard.

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