Dalton Ross, Bruce Fretts, Mike Flaherty, and Allyssa Lee
June 23, 2000 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Notable programs this week

MONDAY, June 19

Road Rules: Maximum Velocity Tour
It’s time for the return of that other reality adventure series, as six strangers band together for another cross-country jaunt filled with challenges both scintillating (walking between two hot air balloons on a suspended beam) and just plain silly (penis pump product testing). Throw in a cheesy ”Max Headroom”-like ”Roadmaster” host and ”Survivor”’s Jeff Probst is looking better by the minute. B-

TUESDAY, June 20

Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush
Mark Curry hosts this new game show, which comes across as Let’s Make a Deal meets The Price Is Right meets… uh, something really bad. The basic premise: an audience featuring some of the most insanely caffeinated contestants this side of Singled Out takes part in goofy games (like a footrace in drag) to win free trips and prizes. Too bad there’s one thing these competitors did forget: their dignity. C-


Dead Man’s Gun
There are two basic problems with television today: not enough Westerns, and now — with the cancellation of Beverly Hills, 90210 — not enough Brian Austin Green! TNN fills both voids by presenting a 1998 episode of the former Showtime series guest-starring the Notorious B.A.G. himself. The longtime David Silver sheds his ”pretty fly for a white guy” persona to play a coldhearted killer whose Old West past comes back to haunt him, and while Green does a fine enough job in his new zip code, we were excited for another reason: no Donna! B


The List
Where better for legendary Brit metal gods Spinal Tap to make their umpteenth comeback than a show that goes to 11… p.m., that is? PR queen Bobbi Fleckman moderates as the band weighs in with musical tastes, while also performing a few numbers. But will the program be broadcast in Dubly?

FRIDAY, June 23

Very Important Pennis
Posing as reporter Dennis Pennis, reputed comedian Paul Kaye pricks celebrities’ egos with limp zingers like ”How come you’re not funny anymore?” (to an unamused Steve Martin) and ”When you participate in oral sex, do you suffer from the Velcro effect?” (to a mustachioed Tom Selleck). He’d like to be the British Stuttering John, but this self-styled dork seems more like a poor man’s Andy Dick. Still, when he masterfully baits Kevin Costner into a po’d confrontation at the Waterworld premiere, you’ve gotta admit — this Pennis has balls. D+


William S. Paley: The Eye of CBS
Who was William Paley? Only the founder of CBS who called the shots at the broadcasting giant for almost 60 years — until his board of directors ousted him at age 82 in 1983. Such CBS vets as Walter Cronkite and the late Jackie Gleason tell the tale of this charming yet merciless son of a wealthy Ukrainian Jew who, starting with the company’s birth in 1928, fostered such legends as Ed Sullivan, Bing Crosby, and Lucille Ball. And, as this entertaining edition of ”Biography” shows, he had quite an Eye for the ladies as well. B

SUNDAY, June 25

Subdivide and Conquer: A Modern Western
What started out innocently enough as post-World War II development for single-family homes has become urban sprawl, now threatening to take over the vast, wide open spaces that led settlers to the West in the first place. Purple mountains majesty and green river valleys are being paved for parking lots, tract-home subdivisions, and the most inherent suburban evil — strip malls — at an alarming rate. An engaging and didactic documentary on the consequences and projected solutions to this car-centric method of divide and conquer, the program is capped by Dennis Weaver’s lazy-drawl narration and the immortal sounds of Gene Autry. Don’t fence me in, indeed. A

Iron Chef Battle New York
Food Network makes exhaustive promotional hay out of this special, not only inflicting host Gordon Elliott on us, but providing footage of the Chefs’ appearance on Elliott’s Door Knock Dinners program as well. Things heat up in the second hour, when Iron Chef Morimoto does battle with — whaddaya know? — the network’s own Bobby Flay at Manhattan’s cacophonous Webster Hall. After whipping up a crock of (insert secret ingredient here) dip, an irked Morimoto takes Flay to task for his crass grandstanding, grousing, ”He is not a chef!” Ah, but is he a winner? Tune in and find out. B+

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