TV Is For Junkies 

Is television addictive? New midseason shows could test that crackpot theory.

After suffering through what’s been declared the Dullest February Sweeps in History (by “real” TV critics, for whatever that’s worth), when most networks rolled over and played dead in the face of the 2002 Winter Olympics, you must be ready to watch anything new, right? If there’s any truth to a recent Scientific American study that says TV is as addictive as crack (or at least St. John’s Wort), you’re probably jonesing hard enough to sit through an entire episode of Fox’s great-but-unwatched Undeclared ... didn’t think so. Stupid scientists.

Tube Stops*Thursday, Feb. 28: Survivor: Marquesas (CBS, 7 p.m.) Yet Another Installment: Sixteen “castaways” on a South Pacific island struggle to “survive” the elements ... yeah, whatever. Leap of Faith (NBC, 7:30 p.m.) Series Debut: Four single New York friends struggle to survive the dating scene ... yeah, whatever.

*Friday, March 1: 2002 Miss USA Pageant (CBS, 7 p.m.) Fifty-one future Hooters waitresses struggle to maintain their dignity as NFL has-been Deion Sanders (!) hosts live from Gary, Ind., “Camel-toe Capitol of the Midwest.”

* Saturday, March 2: Fashion Police: 2002 Grammy Awards (E!, 8 p.m.) Joan and Melissa Rivers struggle to bring a show about rock stars who dress like mental patients in under six hours.

*Sunday, March 3: No Boundaries (The WB, 6 p.m.) Series Debut: Fifteen contestants struggle to hike to the Arctic Circle for some reason. Jeremiah (Showtime, 9 p.m.) Series Debut: Luke Perry and Malcolm-Jamal Warner struggle to find new careers in the post-apocalyptic future. Six Feet Under (HBO, 10 p.m.) Season Premiere: Nate (Peter Krause) struggles with a rare brain defect: He can’t stop renting Glitter.

*Monday, March 4: Once & Again (ABC, 9 p.m.) Series Return: Karen (Susanna Thompson) struggles to recover from a car accident, while Lily (Sela Ward) struggles to explain why her SUV has blond hair in the grill.

*Tuesday, March 5: As If; Random Years (UPN, 8 and 8:30 p.m.) Series Debuts: UPN struggles, and struggles ... The Osbournes (MTV, 11:30 p.m.) Series Debut: Ozzy Osbourne struggles to live in Beverly Hills with his annoying family-sober! Welcome to Hell, Oz.

*Wednesday, March 6: Last Call With Carson Daly (E!, 7 p.m.) America struggles with repeat airings of the Massive Tool’s NBC show-ack!

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