TV column for Sunday, March 4


SUNDAY'S MUST-SEE: “GCB” debut,
10:01 p.m., ABC.

Amanda (Leslie Bibb) is a California
beauty, married to a rich guy. Then it all crashes … literally; she
retreats to Dallas, her mom (Annie Potts) and her snarky high school
friends.

Then she realizes how mean they are –
and how mean she was. The perfect “Desperate Housewives”
companion, “GCB” has beautiful people and soapy situations.
Adapting the “Good Christian Bitches” novel, Robert Harling
(“Steel Magnolias”) added warmth and his fondness for Southern
women.

SUNDAY'S MUST-SEE II: “Army Wives”
(9-11 p.m., Lifetime) and “”Breakout Kings” (10 p.m., A&E)
season-openers.

It's the sixth season for “Wives,”
which finds itself in crisis mode. The base (with Joan in charge) is
battered by a hurricane, leaving Pam homeless and the others
struggling.

And it's the second season for “Kings,”
which has convicts speeding their release by helping catch escapees.
This has one of TV's great characters in Lloyd (Jimmi Simpson), a
brainy psychologist with few social skills; tonight's escapee is a
sniper he once helped convict.

TONIGHT'S ALTERNATIVE: Pledge-drive
specials, PBS.

Each station has its own pledge
line-up, but many have a spectacular “Phantom of the Opera” at 8
p.m.

“Phantom” starts slowly, but
quickly adds power. Soon, the Phantom (Ramin Karimlov) is in his lair
with Christine; strong visuals combine with great voices and a
strident score.

Other choices include:

– “The Simpsons,” 8 p.m., Fox.
Bart finds sudden fame as a graffiti artist.

– “Once Upon a Time,” 8 p.m.,
ABC. Amy Acker of “Angel” is sweeping through the fairy-tale
shows. Fresh from being a “Grimm” villain, she plays a nun named
Nova here. Mary Margaret and Leroy (who are Snow White and Grumpy in
the alternate world) try to help her charity project.

– “Desperate Housewives,” 9 p.m.,
ABC. In the show's final season, the women are facing a fresh
question: Will they help raise their grandchildren? Susan says yes;
Lynette says no.

– “The Good Wife,” 9 p.m., CBS.
Mamie Gummer (Merle Streep's daughter) is back as Nancy Crozier, a
tough opponent. Alicia battles her, defending a student whose
documentary may have led to a suicide,

– “Hollywood Girls Night” debut,
9 p.m., TV Guide. Think of this as a weekly “View.” The opener is
at Alison Sweeney's home, with Ali Landry, Kyle Richards. Sheryl
Underwood and Tracey Gold.

– “CSI: Miami,” 10 p.m., CBS. A
man was killed, just before he could reveal wrong-doing.

– “Luck,” 10 p.m., HBO. Ace
(Dustin Hoffman) keeps nudging his scheme of a massive casino and
horsetrack. Also in this OK episode, things are shaken by an earquake
and overwrought jockeys.

– “The Kandi Factory,” 10 p.m..,
Bravo. On “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” Kandi Burress produced a
successful single for Kim Zolciak. Now she tries to do that for two
strangers, in this 90-minute special.

– “Life's Too Short,” 10:30 p.m.,
HBO. The third episode is darker (and a tad less funny) than the
first two, but still worth catching. Warwick Davis is accused by
other little people of hogging all the jobs and all the attention.