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Tubegazing: Three promising new shows

Billed as "upscale redneck" comedy, My Name is Earl (NBC, Tuesdays, 9 p.m. ET), is hoping to capture both the latte and the metal-lunchbox crowd. The comedy's deft combination of great casting - Jason Lee manages to be likable as both a swaggart and a stooge - and simple premise have the potential to do just that. Lee plays a lunkhead who finally realizes that his loser of a life is his own fault and maybe, just maybe, if he fixes all his past mistakes, things might turn around. He hopes to cross one mistake off his list per week.

Everybody Hates Chris (UPN, Thursdays, 8 p.m. ET), on the other hand, is a painful, semiautobiographical trip down memory lane for comic Chris Rock - back to the days before he was allowed to cuss and do all that other grownup comedy without risking the wrath of his bossy but loving mom. Narrated by the adult Rock, the show promises to deliver both pathos and punchlines as the much-put-upon teen Rock navigates caring for his siblings and being bused across town to a mostly white school - where, yes, everybody but one fellow outcast seems to hate him.

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Of all the supernatural-themed dramas arriving this fall, Invasion (ABC, Wednesdays, 10 p.m. ET) may have the most, ahem, legs. Well cast and with a nice mix of family drama and larger, spooky-scary questions, producers of this series from former teen rock-star Shaun Cassidy had a scare of their own - the show, about strange happenings after a hurricane, is set and shot in Florida's hurricane alley.


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