Wednesday Watch List: Joaquin Returns To Letterman

Welcome to Watch List, where we identify five things on TV to watch while you stay at home and decide to quit your job to pursue a career in hip hop. LET’S GO!

LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN – 11:30PM (CBS) Joaquin Phoenix returns to Dave’s show tonight for the first time since his infamous appearance last year. Letterman writer Bill Scheft has already said that Letterman knew Phoenix’s bizarre act was an elaborate hoax for his Casey Affleck mockumentary “I’m Not There.” The question is, will Phoenix show up tonight all normal and lucid, or will he keep up the joke just for the joke’s sake? Again, hoax aside, I still think Phoenix is undoubtedly a raving lunatic who’s nutty regardless of whatever guise he may put on. I’m hoping he shows up tonight dressed like an orange for no reason at all. ANTICIPATION: CRAZY!

UNDERCOVERS – 8:00PM (NBC) NBC’s biggest new drama comes from JJ Abrams, the man behind the “Star Trek” reboot, “Lost,” “Alias,” and 700 other current projects. The story involves a husband and wife who are former spies who now run a catering business, but get sucked back into the game. I cannot pronounce the name of either lead actor, but they are extremely attractive and probably smell quite good. “Undercovers” could be the kind of show that takes a season or two to find its footing before becoming something awesome, so you may want to check it out in it infancy. ANTICIPATION: MRS. AND MRS. SMITHY!

THE WHOLE TRUTH – 10:00PM (ABC) ABC’s latest offering pits a hard-charging prosecutor (Maura Tierney, fresh off of kicking cancer in the ass) and a cunning defense attorney (Rob Morrow). Expect much verbal jousting. ANTICIPATION: VERBAL JOUSTING!

DEFENDERS – 10:00PM (CBS) CBS has its own lawyer show to go up against Tierney and Morrow. This one stars Jim Belushi as a sleazy Vegas defense attorney, as if there were any other kind. I like that CBS has taken such a shine to setting shows in Vegas. Your odds of a getting a stripper in the extras increases exponentially. Well played. Belushi’s partner is Jerry O’Connell, who has become the Ted McGinley of the 21st century. This man kills shows with his mere presence alone. ANTICIPATION: BELUSHISIMO!

MODERN FAMILY – 9:00PM (ABC) Fresh off its Emmy triumph, the brilliant sitcom returns for its sophomore season. You will be there or you will be Phil Dunphy. ANTICIPATION: HIGH!

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