Myths and Legends Combines Oprah with The King

    On the anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, TV Land’s Myths and Legends (Saturday, 8 p.m.) delves into the mysteries surrounding his life. But it doesn’t do so with what you’d call journalistic rigor. What of the idea that Elvis and Oprah Winfrey are distant cousins? After suggesting that Oprah’s people “may have been” owned by Elvis’ people pre-Civil War, a reputed authority observes that plantation owners “often” fathered children by their slaves. It’s not exactly an airtight case, but that doesn’t stop TV Land from hauling a former Elvis girlfriend in front of the camera to observe, “Elvis would have been thrilled and honored to be tied to Oprah in any way.” Never mind that he hadn’t heard of Oprah before he died in 1977.
    {mosimage}Then there’s the perennial question of Elvis’ death. Did it really happen? “I still don’t feel him gone,” says a former backup singer. That doesn’t really prove anything, but then author Gail Giorgio drops the bombshell: Elvis’ corpse was really a wax dummy. The famous National Enquirer coffin photograph appeared to show beads of sweat, and Giorgio notes that “wax will bead up in the hot sun.”

Wednesday, 10 p.m. (Sci Fi)
    Sci Fi’s sadistic candid-camera series used to be funny every once in a while. Folks would give the producers permission to scare their unwitting friends with horror-movie scenarios. An alien would appear at a car window, the friend would scream, and everybody would laugh, including the relieved friend.
    But this season, I haven’t been laughing. The setups have crossed the line from cruelly amusing to just plain cruel. A female college student cowers as a homicidal stalker breaks into an office and advances on her. Who thinks up sick stuff like that?
    Wait a minute — what’s that behind you, Scare Tactics? Oh my God, it’s the president of the Sci Fi network, and he’s going to cancel the series! Run! Run!

Through Aug. 24 (NBC)
    I’ll be waving a little American flag during this week’s basketball, gymnastics and boxing competitions. Let’s hope our steroids are stronger than their steroids.

Friday, 9 p.m. (E!)
    E! takes a break from counting down the hottest bodies and the hottest billionaire’s daughters to get serious for a minute. “10 Most Shocking Mental Disorders” counts down the hottest celebrity breakdowns, from Mary-Kate Olsen’s eating disorder to Katharine McPhee’s bulimia to Kirsten Dunst’s depression.
    Did you know that the American Psychological Association now recognizes Being Driven Mad by E! Countdowns as an authentic mental disorder?

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