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Mars' New Orbit

Last month, when I was extolling the virtues of Veronica Mars, I encouraged curious viewers to catch reruns of the show Tuesday nights at 9 p.m. on UPN. I didn't realize at the time that, much like old farmers would rotate a field between soil-enriching and soil-depleting crops in alternate seasons, UPN had decided to briefly beslime Veronica's old time slot with the televised implosion of Britney Spears' career.

Following what I hope will be a thorough disinfection and fumigation, Veronica Mars will return to Tuesdays at 9 on June 14... and then immediately move to its new time slot, Wednesdays at 9, the very next night. On the upside, it's got a plum spot following America's Next Top Model, UPN's highest-rated show. (Stop and ponder that for a moment. Done shaking your head sadly? OK, let's continue.) The downside? It seems that Wednesdays at 9 is also the new home of a little-heralded ABC show about people trapped on some sort of monster-infested island.

There are also dire rumors that UPN wants to jettison several of Veronica's more compelling supporting characters, and monkey with the show's near-bulletproof premise, in an attempt garner bigger ratings. Resist, creator Rob Thomas! Resist like the wind!

At any rate, I'd like to apologize to anyone who tuned in Tuesdays at 9 expecting a richly absorbing drama, and instead got the adventures of a very different sort of blonde. Blame me for your shattered will to live, if you must, but please watch Veronica Mars. You won't be sorry.

(Looking for more good summer viewing? Fox's The Inside, a serial-killer thriller created by the scarily talented Tim Minear, boasts an all-star writing cast from Lost, Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Gilmore Girls, The Tick and Miracles. Place your bets for its imminent cancellation! And Cartoon Network's Justice League Unlimited -- laugh if you must-- has been knocking episodes out of the park left and right. Some of the comic book world's best writers are penning gripping, well-characterized scripts, and recent guest voices have included Law & Order's Dennis Farina, Farscape's Ben Browder, and roughly half the cast of Firefly.)


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