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by Joel Smith & r & The fall TV lineup is jam-packed with good reasons to stare at your television all night (as you can read more about on page 33). But let's not forget that there's a lot of solid programming going on outside your living room, too. Some of the hottest local news stories of the last several months will be coming to a head this fall. Here's a sneak preview of what's coming up on your evening news.





How I Met Your Mother & r & Wackiness ensues when a judge decrees that Jim West must move in with Shannon Sullivan and her 10-year-old son in order to reconcile their differences. Watch as this odd couple dukes it out over the recall election and Supreme Court appeal, only to make hilarious peace over leftovers later that night. Though the plot borrows liberally from Adam's Rib, critics are already raving over cameos by West's lawyers, who sleep in twin cots next to the computer in his bedroom, and several guest appearances by Bob Apple, the cantankerous bar owner down the street. Also look for West in the upcoming courtroom series, Just Legal.





My Name Is Bill & r & As part of the Catholic Church sex abuse settlement, Bishop William Skylstad goes door-to-door, preaching about karma and apologizing personally to alleged abuse victims. Occasionally he's beaten over the head with wooden lawn furniture. Though not as convincing as he was in his previous role (Father Knows Best), Skylstad brings a surprising liveliness to the hackneyed writing (which reads like a cobbled-together series of talking points).





Surreal Life: City Council & r & Though details were still sketchy at press time, it appears VH1 is moving forward with its plan to move all 12 candidates for the Spokane City Council's three open seats into one impossibly posh downtown high-rise. We expect plenty of drunken antics and catty bickering over zoning laws and the B & amp;O tax. Barbara Lampert may have the early edge, having competed in the last seven editions of Surreal Life: City Council. Don't be surprised if the six candidates cut in the first week's primary elections return later in the show -- with fabulous makeovers! Hosted by Isamu Jordan.





Also This Fall...





Kitchen Confidential & r & Bob Apple stars in a spinoff from his role in the West/Sullivan vehicle, How I Met Your Mother. Dr. Kim Marie Thorburn plays the lead health inspector, who endlessly pesters Apple about hand washing and the lack of toilet paper in the bathroom of his bar.





The District & r & O.C.-style teen melodrama centered on the creation of Spokane's so-called "gay district." Anemic plot, with a few interesting cameos from hyperbolic journalists and 18-year-olds looking for internships at City Hall. Features songs from perv-poppers the Scissor Sisters.





Head Cases & r & Thousands of mental health care patients lose their safety net after the state slices up Spokane County's mental health funding. A bulging jail, a spike in meth production, countless homeless trudging through the snow. Looks like a real holiday spirit-lifter.





The Apprentice & r & Spokane CFO Gavin Cooley impersonates "The Donald" as 16 eager young number-crunchers lie, cheat and back-stab in the pursuit of their dream job -- the chance to tell the public that the city's closing its libraries and replacing its cops with former mental health patients.

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