Lucy Liu hits small screen in 'Cashmere Mafia'


Published: Saturday, January 5, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 4, 2008 at 8:36 p.m.

You might think of "Cashmere Mafia'' as oddly related to "Lipstick Jungle,'' which, also set in the Manhattan business world, stars Brooke Shields and premieres on NBC next month.

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Lucy Liu plays Mia in "Cashmere Mafia," which premieres on ABC Sunday at 10 p.m.

The Associated Press

"Cashmere Mafia'' can be most easily identified as the one that premieres this week on ABC and stars Lucy Liu. She plays Mia, who, with Zoe (Frances O'Connor), Juliet (Mirando Otto) and Caitlin (Bonnie Somerville), are four ambitious, sexy women who have been best friends since business school - and who now, as they rise in their respective fields, continue to lend support and counsel to one another.

They need it. Problems are always arising. These competitive women encounter pushback from colleagues, and even, sometimes, from their own mates.

On the premiere, hotel magnate Juliet discovers trouble at home - her husband is cheating on her. And Mia's engagement is put to the test when she and her fiance are pitted against each other for the same top-level position.

"Cashmere Mafia'' premieres 10 p.m. Sunday. Now enter it into your BlackBerry before you forget.

Other shows to look out for:

NBC's "The Biggest Loser'' began its new round of weight-loss rivalry last week by teaming its contestants into pairs. Now viewers will be seeing double on another show when "The National Body Challenge'' begins its twins edition. Discovery Health's fifth annual weight loss and general wellness campaign starts with a four-part television event, following four sets of identical twins who all have an identical problem: obesity. Premiering 8 p.m. Monday and airing four consecutive nights, the series chronicles the twins' 15-week journey to unload the fat and get fit.

Then, at 8 p.m. Friday, fitness expert Pamela Peeke asks the question, "If you HAD to, could you?'' on "Fit to Live,'' which explores the role physical fitness plays in helping humans survive life-or-death situations. Peeke challenges five ordinary people with varying body types to discover if they have the basic level of endurance, strength and agility to survive extraordinary circumstances, such as climbing 30 flights of stairs to the roof of a burning skyscraper or simulating an emergency rescue with a dummy the weight of an average adult.

Maybe you've been to Buffalo for Christmas. So you think you know cold. But just how much colder can cold get? Air conditioning, refrigeration, rocket fuel and superconductivity are some of the ways technology has put cold to good use. "NOVA'' explores the pursuit of the frigid in "Absolute Zero,'' two one-hour broadcasts. "The Conquest of Cold'' airs 8 p.m. Tuesday (check local listings), while "The Race for Absolute Zero'' premieres Jan. 15. The shows follow the quest for cold from the unlikely grandfather of air conditioning (the court magician of King James I of England in the 17th century) to today's scientists pioneering super-fast computing in the quantum chill near absolute zero - minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit, where atoms slow to a virtual standstill.

Park yourself to watch Philadelphia's curbside battle between the men and women of the city's parking authority and the resentful, often law-flouting public they regulate on "Parking Wars.'' On the first episode, airing 10 p.m. Tuesday on A&E, "meter maid'' Jeff squares off with an irate citizen over a broken meter. The booting team of Steve and Sherry meet a woman with an overwrought attachment to her wheels. And at the impound lot, Maria has a five-hour face-off with a man trying to get his Mercedes back. Another half-hour episode follows at 10:30 p.m.

Tony Shalhoub is back as the persnickety detective in "Monk,'' which continues its sixth season with the first of six new episodes at 9 p.m. Friday on USA. Then at 10 p.m., "Psych'' continues its second season with six new episodes. "Psych'' stars James Roday ("The Dukes of Hazzard'') as young police consultant Shawn Spencer, who solves crimes with powers of observation so acute the precinct detectives think he's psychic - at least, that's what he lets them believe. The series also stars Dule Hill ("The West Wing'') as Shawn's best friend and reluctant sidekick Gus.

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