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'Chuck,' 'Life' return

The Baltimore Sun

NBC is the network to stick with tonight as two of last year's better new series return for their sophomore years, joining a lineup anchored by Heroes.

A MIND LIKE A COMPUTER First up is Chuck, the breezy action-adventure series about a nerdy computer repair guy who winds up with a computer chip in his brain filled with top-secret CIA data. Don't ask how or why, but it works.

Chuck Bartkowski (Zachary Levi) has a goofy charm, and he's most haplessly appealing when he is in the presence of an attractive woman. Tonight, Chuck goes out on his first real date with Sarah Walker (Yvonne Strahovski). Welcome back, Chuck. (8 p.m., NBC) ***

THE GOOD "LIFE" This off-beat cop drama was just starting to find a decent-sized audience when the writers' strike hit, and NBC decision's to bring it back for another season was one of the network's more enlightened. Brit actor Damian Lewis (Band of Brothers) stars as Charlie Crews, a detective who has just been freed from prison for a crime he did not commit. He's also a millionaire thanks to the lawsuit he just won for his wrongful conviction.

Crews is complicated, moody and downright strange most of the time, but in the hands of a talented team of writers and producers, it results in a drama that is funny, edgy and multilayered. Another happy return. (10 p.m., NBC) ***

LATE-NIGHT GUESTS Actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus visits and folk singer Pete Seeger performs on the Late Show with David Letterman. Actors Russell Crowe and Robert Wagner visit The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

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