Armed and Famous



8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 10

Calling all cars! The Surreal House residents have escaped and run off to join the police department in Muncie, Ind. That sums up CBS' "Armed and Famous," in which five B-list celebrities are trained for three weeks, then made reserve police officers in the blue-collar Indiana town. If this doesn't amputate the long arm of the law, nothing will.

The police cadets are Erik Estrada of "CHiPs," singer La Toya Jackson, wrestler Trish Stratus, Jason "Wee Man" Acuna of "Jackass" and Ozzy Osbourne's son, Jack. In a splendid moment of TV irony, they go from being unable to get arrested to being empowered to do just that.

In academic circles, Muncie is famous for being "Middletown, USA," the home of several groundbreaking studies in sociology. In this Tom Forman and Good TV production, though, the most surprising result from this experiment in celebrity law enforcement is the expressions on the faces of Muncie cops when these Hollywood refugees earn passing scores.

Yes, this show really belongs on VH1 or Fox Reality and, yes, that whirring sound you hear might be coming from Frank Stanton's newly dug grave. Remember, though, that the midseason now belongs to Fox and "American Idol." That gives rise to a "what-have-we-got-to-lose" mentality that in turn makes shows like "Armed and Famous" possible.