Ellen Gray: A&E creates another show about getting rid of stuff

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From left: Jarrod Schulz, Darrell Sheets, Dave Hester and Barry Weiss star in "Storage Wars."

SO MUCH television, so little time:

* If we really are only as sick as our secrets, what does it say about us as a country that we have more than 2 billion square feet of space available to store things we don't want to live with but we can't bear to get rid of?

What it says to A&E: "Storage Wars."

The latest cable show about Americans' love-hate relationship with their superfluous stuff premieres tonight at 10, with an episode that introduces storage-unit auctioneer Dan Dotson and a motley crew of buyers who hope to find treasure amid the stuff that gets sold, one unit at a time, when the owners stop paying their rent.

Brought to you by the producers of "Ice Road Truckers" and "Deadliest Catch," it is, at least in comparison to those adrenaline-charged series, the equivalent of watching paint peel - then seeing someone come along, sweep up the scattered chips and try to sell them to someone else.

There's a lot of trash-talking, but even more trash, and the buyers aren't nearly as colorful as they're trying to be. No, not even the one who, in a future episode, tries to get an edge on the competition by outfitting a little person with stilts and night-vision goggles, hoping he'll be able to see something in a unit that others can't.

Those who still dream of making a killing on "Antiques Roadshow" might conceivably get a kick out of watching a bunch of guys try to outmaneuver one another for the right to take home whatever's behind Door No. 3, but if there's an acquisitive bone in your body, you should probably steer clear, lest you find yourself the subject of yet another cautionary tale on A&E's "Hoarders."

* Corporate synergy takes a particularly silly turn at 9 tonight as NBC Universal's Syfy welcomes three of "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" - from NBC Universal's Bravo - to an episode of "Ghosthunters."

Apparently it's no longer enough for these women to be fighting for the attention of living people - they're determined to annoy the dead, too.

* Fran Drescher ("The Nanny") and her ex-husband - and "Nanny" co-creator - Peter Marc Jacobson, are writing and producing a pilot for TV Land called "Happily Divorced."

Said to be based on Drescher's life, it's about a woman's relationships with her gay ex-husband and her current boyfriend.

Not determined yet, according to a TV Land spokeswoman, is whether Drescher, 53, will be playing the main character. But at least Jacobson will presumably get more say about how he's portrayed than many an ex has.

* It's not just "Sarah Palin's Alaska" anymore.

Starting Jan. 3, TLC sibling Discovery launches a "reality" show about a family-run airline in the state where, as Palin has reminded us more than once, planes are the only way to get around the vast areas without roads.

Tentatively titled "Flying Wild," the 10-part series will focus on the family of Jim and Ferno Tweto, who, along with two adult daughters, run Era Alaska, described by Discovery as "the lifeline for the isolated rural inhabitants of the Bering Sea coastline."

Could be just the ticket for viewers who can't get enough of the Alaskan scenery but may have less appetite for Palin's folksy (and never-ending) commentary on everything from the rearing of children to the cleaning of halibut.

(Go ahead - take your best shot. At least I've been watching.)

* Maybe "Morning Glory" was the last straw? The uneven rom-com starring Rachel McAdams as the hopelessly spunky producer of a low-rated network morning show takes a swipe at CBS' "The Early Show," described by one character as "whatever

they're calling the crap they're doing over at CBS."

Yesterday, CBS News announced a whole new lineup for that perennial third-place broadcast, which starting Jan. 3 will be co-anchored by Erica Hill and Chris Wragge, with Jeff Glor as news anchor and Marysol Castro on weather.

Harry Smith, last anchor standing from the show's earlier experiment with four co-hosts, "will shift his focus to hard news with an expanded role as primary substitute anchor on 'The Evening News with Katie Couric,' 'Face the Nation' and 'Sunday Morning,' while continuing to report major stories for all CBS News broadcasts," according to CBS.

Smith's co-anchor, Maggie Rodriguez, and weather anchor Dave Price - a veteran of "Good Day Philadelphia" - will remain with CBS, which didn't actually say what they'd be doing.

Sleeping later, no doubt. *

Send e-mail to graye@phillynews.com.