Paradox of the week: Top Chef D.C. is something old (going into its seventh season) yet somehow feels new and fresh, while TV Land's original sitcom Hot in Cleveland is new but feels instantly old-hat - and we're not being ageist about the accomplished sitcom dames in the show's overqualified cast.
Both series premiere Wednesday night and are likely to be breakouts in this incredibly cluttered summer of non-stop cable. Chef is an established reality-competition hit and gets off to a confident and scenic start (with a multi-task Quickfire challenge on the Newseum rooftop), while Cleveland is old-fashioned comfort-food TV comedy that's essentially critic-proof. That's due to the canny casting of the beloved and on-a-roll Betty White as a cranky old lady, one of her specialties. (As we saw on Saturday Night Live, she can rise above iffy material, but this show will be a test of the Great White's magical powers.)
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