In many ways, "The Face" (9 p.m., Oxygen) takes the "America" out of "Amer- ica's Next Top Model," a series it resembles in so many ways. Although it is set in New York and many of the 12 mannequin hopefuls hail from the 50 states, "The Face" has a certain international flair. It could be shot anywhere, and often it seems to be taking place on Mars.
It features a Tower of Babel of nearly incomprehensible accents. Chief among them is a variation on imperious and
impatient London slang, wielded with authority by co-host and model Naomi Campbell and photographer and fashion personality Nigel Barker. There is no truth to the rumor that 72 percent of all British males involved in the fashion industry are named Nigel. It only seems that way.
Models Karolina Kurkova and Coco Rocha join Campbell as judges and coaches. Each assembles a team of four lanky Ama-
zons for competitions and elimination rounds. And, as in every reality show since "The Real World," the ladies share a posh space and fight over clothes and sleeping
There is terrific pressure on a show like "The Face" to both resemble every modeling show that has ever aired and to distinguish itself from them. And that goes double for the young contestants. This explains why one brash woman arrives in the shared space and proceeds to screech like a banshee and literally bounce off the walls.
She catwalks, or rather
stumbles, over that fine line between irrational exuberance and emotional disturbance. Another model, a stunning Eastern European type, mutters something about murdering the newcomer in the middle of the night. Now this could get interesting.
---Since there is no tailgate party or red-carpet coverage for the State of the Union
address (9 p.m. on ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News, CNBC, MSNBC, Fox Business Channel), viewers can get ready for the event by watching "Frontline: Cliffhanger" (8 p.m., PBS), an examination of the battle over deficits and the federal debt ceiling.
"Cliffhanger" concentrates on the difficult position of House Speaker John Boehner, a veteran of many congressional battles and adept at the art of legislative horse-trading. This history puts him at odds with House Republicans elected since 2010, who have put taxes and spending at the center of their agenda.
With economic indicators from Wall Street to the housing market pointing toward a tentative uptick, many economists fear intractable and entirely avoidable political brinkmanship in the House may sabotage any lasting recovery. "Cliff- hanger" wonders if the House speaker can make a deal and still keep his job.
---TV-themed DVDs available today include "The 100th Birthday Edition of 'The Loretta Young Show.'"
---Contestants must marry the flavors of their dishes with special wines on "The Taste" (8 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---"The 137th Westmin ster Kennel Club Dog Show" (8 p.m., USA) concludes. May the best pug win!
---Raylan's discovery of a severed limb sets off a wild chase on "Justified" (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
TCM's Oscar month salute to the films of the RKO studio runs until Thursday and includes the 1941 drama "Citi zen Kane" (8 p.m.), directed by Orson Welles.
---Callen has to answer for the Chameleon on "NCIS: Los Angeles" (8 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
---Jimmy and Sabrina take stock on "Raising Hope" (8 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---Jess substitutes for CeCe at a car show on "New Girl" (8:30 p.m., Fox, r, TV-14).
---The newlyweds quibble over thank-you notes on "Mike & Molly" (10:30 p.m., CBS, r, TV-14).
---Claire and Cameron see a diamond in the rough on "Modern Family" (10:30 p.m., ABC, r, TV-14).
---Bill Maher, Celeste
Anderson and Jackie Kashian appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Jenny McCarthy, Dan Levy, Diablo Cody and Ross Mathews are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Bruce Willis and Little Big Town appear on "Late Show With David Letter man" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Charles Barkley, Bob Fisher and Jewel on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Jessica Alba, Bobby Flay and Ellie Goulding appear on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" (11:35 p.m., ABC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Ted Danson and Teresa Palmer on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at kevin.tvguy@g mail.com.