Meerkats Inc. - The new, sexier Animal Planet:
No, the thing is that, having trained her cats to watch Animal Planet, my friend leaves it on for them when she exits her apartment. Is this the new thing? Television so addicting that you watch it even when you're not around? Anna says that her cats, like a fair number of humans, especially enjoy Meerkat Manor (Fridays at 8 p.m. ET). This new show is less a nature documentary than a reality series about burrowing critters—kind of like mongooses, but cuter and more svelte—in southern Africa. You might call it Mutual of Omaha's Laguna Beach, but the power plays and elaborate social rituals of these fellas would blow the mind of the most battle-tested mean girl. The producers, showing an admirable crassitude, play it to the hilt, billing the show as "a soap opera with a difference." A typical tease for an upcoming episode: "Flower's pup Mitch gets his comeuppance when he steals food from the other pups."