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Critic’s corner

TYLER GOLDEN/NBC

Fashion Star 9:30 p.m., Channel 7

The new wrinkle in the latest sartorial challenge competition is that viewers will be able to buy the clothes they see on the show immediately after it’s over at Macy’s, Saks, or H&M. Shepherding the 14 unknown designers to glory (a la Tim Gunn of “Project Runway’’) will be coaches Jessica Simpson, John Varvatos, and Nicole Richie. Buyers for the retail outlets will serve as judges and Elle Macpherson holds down the hosting duties.

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Cougar Town 8:30 p.m., Channel 5

“Scrubs’’ alert: Sarah Chalke returns as the object of Bobby’s (Josh Hopkins) affections and a few other familiar faces from Sacred Heart put in an appearance at the cul-de-sac. While ratings remain low after an all-out effort by the show’s cast and producers to boost the show’s profile with viewing parties around the country, the laugh factor remains high on this friendly sitcom.

The River 9 p.m., Channel 5

Their determination to find out what happened gets stronger in every way, and it gets higher day by day.

Breaking In 9:30 p.m., Channel 25

Greetings and salutations to Megan Mullally, who recently joined the Christian Slater comedy.

Alien Encounters 10 p.m., Science

Nick Sagan says there’s life in that thar cosmos.

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