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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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Monday on TV: Kathy Bates steps in as Charlie's ghost on "Two and a Half Men

Charlie Harper is back on Two and a Half Men (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2) - but Charlie Sheen is not.

In an episode that's weird even by this series' standards, Kathy Bates guest stars as the ghost of Charlie Harper. He/she appears to Alan (Jon Cryer) after Alan is hospitalized following a minor heart attack.

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Even more weird than the premise of the episode is that it actually works. Bates is hilarious.

Sheen might not be too thrilled, because there are some obvious shots at him. And the joke starts to wear a bit thin by the end of the half hour.

But this is one of those insane ideas that somehow works out quite well.

Elsewhere on TV ...

How I Met Your Mother (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Marshall is overwhelmed as fatherhood approaches.

Dancing with the Stars (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): The remaining contestants perform.

The Voice (7 p.m., NBC/Ch 5): The eight semifinalists perform.

Bones (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): A death is tied to a century-old family feud.

Gossip Girl (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Nate, Chuck, Serena, Blair and Lola investigate a secret involving Jack and Diana;

Eureka (7 and 9 p.m., Syfy): The ship is found but the crew is missing.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (7 and 10 p.m. Travel): Tony travels to Lisbon.

House (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Wilson and House go on vacation.

Hart of Dixie (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Wade reluctantly asks Zoe to be his partner in a competition.

Mike & Molly (8:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Mike's father goes to his bachelor father; his mother goes to Molly's bachelorette party.

Hawaii Five-O (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): In Part 1 of a crossover with "NCIS: Los Angeles," there's a suspect on the loose who is threatening to unleash a deadly virus on the populace. G. Callen (Chris O'Donnell) and Sam Hanna (LL Cool J) guest star on Hawaii Five-O on Monday; Danny Williams (Scott Caan) and Chin Ho Kelly (Daniel Dae Kim) return the favor on Tuesday's episode of "NCIS: Los Angeles."

Castle (9:01 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): A dead man has human bite marks on him, and a witness insists he was killed by a zombie.

Smash (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): To Ivy's chagrin, Derek grows closer to Rebecca.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (9 and 11 p.m., ABC Family): Ben and Dylan go on their first official date.

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