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THE TINY SCREEN: Paris and Nicole – Reunited and it Feels So Good…:

Being famous for being famous is what got Paris Hilton and Nicole Ritchie their somewhat unexpected success with the Fox “unscripted” series “The Simple Life.”

Paris, fresh from her amateur porn video success, er, scandal, was suddenly the girl to see, especially if she’s going to be wearing skimpy belly shirts and low-rise Joe’s. Her pudgy sidekick Nicole had enough wit to keep the show mildly amusing. Et viola, a hit is born. No one could believe people were actually watching the show, which had two snotty rich girls planted in the middle of America and forced to do things normal folk do, like work in fast food restaurants and milk cows.

Most were anticipating Paris’ fall from grace but you gotta admit, the girl knows how to turn things around in her favor. Every scandal she’s involved in somehow becomes yet more publicity for her personal identity trademark. Paris has avoided her inevitable fall just by sticking around. Perhaps it really is true that you can never be too rich or too thin – perhaps, in the end, there’s no taking down a girl who was born “there.”

Was it really that funny to see how little in common Paris and Nicole have with the rest of us? Do we get to feel somehow superior to these pampered princesses? Probably. Either way, our collective fascination with the rich and famous was never more indulged than with Paris and Nicole’s reality show.

But the “Simple Life” gravy train came to a screeching halt when it was announced that best pals since girlhood Paris and Nicole were no longer friends. “Nicole knows what she did” was the way Paris described the rift. Suddenly, Paris was being seen not with her pal Nicole but with various boney female companions, doing her famous pose, hips forward, hand resting on waist, chin down, eyes up, you get the picture. Meanwhile, Nicole’s newly slim frame was being captured on every magazine cover with the equally newly thinned Lindsay Lohan. Out with Paris, in with Lindsay? Are you keeping up so far?

Enter the menfolk. Not long after the split, Nicole was seen with “D.J. AM” (nèe Adam Goldberg). He’s usually described with no supplemental information and no one seems to really care about him at all other than he’s the boyfriend of Nicole.

Paris was not to be outdone. She didn’t have the jaw-dropping weight loss to pull out of her hat but she certainly could muster a man if she wanted one. Enter Paris Latsis, “shipping heir.” Paris and Paris and Nicole and “D.J. AM” were seen canoodling in various enclaves throughout the world. Both women became engaged. But still, the burning question remained, what would happen with “The Simple Life”?

There was some rumbling that Nicole would be replaced by Kim Stewart (Rod’s daughter), who had been seen with Paris around town. But Stewart, even though born rich, famous and thin, was caught perhaps a bit too many times with her pants down, literally! She is, after all, her father’s daughter. But alas, Ms. Stewart will have to find another way to humiliate her common man as it will be Ms. Ritchie who will return to the Fox series.

It was announced this past week that, indeed, “The Simple Life” will resume with both Paris and Nicole starring, as they are contractually obligated to do so. Their “conflict” will reportedly be fodder for the latest installment. The girls haven’t been photographed together since “breaking up” and no doubt Fox will make much of their reunion. There is no such thing as bad publicity.

“The Simple Life” is scheduled to resume in September on FOX. No word on the dates of either’s nuptials nor their inevitable divorces.

Notable TV This Week

Thursday, August 4

Hope and Glory (****), 7:30 p.m., SUNDANCE.

Blade Runner (****), 8 p.m., AMC.

The Law Firm, 9 p.m., NBC.

Chariots of Fire (***), 9:30 p.m., HBO.

Friday, August 5

Celtic Woman, 8 p.m., KOCE.

Apollo 13 (***), 8 p.m., BRAVO.

Holiday (****), with Katharine Hepburn, 9 p.m., TCM.

Jazz, 9 p.m., KLCS.

Saturday, August 6

Jurassic Park (**), 7:30 p.m., BRAVO.

Motown The Early Years, 7:30 p.m., KCET.

The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, 8 p.m., KCOP.

Hiroshima: The First Weapon of Mass Destruction, 8 p.m., DSC.

Sunday, August 7

Dr. Wayne Dyer: The Power of Intention, funnily enough, no matter how many times it’s on it’s impossible not to get sucked in, 8 p.m., KCET.

The Godfather (****), 8 p.m., SPIKE.

Sugar & Spice (**), 8 p.m., KTLA.

Slums of Beverly Hills (**), 9 p.m., IFC.

Monday, August 8

Wild on Tara, for god’s sake, someone please send this girl to a nunnery, 9 p.m., E!

Prime Suspect, 9 p.m., BBCAM.

The Closer, 9 p.m., TNT.

American Princess, 9 p.m., WE.

Tuesday, August 9

The Lost Weekend (****), 8 p.m., TCM.

Kathy Griffin is … Not Nicole Kidman, 9 p.m., BRAVO.

Filthy Rich: Cattle Drive, 9 p.m., E!

Going Tribal, 10 p.m., DISCOVERY.

Wednesday, August 10

Twin Falls Idaho (**), 8 p.m., IFC.

Goldfinger (***), 8 p.m., AMC.

Adaptation (***), 8:30 p.m., OXYGEN.

Unforgettable Moments in Television Entertainment, 8:30 p.m., NBC.

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