Television: Mirror Images

A slew of new shows finds Hollywood's navel ready for its close-up

A measure of great art is how it sheds light on the existential burdens shared by all humankind. For instance, the deep pain you suffer when someone swipes your reserved space in the studio parking lot. That this particular human tragedy surfaces in two new series--Showtime's Beggars and Choosers and Fox's forthcoming Action--is emblematic of Hollywood's new favorite subject: itself.

"Our business interests everyone," says Action executive producer Joel Silver. "Everyone has two businesses--their own and show." On that assumption, a slew of new, recent and planned programs is offering behind-the-scenes takes on TV (Beggars, ABC's Sports Night, and Kilroy, a...