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Your select viewing guide for Wednesday, Aug. 22
REALITY: Pawn Stars (History, 7 p.m.) You never know who’s going to walk through the front door of a pawn shop – or what they’re trying to hock. This popular series documenting the daily routine at the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas normally devotes most screen time to proprietor Rick Harrison, but it’s always more fun when the customers approach Rick’s son Corey and the delightfully dim Chumlee. In tonight’s first episode, the supersized duo struggle to find the right price for a seventies-era Evel Knievel pinball machine. In the second show, Chum haggles with a man who brings in a Rolex allegedly owned by infamous con man Bernie Madoff.
COMEDY: The Middle (ABC, 8 p.m.) Soon to commence its third season, this unassuming sitcom doesn’t have the buzz of Modern Family, but it’s every bit as funny. The premise casts former Everybody Loves Raymond regular Patricia Heaton as Frankie Heck, a spunky Midwestern wife and mom with blue-collar hubby Mike (Neil Flynn). In most episodes, Frankie and Mike are forced to unravel some mess made by one of their three problematic offspring, but not tonight. In a change-of-pace outing, their kids Axl (Charlie McDermott), Sue (Eden Sher) and Brick (Atticus Shaffer) pull an intervention on their parents in which they accuse mom of being a nag and dad of administering bizarre punishments. You might want to deter your own kids from watching this episode.
SCIENCE: NOVA (PBS, 9 p.m.) What are dreams and why do we have them? In tonight’s rebroadcast episode, the award-winning science series teams up with leading researchers to investigate the mysterious world of sleep and dreams. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, researcher Matthew Wilson is shown “eavesdropping” on rats as they dream. The program also takes viewers inside a sleep laboratory, where scientists are making new inroads into what dreams really mean. And why do some people never dream? Watch and learn.
DRAMA: The Listener (CTV, 10 p.m.) Good news for fans of this excellent filmed-in-Toronto sci-fi drama: CTV recently ordered a fourth season of the series starring Craig Olejnik as Toby Logan, a paramedic with the ability to hear people’s thoughts. The current season has seen Toby steadily moving away from his paramedic job to work closer with the local police department’s Integrated Investigative Bureau (IIB) and the lovely Sergeant McCluskey (Lauren Lee Smith). In tonight’s new episode, Toby and the IIB race against time to track the source of a deadly virus that has already claimed lives. Note: CTV.ca will host its first-ever live video chat with Listener cast members during the episode, which is supposed to feature the death of a cast regular. Please don’t let it be Toby’s pal Oz (Ennis Esmer)!
MOVIE: High Fidelity (AMC, 8 and 10:30 p.m.) Based on a novel by Nick Hornby and directed by Stephen Frears, this 2000 comedy-drama delivers a rare mix of great story, sharp dialogue and brilliant casting. John Cusack plays the obsessive thirtysomething music aficionado Rob, who runs a Chicago record shop called High Fidelity with occasional assistance from employees Barry (Jack Black) and Dick (Todd Louiso). Rob’s distress following his breakup with lawyer girlfriend Laura (Iben Hjejle) prompts him to track down his previous girlfriends to find out what he’s doing wrong. Expect a steady stream of vintage pop tunes and memorable cameos by Lili Taylor, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Joelle Carter as the exes.