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A select viewing guide for Tuesday December 11
COMEDY Raising Hope (Fox, Citytv, 8 p.m.) Is there a connection between the spike in ratings for this sophomore blue-collar comedy and the freakish sudden popularity of redneck reality shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty? Y’all better believe it. The show’s premise focuses mostly on single dad Jimmy (Lucas Neff) trying to raise his darling baby daughter Hope best he can, with occasional help from his low-rent parents Burt and Virginia (Garret Dillahunt, Martha Plimpton), and despite the presence of his hillbilly grandmother, Maw-Maw (Cloris Leachman). Tonight, Virginia busts out her extreme couponing skills (Extreme Couponing is also a very popular show) when she becomes convinced the end of the world is nigh, while Maw-Maw attempts to knock a few more items off her bucket list.
FAMILY Santa Claus is Coming to Town (ABC, 8 p.m.) Coming from the makers of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, this 1970 holiday chestnut features the identical style of stop-motion animation, with bigger voice talents. Narrated by a nimble cartoon version of Fred Astaire as a mailman, the special tells a rather scattershot version of the origins of Santa Claus, voiced by Mickey Rooney. In this account, Santa, aka Kris Kringle, was an abandoned baby raised by toy-makers. He began coming down chimneys once toys were banned in the fictional but vaguely Eastern European burg of Sombertown. Then he grew a beard, found some magical reindeer and hired a bunch of toymaking elves. How influential was the special? Last year, Canadian pop star Justin Bieber sampled the special to play an animated version of himself in the music video for his single of the same name.
COMEDY New Girl (Fox, Citytv, 9 p.m.) One of last season’s sweeter sitcom surprises, this comedy vehicle for Zooey Deschanel has breathed new life into the Fox lineup. The coquettish actress is downright adorable as the free-spirited Jess, a free-spirited schoolmarm who dumps her two-timing boyfriend and moves in with three likeable dudes, namely, Schmidt (Max Greenfield), Nick (Jake Johnson) and Winston (Lamorne Morris). In tonight’s holiday-themed episode, Jess goes out of her way to avoid a remorseful ex, Nick tries to keep up with his sexually-adventurous new girlfriend Angie (Olivia Munn) and Winston? Well, he has a cranberry stuck in his ear. Single life was never this much fun on Friends.
REALITY Storage Wars New York (A&E, 10 p.m.) Get ready for your next reality-TV addiction. The original Storage Wars ranks among the highest-rated shows on American cable with more than five-million viewers watching each new episode. Next came the Dallas-based spinoff Storage Wars: Texas and now we have the Big Apple edition, which follows a brand– new group of professional junk-pickers looking to turn a quick profit by buying the contents of unclaimed storage lockers. Things start off tense in tonight’s season-opener when the buyers stage a turf war over lockers in Brooklyn. In the second show, the fortune-hunters roll into Harlem to try and strike it rich by scrapping over the abandoned belongings of dead rich people. Let the scavenging begin.
MOVIE The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET; 7:15 p.m. PT) The third entry in the famed Spaghetti Western trilogy (following A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More) is also far and away the best film in the franchise. Set during the Civil War, the 1966 feature returns Clint Eastwood to his role of the Man with No Name–yes, he’s The Good–who has a con game going with the wanted Mexican bandito Tuco (Eli Wallach), obviously The Bad. Moving from town to town, Blondie turns in Tuco for the cash reward, then frees him at the subsequent hanging. When a dying soldier reveals that a strongbox of stolen confederate gold has been buried in a cemetery, The Good and The Bad butt heads with The Ugly: The ruthless bounty hunter Sentenza, played with steely-eyed malice by Lee Van Cleef. The epic story rolls along on a perfect soundtrack by Ennio Morricone.