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A select viewing guide for Thursday, February 7
DOCUMENTARY Doc Zone (CBC, 9 p.m.) Have you ever driven by a rural area populated with spinning wind turbines and remarked how peaceful it looks? Guess again. The new documentary Wind Rush examines the ongoing battle between wind-farm advocates and opponents in southern Ontario. As part of the government’s plan to replace coal-fired generation plants with green wind energy, the farms have sprung up in locales like Wolf Island, Amaranth and Bruce County and citizens in those communities are not happy about it. Some residents liken the noise to a jet upon liftoff, which in turn has lead to chronic sleeplessness for many along with diabetes, depression and heart disease. The filmmakers visit southwestern Alberta, where wind farms have been operating for the past two decades, and takes a side trip to Denmark, which has long been considered the working model country for wind-energy programs. Watch and learn.
DRAMA Person of Interest (CBS, Citytv, 9 p.m.) CBS is in for the long haul with this slick crime drama. Last year’s first season established the characters of Finch (Michael Emerson), an enigmatic tech-billionaire who creates a software program that identifies individuals (or “persons of interest”) about to be involved in a crime, and Reese (Jim Caviezel), the tough ex-CIA agent Finch hires to stop the crime before it happens. The current sophomore season is constructed to take viewers further into the back-stories of the main players, which sustains tonight’s new episode in which the computer spits out the name of another tech wizard, who just happens to belong to the same billionaire club as Finch.
COMEDY 1600 Penn (NBC, 9:30 p.m.) Bill Pullman was dead serious as the American president in the 1996 film Independence Day, but he plays the role strictly for laughs in this bizarre new comedy. Launched last month, the sitcom’s premise casts Pullman as the fictional U.S. president Dale Gilchrist, whose immediate family includes trophy wife Emily (Jenna Elfman), idiot son Skip (Josh Gad) and pregnant teen daughter Becca (Martha MacIsaac). In tonight’s new show, president Gilchrist is forced to deal with a growing group of protestors on the White House lawn, while Skip makes a fool of himself and Becca makes a shocking decision about her future. This is edgy and funny TV comedy.
DRAMA Elementary (CBS, Global, 10 p.m.) Everyone knows that this modernized version of Sherlock Holmes (played by Jonny Lee Miller) is in drug-recovery mode and that Watson (Lucy Liu) is both his best friend and sponsor, but how did the famed sleuth get hooked in the first place? In tonight’s new show, the retired drug dealer Rhys (John Hannah) reaches out to Holmes for assistance in locating his recently kidnapped daughter. Meanwhile, Watson shifts into a slow burn when Rhys tells her that Holmes was a much better detective when he was still using drugs. Talk about your enablers!
MOVIE The Sting (TCM, 10:45 p.m. ET; 7:45 p.m. PT) Released four years after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, this 1973 film reunited Paul Newman and Robert Redford in a slick caper story. The handsome duo are very good as a pair of grifters on the make in Depression-era Chicago. Slickster Johnny Hooker (Redford) gets all vengeful when his con-man mentor is murdered by a thuggish Irishman named Lonegan (Robert Shaw). Hooker enlists drunken con-man legend Henry (Newman) to come out retirement and hit the Irishman where it hurts by ripping him off with the big con, which requires a cast of characters the rough equal of a Broadway play. Winner of seven Oscars, including Best Picture.