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A select viewing guide for Tuesday, January 22
COMEDY Rick Mercer Report (CBC, 8 p.m.) Still boldly exploring the Canadian experience, one postal code at a time, Rick Mercer’s weekly road-show series continues to pull in more than a million viewers weekly–and how many current CBC shows can make that claim? In tonight’s new episode, the pride of St. John’s heads off to Saskatoon to bond with the local Ukrainian community during their annual New Year’s celebrations. Next stop: Lake Winnipeg, Manitoba, where Rick and world-class fisherman Craig Stapon drive right out onto the frozen lake, and danged if our boy doesn’t land some walleyes!
REALITY The Taste (ABC, CTV, 8 p.m.) And now for something completely different. Debuting tonight, this new series pits amateur and professional chefs against each other in a heady cooking competition. How it works: Sixteen culinary competitors are instructed to prepare their signature dish, which are then served to four food-celebrity judges–Anthony Bourdain, Nigella Lawson, Ludo Lefebvre and Brian Malarkey–on a single spoon. Each judge then creates a four-member team comprised of pros and amateur chefs that compete to create the best-tasting dish. The delicious twist: All the cooking experiments are sampled in a blind taste test, so a winning (or obnoxious) personality never factors into the ingredients. Bon appetit!
COMEDY Go On (NBC, 9 p.m.) Could NBC be more patient with this freshman comedy starring ex-Friends Matthew Perry? The series was warmly received by U.S. viewers during a test run during last summer’s coverage of the London Summer Games, but subsequent airings have been less than impressive. The premise casts Perry as Ryan King, a sportscaster trying to recover from the death of his wife in an auto accident. This being a TV sitcom, Ryan joins a wacky support group whose members include the painfully meek Yolanda (Suzy Nakamura) and angry young man Owen (Tyler James Williams). And a dozen episodes into the series, Ryan is the ad hoc group leader, though maybe not after tonight’s new episode in which the former member Simone (Piper Perabo) returns for a visit. Watch for cameos from NFLer Terrell Owens and Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt.
DRAMA Private Practice (ABC, Citytv, 10 p.m.) Fare thee well, Private Practice. Following six seasons and 110 episodes, the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff closes shop after tonight’s finale episode. Launched with great fanfare in 2007, Practice never matched the mainstream success of the original series and focused primarily on the character of Anatomy semi-regular Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh), who left Seattle Grace Hospital to open her own “wellness clinic” in sunny Los Angeles. According to series creator Shonda Rhimes, the closer will tie up all the dangling storylines of cast regulars, but more importantly, Dr. Addison will walk down the aisle in her long-awaited wedding. Broadway regular Audra McDonald returns to her role of Dr. Naomi Bennett for the occasion.
MOVIE Sabah (Vision, midnight) Kudos to Vision for showing great Canadian movies that most of us missed the first time around. Stylishly directed by Ruba Nadda, this 2005 film stars the exquisite Arsinee Khanjian as Sabah, a gentle Syrian immigrant living in Toronto and taking care of her widowed mother. One day Sabah meets a nice Canadian man named Stephen (Shawn Doyle) at a public swimming pool and the pair enter into a relationship strictly forbidden by Muslim tradition. Their star-crossed romance is further complicated by the involvement of Sabah’s brother Majid (Jeff Seymour), who is taking his new role as acting family patriarch a tad too seriously. It’s a classic movie love story gently told.