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A select viewing guide for Friday, January 4
REALITY Bamazon (History, 7 p.m.) Looking to start the new year with a fresh reality-TV addiction? Consider this new series documenting a bold venture by Alabama real estate mogul Tim Evans to find gold in the Amazon. Allen enlists seven out-of-work construction workers, most of whom have never been out of the U.S. before, for his expedition. Tonight’s opener shows the team landing in Guyana with their dreams of finding gold in the dense region populated with venomous snakes, malarial mosquitoes and the occasional hungry jaguar. The bad news: The 24-ton excavator they require to unearth the buried treasure is stuck somewhere in the Amazon jungle. Good luck, fellas.
COMEDY Malibu Country (ABC, Citytv, 8:30 p.m.) Never underestimate the appeal of a down-home country star. Since launching in mid-November, this sitcom starring country music diva Reba McEntire as–surprise!–a country music star named Reba has become the highest-rated rookie comedy on American network television with an average audience of more than nine-million viewers weekly. The no-frills setup casts Reba as a country star two-timed by her no-good husband and relocated with her kids to a Malibu beach house. In tonight’s new episode, Reba gets all fired up when her daughter’s school cancels its music program. Elsewhere, Reba’s free-spirited mama Lillie Mae (Lily Tomlin) takes part in a protest to keep her medical-pot dispensary running. Y’all come back now, hear?
DESIGN You Live in What? (HGTV, 9 p.m.) It’s true: Home really is where the heart is, even if that home happens to be a former train depot or an abandoned lighthouse. This offbeat series profiles visionaries who have converted unlikely commercial spaces into marvelous one-of-a-kind domiciles. Tonight, be amazed at the living quarters that people have installed inside a missile silo, an old schoolhouse and a former corset factory.
DRAMA Blue Bloods (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) As with the weather, everybody complains about the deteriorating state of the environment, but nobody does anything to correct the problem. Except in tonight’s new episode of this sharp crime drama in which detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) investigates the deaths of two motorists shot by a sniper while driving big gas-guzzling cars in downtown New York. Could the murders really be the work of a radical environmental serial killer?
MOVIE The Incredible Shrinking Man (TCM, 11 p.m. ET; 8 p.m. PT) Based on the novel by Richard Matheson (who also wrote the screenplay), this 1957 film is required viewing for any serious sci-fi film cineaste. The story casts Grant Williams as an average guy named Scott, who is enveloped by a glimmering mist while boating with his wife Louise (Randy Stuart). A few months later, Scott notices his clothing has become baggy and his family doctor confirms that he is indeed getting smaller with each passing day. While the scientific community races to find a solution, Scott keeps shrinking–to the point where he has to start worrying about that hungry glint in the family cat’s eye. For a movie made more than a half-century ago, the special effects remain alarmingly real.