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A select viewing guide for Wednesday, January 9
REALITY Stars in Danger (Fox, 8 p.m.) Just when you thought it was safe to watch the Fox Network again, along comes this bizarre program bound to gather attention, if not ratings. Based on a popular German TV concept, the special drops nine quasi-celebrities into the swimming pool for a crash course in Olympic diving. Yes, you read that correctly. The group of nine includes actress Alexandra Paul, ex-NFLer Terrell Owens, actor Antonio Sabato Jr., Real Housewives of Beverly Hills regular Kyle Richards and Jenni Farley, aka Jersey Shore’s ubiquitous JWoww. The format follows the group through an “intense training period” with professional diving coaches after which they have to climb up to the high board to execute twists, turns and flips. The original name for this special: B-Listers in Swimsuits.
REALITY I Get That A Lot (CBS, 8 p.m.) It’s back. Tested sporadically by CBS since 2009, this reality series places celebs into blue-collar jobs, which might not be far in the future for some of the semi-famous people chosen. Obviously, the watch-factor stems from the “ah-ha” moment when people realize that really is Snoop Dogg working as a parking lot attendant. In tonight’s new batch of hidden-camera frivolity, comedian Cheech Marin works the counter at a party supply store, The Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan hawks travel gear at an outdoor supply retailer and Dallas fixture Larry Hagman serves up food samples at a big box store, which is a little strange since Hagman passed away two months ago (okay, the segment was filmed last September).
AWARDS People’s Choice Awards (CBS, Global, 9 p.m.) Let the award-show season commence! The only trophy handout program where fans determine the nominees and winners, the People’s Choice Awards are a lesser compared to the upcoming Golden Globes and Oscars. How lesser? The two-hour live broadcast from Hollywood’s Nokia Theatre will be hosted by Katie Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory and the musical performers will include stage turns by country singer Jason Alden and Christina Aguilera, also slated to receive a lifetime achievement award (she’s 32). Over two hours, expect more than three dozen trophies to be handed out, most of them going to Big Bang and The Avengers.
REALITY Washington Heights (MTV, 10 p.m.) The kids are definitely not alright on American television. Along with the new MTV entry Buckwild, this new unscripted series focusing on young and restless twentsyomethings presumably fills the viewer void left by the departure of Jersey Shore. The show is filmed in the slightly more affluent New York neighbourhood of Washington Heights and focuses on nine driven dudes and dudettes. Meet JP, a cool cat with dreams of hip-hop fame. Or Reyna, a hot-tempered diva and aspiring soul singer. Or Jimmy, whose goal of becoming a professional baseball player is complicated by his father’s prison stretch. Or how about that handsome Rico, presently vacillating between a career as a model or an actor.
MOVIE The Truman Show (AMC, 10 p.m.) Was it a hit or a miss? Widely panned as Hollywood’s big flop of 1998, this peculiar comedy-drama directed by Peter Weir still boasts a typically energized performance by Jim Carrey. For once playing it more or less straight, Carrey morphs into the highly fictional character of Truman Burbank,who has literally lived his entire life before TV cameras without even knowing it. Shortly after his 30 th birthday, Truman begins to notice that some things in his pastoral hometown are amiss–such as his car radio picking up transmissions from the crew filming him–and begins to question his seemingly pastoral existence. The implausible story is aided immeasurably by Ed Harris’s Oscar-nominated portrayal of the TV director known as Christof.