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Your select viewing guide for Wednesday, June 20
AWARDS: The 2012 NHL Awards (CBC, 8 p.m. ET/PT) Now that the hockey season has finally wrapped – and wasn’t that a thriller ending? – it’s time to honour the game’s best players. Broadcast live from a Las Vegas casino hotel, the annual event will again recognize the best regular-season players in several categories, including outstanding goaltender (Vezina Trophy), most valuable player (Hart Trophy) and outstanding rookie (Calder Trophy). But who cares about the players? The reason to watch this awards fete is for the parade of celebrities trotted out to hand out the trophies. Confirmed presenters include Matthew Perry (pictured here), Vince Vaughn, Joshua Jackson and Cory Monteith. NHL legends Ted Lindsay and Mark Messier will appear onstage (both have awards named after them) and there’s a scheduled performance by Nickelback, which seems fitting given the audience for this program.
DRAMA: Law & Order: SVU (NBC, 9 p.m. ET/PT) Already renewed for a 14th season to begin next fall, this sturdy crime-procedural series has become known for interesting actors in compelling guest roles. Last season saw memorableguest turns by the likes of Franco Nero, Kevin Pollak, Kyle MacLachlan and Gilbert Gottfried, among others. Also from last years, tonight’s episode hands an intriguing guest role to the capable Chloe Sevigny, seen most recently in HBO’s Big Love, as a woman who is seemingly abducted while video-chatting with her Wall Street executive husband. When the kidnappers demand a huge ransom, the case is handed over to detectives Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and Amaro (Danny Pino), who arrange to be present at the dropoff. Imagine their surprise when the abductee herself arrives to collect the money.
REALITY: Savage U (MTV, 9:30 p.m. ET; 6:30 p.m. PT) Contrary to most of the mind-numbing reality fare churned out by MTV (see files on Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, Punk’d, et al), this show actually makes viewers think. The format follows syndicated sex-advice columnist Dan Savage on his cross-country tour of U.S. college campuses. That’s it. At each location, Savage follows his brief lecture with a Q&A session and the result is a revealing snapshot of twentysomethings completely unfamiliar with sexual matters. Tonight’s episode was filmed earlier this year at Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., where Savage schools the students on such topics as female sexuality, open relationships and explains to one female student that the reason she’s so attracted to gay men is because there’s no risk involved.
DRAMA: The Listener (CTV, 10 p.m. ET/PT) For all the kudos and critical praise showered on homegrown TV dramas like Flashpoint and Republic of Doyle, this series remains the success story of Canadian television. Recently returned for its third season, the show finds fans wherever CTV puts it and routinely garners a viewing audience in the million-viewer range. For latecomers, the premise casts cable Craig Olejnik as a paramedic with the ability to hear people’s surface thoughts. At the same time he assists people in medical emergencies, he’s also trying to unravel the truth about his own past. In tonight’s new episode, Toby and his detective friend Michelle (Lauren Lee Smith) look into the abduction of an African teen whose father is a deposed politician accused of defrauding his country of a fortune. While Toby keeps receiving violent images, the kidnappers reinforce the seriousness of their ransom demand – by sending their hostage’s severed finger.
MOVIE: Red Dawn (AMC, 10:30 p.m. ET; 7:30 p.m. PT) Released midway through the presidency of Ronald Reagan, this 1984 action story had many Americans buying flags and rifles. Directed by John Milius, who also co-wrote the script, the story posits fictional events that transpire in wake of the invasion of the United States by the Soviet Union (with a little help from Nicaraguan and Cuban allies). In the pastoral hills of Calumet, Colo., the citizenry’s attempt to fight back are met with murderous military force and the construction of internment camps. The few surviving adults convince their kids to take to the hills, who turn into a ragtag survivalist group lead by Jed (Patrick Swayze), his brother Matt (Charlie Sheen) and several others. And while the country is split between “Occupied America” and “Free America,” the teen rebels – who label themselves “Wolverines” after their high-school football mascot – begin a series of daring raids against the invading forces. Viewed nearly 30 years later, it’s corny but still oddly chilling.