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A select viewing guide for Tuesday, Oct. 30
COMEDY: The Mark Twain Prize (PBS, 8 p.m.) It’s official: Ellen DeGeneres is now a comedy icon. The daytime talk host is the latest recipient of the prestigious Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American Humour, which was awarded to her at a gala event in Washington last week. Previous Twain recipients include Bill Cosby, Richard Pryor and Will Ferrell, so draw your own conclusions on the selection process. Tonight’s special is a taped and condensed version of the award ceremony with Ellen feted by her comedy peers including Lily Tomlin, Jimmy Kimmel and The Office’s John Krasinski. Sit through the gushing homages to get to Ellen’s closing standup routine, in which she asks, “Why didn’t I get this sooner?”
REALITY: Holmes Makes It Right (HGTV, 8 p.m.) Mike Holmes is still fixing problems, one house at a time. Launched two weeks ago, this new series follows the burly contractor doing pretty much the same thing he did in his earlier series Holmes on Holmes and Holmes Inspection: namely, coming to the aid of luckless homeowners stuck with the mistakes of disreputable contractors. In tonight’s new episode, he goes inside a recently-renovated home with a faulty HVAC (heating, ventilation and air-conditioning) system that neither heats or cools and sounds like a 747 every time it’s switched on. In the same house, the brand-new shower stall is falling apart and the floor joists are splitting in two. In tandem with his crew of brawny handymen, Big Mike makes it right.
COMEDY: The Mindy Project (Fox, Citytv, 8:30 p.m.) Good news for fans of this rookie sitcom. Thanks to healthy ratings, Fox recently bestowed a full-season order on the concept starring the precocious Mindy Kaling, formerly of The Office, as Mindy Lahiri, a wacky physician with odd friends and even odder co-workers. And in the best sitcom tradition, the new Mindy is a single gal looking for love in all the wrong places. In tonight’s new episode, she’s asked out to a Halloween party by the handsome Josh (Tommy Dewey), which naturally presents a major problem: What sort of costume impresses a man these days?
COMEDY: Go On (NBC, 10 p.m.) What on earth is NBC doing showing a new half-hour new comedy at 10 p.m. (followed by another new sitcom, The New Normal, at 10:30)? So far, the ploy has resulted in solid ratings for this new show starring ex-Friends fixture Matthew Perry as a dyspeptic sportscaster forced into group grief-management therapy following the death of his wife. In tonight’s new episode, Perry’s character of Ryan realizes that his fellow group member needs a big brother in his life, but he’s reluctant to rise to the challenge. The solution: Call in a basketball superstar, played by real-life NBA hoopster Chris Bosh.
MOVIE: Bedlam (TCM, 10:30 p.m. ET; 7:30 p.m. PT) The late, great Boris Karloff made more than 150 films during his lifetime and very rarely played a pleasant character. In this 1946 feature, Karloff is evil incarnate as Master George Sims, who runs St. Mary’s of Bethlehem Asylum, also known as “Bedlam,” with a firm hand and a sharp whip. When an idealistic young socialite named Nell (Anna Lee) attempts to reform his asylum, Master Sims cooks up a plot with a local politician to have the young upstart committed to the facility, which is only the beginning of her woes. Veteran character player Jason Robards Sr. lends chilling support as one of the asylum inmates.