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A select viewing guide for Thursday, Sept. 27
DRAMA: Last Resort (ABC, Global, 8 p.m.) Remember the days when any network drama involving the U.S. military was a flag-waving recruitment commercial? Not any more. Debuting tonight, this new military drama casts a distrustful eye toward the American war effort. The story opens on-board the nuclear submarine USS Colorado, supposedly the most powerful and destructive sub ever built, as it crosses the equator following a routine peacetime mission. The sub’s skipper, Captain Marcus Chaplin (Andre Braugher), is stunned when he receives an urgent order to launch a nuclear strike against Pakistan, but questions the source of the command. Moments later, a nearby U.S. ship launches a cruise-missile attack on the Colorado, which Chaplin manages to steer to the closest island with a NATO station to get repairs. The stellar support cast includes ex-Felicity regular Scott Speedman as Chaplin’s second-in-command.
COMEDY: The Big Bang Theory (CBS, CTV, 8 p.m.) Get out the pocket protectors. Network television’s most-watched comedy series returns for its sixth season tonight, and the show’s creators continue to spread the wealth. When BB launched in 2007, the show’s prime directive revolved around science nerds Leonard (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon (Jim Parsons), with occasional throws to their attractive neighbour Penny (Kaley Cuoco). Today the show is a five-way affair with Leonard and Sheldon’s co-workers Raj (Kunal Nayyar) and Wolowitz (Simon Helberg) receiving equal screen time and storylines. Case in point: Tonight’s season-opener finds Raj forced to deal with his loneliness when Sheldon and Leonard are out on dates. Wolowitz, meanwhile, is caught up in yet another argument between Bernadette (Melissa Rauch) and his shrewish mother – even though he’s floating thousands of miles above earth in the international space station.
DRAMA: Person of Interest (CBS, CITY-TV, 9 p.m.) Where is the mysterious Mr. Finch? One of last year’s few breakout hits, this offbeat crime drama ended its first season with the kidnapping of the enigmatic computer genius Finch, played by ex-Lost regular Michael Emerson, by his hacker nemesis known as “Root” (Amy Acker). In tonight’s second-season opener, Finch’s hired gun Reese (Jim Caviezel) is forced to enlist the assistance of two New York police detectives to find his employer. At the same time, Finch’s prized computer program “The Machine” identifies yet another suspicious person of interest, in this instance played by Emerson’s former Lost co-star Ken Leung.
DRAMA: Scandal (ABC, CITY-TV, 10 p.m.) Also back for its sophomore campaign, this taut political drama from Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes was also one of last season’s few breakout hits. The show’s premise revolves entirely around the fictional character of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a former White House communications director who now runs her own company defusing potentially disastrous situations for famous clients. Olivia and her team of PR specialists earn their money in tonight’s season-opener when the U.S. president (Tony Goldwyn) is caught in a compromising situation during a live TV interview and a senator tries to prevent details of his complex private life from going public. Watch for a cameo from late-night talk host Jimmy Kimmel.
MOVIE: Evelyn (Vision, midnight) Although the Irish actor Pierce Brosnan will forever be associated with playing James Bond, he occasionally demonstrates his acting mettle in a solid dramatic role. Set in mid-fifties Dublin, this 2002 drama casts Brosnan as the unemployed labourer Desmond Doyle, whose wife has run off with another man, leaving him to take care of nine-year-old Evelyn (Sophie Vavasseur) and her two brothers. When Desmond takes to drink and despondent behaviour, his vindictive mother-in-law calls in the authorities, who threaten to send his children to a Catholic orphanage. To retain custody of his kids, Desmond assembles a ragtag defence team that includes a winsome bar maid (Julianna Margulies), an Irish-American solicitor (Aidan Quinn) and a once-famous rugby player (Alan Bates). Based on a true story.