A select viewing guide for Wednesday, Sept. 5
REALITY Dragons’ Den CBC, 8 p.m. All of Canada awaits Dragons’ Den. The CBC version of a popular Japanese TV concept still features budding entrepreneurs presenting their great big ideas to a panel of rich people. An unmitigated ratings success since launching in 2006, the show is slated to begin its seventh campaign next month with fresh attitude and a brand-new Dragon (finance author David Chilton replacing the departed Robert Herjavec). Until then, viewers have to be content with retread airings. Tonight’s episode brings back several past participants, which means a renewed pitch for a men’s underwear line and a second chance for a dog festival.
DRAMA Perception Bravo!, 9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT Remember Eric McCormack? Best known for his six-season run of playing the prototypical gay man Will Truman on Will & Grace, the Toronto-born actor moves into a new direction in this crime drama from the U.S. cable outlet TNT. In this setup, McCormack is all quirks and nervous ticks as the brilliant neuroscientist Dr. Daniel Pierce, who is stricken with schizophrenia and paranoia but still conscripted by the FBI to work on complex cases. Lending support is Rachael Leigh Cook as Pierce’s FBI handler and Kelly Rowan as Natalie, his imaginary best friend. The show gets off to a solid start with tonight’s pilot in which Pierce looks into the death of a pharmaceutical executive. Hmm, drug-related?
(Jan Thijs/ABC STUDIOS)
DRAMA Prisoners’ Wives Vision, 9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT Tough and unusual, this BBC drama was a ratings hit in Britain earlier this year. Set in the tough town of Sheffield, South Yorkshire, the series focuses on four very different women, each with a significant man in her life serving time in the local prison. Tonight’s opener introduces the ladies in waiting: Gemma (Emma Rigby) is stunned over the arrest of her husband for suspicion of murder; Francesca (Polly Walker) appears to enjoy being the wife of a career criminal; Lou (Natalie Gavin) is grief-stricken that her boyfriend is doing time for her crime; and Harriet (Pippa Haywood) is a middle-aged society doyenne wildly embarrassed that her son is in the clink. The manner in which the lives of all four women intertwine is a case study in smart English TV drama.
COMEDY Psych Global, 10 p.m. One of the breezier TV time wasters in the off season, this comedy-drama from the USA Network lacks the sophistication of U.S. cable fare like Breaking Bad or Dexter, but it’s never boring. Filmed in scenic White Rock, B.C., passing for Santa Barbara, the premise casts James Roday as Shawn Spencer, a slickster who has the local police believing he has psychic abilities capable of solving crimes (he’s not actually psychic, but solves crimes anyway). Shawn’s reluctant partner is his laconic pal Gus (Dule Hill). To its credit, the show does turn out some interesting whodunits, as in tonight’s sixth-season closer in which Shawn’s ex-cop father Henry (Corbin Bernsen) enlists the pair to dig up new evidence on a 20-year-old homicide. The ending is a shocker.
MOVIE The Big Sleep TCM, 10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT Movies don’t get much more noir than this 1946 potboiler. Based on the novel by Raymond Chandler, the film stars Humphrey Bogart as the wry gumshoe Philip Marlowe, who is called in to assist the wealthy General Sternwood (Charles Waldron) when his daughter Carmen (Martha Vickers) is being blackmailed by pornographers. The General’s other daughter Vivian (Lauren Bacall) has an eye for Marlowe but is in tight with a mobster gambler named Eddie Mars (John Ridgely). The complex plotline runs nearly two hours so pay close attention and watch for the owlish character actor Elisha Cook Jr. as a meek hood named Harry.