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Archive for Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Slew of stars from 1980s on small screen

January 7, 2009

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Just when she thinks she’s put the baffling legal roller coaster of season one behind her, Patty receives a telephone call that changes her life on the second season premiere of “Damages” (9 p.m., FX). Glenn Close’s “Big Chill” co-star William Hurt joins the cast.

• And while we’re on the subject of “Big Chill” co-stars, Kevin Kline stars in the title role of the “Great Performances” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presentation “Cyrano de Bergerac” by Edmond Rostand. Jennifer Garner plays his beloved Roxanne and Daniel Sunjata appears as the inarticulate Christian de Neuvillette who hires Cyrano for his eloquence.

• The ’80s theme continues with a “Barbara Walters Special” (9 p.m., ABC), featuring an interview with actor Patrick Swayze (“Red Dawn,” “Dirty Dancing”) who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer but has gone on to appear in TV movies and star in his own A&E series “The Beast” on Jan. 15.

• Also on the ’80s front: two of the biggest names in New Wave music join forces when Elvis Costello welcomes the recently reunited Police (Andy Summers, Stewart Copeland and Sting) on his talk show “Spectacle” (8 p.m., Sundance) to discuss their careers and musical influences and perform a hit or two and some old favorites.

• Carrie Underwood performs on the “35th Annual People’s Choice Awards” (8 p.m., CBS). Queen Latifah hosts. Two new categories have been added this year: Favorite Online Sensation and Favorite User Generated Video. Doesn’t that exclude anybody (particularly those who live in rural areas) who doesn’t have a broadband connection? It’s hard watching User Generated Video on dial-up. Don’t those “People” count?

• Jack Lemmon and Judy Holliday star in the 1954 divorce comedy “Phfft!” (7 p.m., TCM). Part of a monthlong salute to the movies of Jack Lemmon, running all month on Wednesday nights.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Originally broadcast on an on-demand basis, the documentary “Goth Cruise” (12:15 p.m., IFC) follows a gaggle of like-minded social outcasts on a sunny cruise vacation from New Jersey to the Caribbean. A sweet little movie about people who would hate to be considered sweet.

• A terrorist kidnaps an ambassador (Vanessa Williams) on “Knight Rider” (7 p.m., NBC).

• “True Hollywood Story: Young Hollywood: A to Zac” (7 p.m., E!) offers a group portrait of Miley Cyrus, Zac Efron, the Jonas Brothers and Taylor Swift.

• Elizabeth Vargas reports on a woman’s efforts to find her 23-year-old daughter missing since 2003 on “20/20” (8 p.m., ABC).

Cult choice

Albert Finney, Gabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden and John Turturro star in the Coen Brothers’ 1990 genre send-up “Miller’s Crossing” (8:45 p.m., IFC).

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