Archive for Friday, March 19, 2010

ABC puts the daffodils on ice

March 19, 2010

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Who needs spring? March Madness may be marching, and baseball appears just over the horizon, but ABC hopes viewers will cling to winter for a couple more nights with “Thin Ice” (7 p.m., ABC), a professional skating contest concluding Sunday.

Elisabeth Hasselbeck of “View” fame hosts with skater Kurt Browning. Judges include familiar faces from Winter Olympics past, including Katarina Witt, Kristi Yamaguchi and veteran broadcaster Dick Button.

But these three medalists won’t have the final say. Home viewers can cast their votes at www.abc.com, and those ballots will count for 50 percent of the total score. That means that folks who have never even laced up a pair of skates get a powerful say. On the other hand, you don’t have to be able to sing to vote for your “American Idol.”

Competitors arrive from all over the frozen globe for this event, held at a casino in Las Vegas. American skaters include John Zimmerman and Michael Weiss.

• Want to create a critically acclaimed series? First afflict your main character with a powerful sense of personal and professional failure. Then strike him down with terminal cancer and have him turn to drug dealing in order to cope with his medical bills and leave a little something behind for his wife and handicapped kid.

Relentlessly grim and consistently good, “Breaking Bad,” starring Brian Cranston, returns for a third season on Sunday. To prepare viewers for that, AMC will air six of the first two seasons’ best episodes from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. tonight.

• Looking for the next Martin Scorsese? “Film Positive” (7 p.m., Hallmark Movie Channel) presents student films selected by a panel including Alec Baldwin, Marcia Gay Harden and Billy Crystal. The network also set the criteria for the selection. Films had to show a high production value, good storytelling and be appropriate for family viewing. On second thought, Scorsese would never have won this contest.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Women treat expensive lifelike dolls as their children on the repeat documentary “My Fake Baby” (7 p.m., BBC America).

• Series executive producer Lisa Kudrow looks into her ancestry on “Who Do You Think You Are?” (7 p.m., NBC).

• Steve Coogan stars in the 2002 drama “24 Hour Party People” (7 p.m., IFC), a look at the music scene in Manchester, England.

• Daniel plays mind games to find Zoe on “Caprica” (9 p.m., Syfy).

• Lady Gaga, Stephen Moyer and Michael Ball appear on “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross” (9 p.m., BBC America).

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