Archive for Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hollywood Treasure,” World Series and “Friday Night Lights” make up Wednesday’s TV highlights

October 27, 2010

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What do you get when you combine the knowing appraisals of “Antiques Roadshow” with the geek chic of Comic-Con? “Hollywood Treasure” (9 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Syfy) looks at the world of movie memorabilia and collectibles, featuring expert Joe Maddalena.

Items to be appraised include the Wicked Witch’s hat from “The Wizard of Oz,” Jeannie’s bottle from “I Dream of Jeannie” and the magic-carpet bag from “Mary Poppins.” More interesting than the artifacts are the eccentric collectors, including one grown man who thinks nothing of flying across the country and dropping nearly six figures on some old props from “Lost in Space.”

Maddalena also travels to a Detroit suburb to meet an artist who has created his own Madame Tussauds for Batman buffs. In one gasp-inducing scene, our host regards a replica of Heath Ledger as the Joker and exclaims, “It almost looks alive!” Maddalena’s eye for values doesn’t necessarily translate into good taste.

• The World Series (6:30 p.m., Fox) begins again, and so does my annual rant. The games are played too late in the year and too late at night. If the series goes to seven games, it will end Nov. 4. So much for the boys of summer.

To put things in some perspective, the 1973 World Series went seven games and ended on Oct. 21. And all seven of those games were played during the afternoon. Late-night games, often played in freezing temperatures, some ending after midnight on the East Coast, rob young boys and girls a chance to see the Fall Classic. Who do you think will become the fans and players of tomorrow?

In addition to alienating the youth of America, Fox is asking many grown-up baseball fans to go to work bleary-eyed for the better part of a week. I thought Fox was supposed to be the conservative “pro-business” network? How much productivity is lost every fall because of millions of sleep-deprived baseball fans? Perhaps Fox CEO Rupert Murdoch should ask his friends at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to look into that.

• On another sports-related note, the acclaimed but little-watched “Friday Night Lights” (8 p.m., Ch. 101, Direct TV) enters its fifth and final season. As it has for several years, “Lights” will air first on the satellite system, then move to NBC later in the year.

ABC Family had recently arranged to broadcast all five seasons of “Lights.” But on Oct. 18, the cable network dropped “Lights” from its schedule due to low ratings.

Tonight’s other highlights

• A dangerous formula may be encoded in a rare painting on “Undercovers” (7 p.m., NBC).

• Adoptive parents (Joan Cusack and Peter Strauss) search for their runaway daughter on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (8 p.m., NBC).

• Claire micromanages Halloween on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).

• “Great Performances” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presents a performance of Mahler’s 7th Symphony by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, under conductor Pierre Boulez.

• Gambling debt can be a killer on “The Defenders” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Death of a cult member on “Law & Order: Los Angeles” (9 p.m., NBC).

• A client (Annabella Sciorra) is accused of killing her younger lover on “The Whole Truth” (9 p.m., ABC).

• Trouble beyond the border on “Terriers” (9 p.m., FX).

• President Barack Obama appears on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” (10 p.m., Comedy Central).

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