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Archive for Saturday, April 9, 2011

‘Oddities’ a detour from ‘Antiques Roadshow’

April 9, 2011

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Tired of all of those Tiffany vases, Chippendale davenports and Gibson guitars appraised on “Antiques Roadshow”? Looking for a show where the antiques are weird? Then Science channel has a series for you. “Oddities” (9 p.m., Science) follows Mike and Evan, owners of Obscura Antiques and Oddities in New York’s East Village, a place where you’re more likely to find a used straight-jacket than grandma’s quilt.

Having assembled their slightly creepy collection, Mike and Evan also attract a clientele straight out of the Addams Family. A circus performer furiously bargains for a freak-show item and also shows us how he can chew up light bulbs. He hams it up by warning us, “Don’t do this at home.” One presumes that those new energy-saving bulbs may put a crimp in his routine.

One eager visitor brings our hosts an old medical book that she believes may have been bound in human skin. Another man, a dentist, no less, thinks he’s been bequeathed a real shrunken head. Ever diligent, Mike takes the book to a DNA lab and has a quasi-famous lawyer determine the legality of owning human remains. Who pays for these professional consultations? Mike, the customer or The Science Channel? Or do the experts appear gratis as a kind of product placement? “Oddities” may be quirky, but as reality television goes, it’s pretty run of the mill.

Tonight’s other highlights

• NASCAR racing (6 p.m., Fox).

• Tom Cruise stars in the 2005 adaptation of “War of the Worlds” (7 p.m., ABC).

• Nina’s fate remains uncertain on “Being Human” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• A trip to new dimensions proves dangerous in the 2011 shocker “Ferocious Planet” (8 p.m., SyFy).

• Scheduled on “48 Hours Mystery” (9 p.m., CBS): An alleged serial killer with a military background.

• Matt LeBlanc and Donald Sutherland appear on “The Graham Norton Show” (9 p.m., BBC America).

• A comic waxes historical on “Colin Quinn Long Story Short” (9 p.m., HBO).

• Helen Mirren hosts “Saturday Night Live” (10:30 p.m., NBC), featuring musical guest Foo Fighters.

Series notes

Murder in the kitchen on “The Mentalist” (7 p.m., CBS) ... Josh needs a rescue on “Harry’s Law” (7 p.m., NBC) ... A killer targets a businessman on “Criminal Minds” (8 p.m., CBS) ... A surfer’s last ride on “Law & Order: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., NBC) ... An assault victim’s past resurfaces on “Law & Order: SVU” (9 p.m., NBC).

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