Archive for Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don’t just sit there, interact

August 30, 2011

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Two new programs want viewers to become active. Make that interactive. Hosted by visionary and Entrepreneur magazine cover boy Ben Kaufman, “Quirky” (10 p.m., Sundance) documents the operations of the website Quirky.com.

Every week thousands of folks submit concepts to Kaufman’s team in the hopes that they may become the next breakthrough must-have product.

Not all of the pitches are viable, or even sane, but Kaufman is convinced that this cyber slush pile (from more than 85,000 Quirky members) may result in a eureka moment.

In the first installment, Kaufman’s team develops a Pennsylvania woman’s Ventu, an item that doubles, or rather triples, as a pasta strainer, a mixing bowl and a serving dish. The suburban mother submitted it after growing tired of using and washing so many bowls.

• On a similar theme, “Project Shiphunt” (10 p.m., Current) asks students to locate shipwrecks at the bottom of Lake Huron using only their laptop computers. The coordinated and collaborative efforts of these students armed with advanced technology cuts down on the time required to find vessels on the lake bed. Using interactive software, the participants send a signal, or “ping,” to the bottom of the lake. The echoes of these signals are collected and processed to create three-dimensional imagery, allowing experts to discover long-lost sunken ships.

• Having all but cornered the market on shows about “little people,” TLC takes a gander at the plus-sized modeling industry on “Big Sexy” (10 p.m.). It follows five sassy New Yorkers whose dress sizes are as big as their attitudes. They design, they model and they book events in an effort to change the fashion industry’s brutally judgmental take on weight and size.

Along the way, they hope to help, if not save, the business by broadening its appeal to women who feel neglected, if not insulted, by most fashionistas’ worship of the cult of skinny.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Cher and Christina Aguilera headline the 2010 musical “Burlesque” (6:50 p.m., Starz).

• A command performance at the prom on “Glee” (8 p.m., Fox).

• A New Yorker (Bridget Fonda) discovers that her roommate (Jennifer Jason Leigh) is disturbed in the 1992 drama “Single White Female” (8 p.m., TV Guide Network).

• A commander’s daughter is kidnapped on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Twelve acts perform on “America’s Got Talent” (9 p.m., NBC).

l On two episodes of “Raising Hope” (Fox): infatuation (9 p.m.), secrets (9:30 p.m.).

• “Red Hot Chili Peppers: Live From the Roxy” (9 p.m., Fuse).

• Rebecca faces the prospect of triage on “Combat Hospital” (10 p.m., ABC).

• “POV” (10 p.m., PBS, check local listings) repeats “Armadillo,” a documentary look at Danish soldiers stationed in southern Afghanistan.

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