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Archive for Thursday, December 29, 2011

Vern Yip hosts HGTV’s big city giveaway

December 29, 2011

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Vern Yip hosts “HGTV Urban Oasis Giveaway 2011” (7 p.m.,). As the title implies, a lucky winner will be given the keys to a luxury Chicago high-rise condominium valued at $750,000. Look for product placements galore. This is not to be confused with HGTV’s “Dream Home Giveaway” or its “Green Home Giveaway.”

In addition to hosting duties, Yip designed the one- bedroom apartment resplendent with a gourmet kitchen and great views of Chicago’s skyline, the Chicago River and Lake Michigan.

Yip also serves as a judge on HGTV’s “Design Star” and has shown up on a number of the network’s other offerings. It’s funny how networks recycle their stars over and over to give a familiarity to a cable destination. In the old days, local TV channels did much the same thing. A familiar host could do double and triple duty, showing cartoons in the morning, hosting a kids’ show in the after-school hours and perhaps introducing movies later that night. Krusty the Clown on “The Simpsons” is an homage to that television tradition, a reference that may be lost on some of “The Simpsons” younger fans.

• “NY Ink” (8 p.m., TLC) enters its second season. For the uninitiated, it follows Ami James, the self-described tattoo king of New York City. He used to work in warmer climes on “Miami Ink” before joining the gang at Manhattan’s Wooster Street Social Club.

For the curious, we’re promised a more personal look at Ami, including glimpses of his relationship with his daughter. But like most series of this nature, “Ink” generally revolves around the job, “office” shenanigans and Ami’s rivalry with other ink men.

There was a time when the world of the tattooed seemed pretty exotic. But it’s hard to stand out on a network like TLC, home to “Toddlers and Tiaras.” Next year, look for TLC to outdo itself in the human weirdness department with “I Cloned My Pet,” debuting on Jan. 11.

Tonight’s other highlights

• On two episodes of “Bones” (Fox): a blizzard and a blackout (7 p.m.), death bowls a 300 (8 p.m.).

• While his friends frolic, a picked-upon bald child agonizes over the everyday in the 1986 special “Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!” (7 p.m., ABC).

• Comedy Central offers six chances to catch up with “Futurama” (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.).

• When the machine suggests a subject long dead, the guys question its reliability on “Person of Interest” (8 p.m., CBS).

• On two helpings of “Grey’s Anatomy” (ABC): George’s mother (8 p.m.), Henry pinch-hits (9 p.m.).

• Whitney finds her divorced folks (Peter Gallagher and Jane Kaczmarek) hard to deal with and impossible to avoid during the holidays on “Whitney” (8:30 p.m., NBC).

Cult choice

Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jr. star in a 2001 made- for-television adaptation of Rogers and Hammerstein’s socially conscious musical “South Pacific” (7 p.m., Ovation,). Passable warbling does not compensate for zero chemistry between the leads.

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