Archive for Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Reality competition returns to art

October 12, 2011

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Can you make good art from bad? Can a TV series find a fine artist? Those are the questions facing the audience for the returning series “Work of Art” (8 p.m., Bravo), the show that invites 14 aspiring artists to an elimination competition not unlike “Project Runway” or “Top Chef.”

In this week’s installment, the players must make something meaningful and outstanding from so-called bad art, including velvet paintings of cowboys, a garish carved peacock and a wall hanging of dogs playing checkers. Hey, on my wall hanging, they’re playing poker!

Regular judges include China Chow, Jerry Saltz and Bill Powers, with photographer Mary Ellen Mark appearing tonight as a guest judge.

• A nice companion to “MythBusters” (8 p.m., Discovery), the new series “Penn & Teller Tell a Lie” (9 p.m., Discovery) combines elements of popular science and old-fashioned prime-time game shows. In each episode, the popular Las Vegas illusionists present seven outrageous claims, such as “a butter knife can stop a speeding bullet.” Six of these claims turn out to be true. One is a complete whopper. Can you tell the difference?

Viewers can play along by logging on to Discovery.com and finding the link to the “Guess the Lie” experience. There, they can cast their votes for the night’s big fib. They can change their votes as often as they like as the hour progresses. The votes will be revealed at the end of every show, indicating our collective talent for lie detection. Or revealing that we might be a nation of dupes. Stay tuned!

Meanwhile, on tonight’s “MythBusters,” the guys test the popular belief that people lose their sense of balance and direction when blindfolded.

• Malcolm McDowell guest-stars on the sixth season premiere of “Psych” (9 p.m., USA), the silly sendup of the detective genre, starring James Roday as Shawn, America’s favorite fake psychic and terminally immature sleuth. McDowell plays a British diplomat whose home becomes the center of a murder mystery that Shawn stumbles upon while stealing a “Star Wars” collectible.

This season, look for “Psych” guest stints from William Shatner, Danny Glover, Corey Feldman, Molly Ringwald and Wade Boggs, among others.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Hopefuls are placed in a competitive category on “The X Factor” (7 p.m., Fox).

• Camryn Manheim guest-stars on “Harry’s Law” (8 p.m., NBC).

• Gloria feels unappreciated on “Modern Family” (8 p.m., ABC).

• Mixed feelings on “New Girl” (8:30 p.m., Fox).

• A mob museum becomes a crime scene on “CSI” (9 p.m., CBS).

• An assault on a dancer feels familiar on “Law & Order: SVU” (9 p.m., NBC).

• The Graysons go on high alert on “Revenge” (9 p.m., ABC).

• Creeps descend upon the house on “American Horror Story” (9 p.m., FX).

• Murders pile up with no apparent motives on “Luther” (9 p.m., BBC America).

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