I miss the old HGTV. Not long ago, it was a network where you could watch conspicuously un-fabulous people as they learned to put up drywall and grout tile to improve their humble abodes. There was a certain reality to this corner of reality TV. It wasn’t splashy, but it was addictive.
Things have changed. The title of the new show “I Brake for Yard Sales” (7 p.m.) sounds nice enough. Everybody — or at least a certain kind of everybody — likes yard sales.
But on television, particularly cable television, we can appreciate the things we like to do only if we watch celebrities doing them. “I Brake for Yard Sales” features Lara Spencer, the professionally perky lifestyle anchor for “Good Morning America.”
You have to admire Spencer for pingponging around the TV dial, from the more popular end of PBS (“Antiques Roadshow”) to the dimmer realm of loud and unsubtle entertainment “news” shows (“The Insider”). She’s also appeared on ABC’s late-night “Nightline” and CBS’ “The Early Show,” leaving one to wonder if she ever sleeps. And speaking of loud and unsubtle, she’s had a semiregular gig on “Rachael Ray.”
As if this frantic schedule weren’t enough, Spencer admits to a “dirty little secret”: She owns an antiques store.
Great. So now when you drive around looking for treasures, you’ll be haunted by the prospect of sleep-deprived infotainment stars getting there before you and gobbling up all of the bargains.
• “Locked Up Abroad” (7 p.m., National Geographic) borrows from the VH1 chestnut “Pop Up Video” to offer viewers nuggets of information and insight about particularly gruesome foreign incarcerations. National Geographic offers four new “Popped” episodes tonight to promote the season opener of the regular (unpopped) version of “Locked Up Abroad” next Wednesday, featuring, you guessed it, a celebrity installment of “Locked Up Abroad.”
Tonight’s other highlights
• Reba McEntire climbs her family tree on “Who Do You Think You Are?” (7 p.m., NBC).
• A family needs help finding their missing provider on “The Finder” (7 p.m., Fox).
• Nick feels conflicted on “Grimm” (8 p.m., NBC).
• The team makes a leap two dozen years into the future on “Fringe” (8 p.m., Fox).
• Kate takes on a case of alleged police brutality on “Fairly Legal” (8 p.m., USA).