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Archive for Friday, September 14, 2012

ABC reboots Friday ‘news’; Fox loses ‘Touch’

September 14, 2012

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The Friday fall season begins to take shape. ABC launches its evening of all-nonfiction fare, straddling the line between faux-reality and entertainment-enhanced “news.” The entertaining ideas featured on “Shark Tank” (7 p.m.) include a novel way of checking coats, a solution to bedbugs and a belt buckle that holds beverages. Classy.

The ethical-quandary version of “Candid Camera” continues on “Primetime: What Would You Do?” (8 p.m.), and “20/20” (9 p.m.) enters a new season with hosts Elizabeth Vargas and Chris Cuomo. Like nearly every network news magazine (with the notable exception of “60 Minutes”), “20/20” puts the accent on domestic terror, bringing us stories of wives and mothers as victims and occasionally victimizers. CBS’ “48 Hours Mystery” does much the same thing on Saturday nights, and is often the most watched program of the evening.

ABC has yet to announce the season opening story for “20/20,” but when I last checked, the show’s website featured the story “Did Mom Poison Child With Salt?” and, further down, a roundup of “20 Top Cat Videos on the Web.”

• Fox gets half of its Friday night in gear as it airs a “bonus episode” of “Touch” (7 p.m.). The show starts its second season on Oct. 26. This quasi-spiritual mystery series stars Kiefer Sutherland as an overextended single dad whose wife died on Sept. 11. His 11-year-old son, Jacob (David Mazouz), has a rare gift of seeing the hidden connection in random numbers. This leads them to intervene in the lives of others while the rest of “Touch” explores seemingly sacred links between strangers a world apart.

“Touch” may celebrate a certain brand of Hollywood uplift, but it’s difficult to avoid the feeling that Fox doesn’t share the love. “Touch” debuted on a Wednesday last January, then vanished for three months or so, and limped through its first half season.

Tonight’s other highlights

Note: Schedules may vary due to local baseball coverage.

• The 2012 Style Awards (7 p.m., Style) celebrate style on the Style Channel.

• “Need to Know” (7:30 p.m., PBS, check local listings) travels to Pakistan to investigate the effect of American drone attacks on the local population.

• “Great Performances at the Met” presents “Gotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods)” (8 p.m., PBS, check local listings), the fourth and final opera in Richard Wagner’s “Ring” cycle.

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