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Archive for Saturday, April 13, 2013

Tune In Tonight: Bets placed on babies in new show

April 13, 2013

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We share an impulse to find joy in infant behavior. But taken to extremes, such pleasures can become infantile. That, in a nutshell, is both the appeal and the pitfall of the new game show “Bet On Your Baby” (7 p.m. Saturday, ABC).

Like the old “Newlywed Game,” where the recently hitched won money and prizes based on correct answers to slightly naughty questions about their spouses, “Bet” asks proud parents to wager on the behavior of their barely toddling children. Can junior be coerced into spinning in a circle seven times in 20 seconds? Are you willing to lose money if he doesn’t?

Actress/comedian Melissa Peterman (“Reba”) is the host of this human variation on Animal Planet’s “Too Cute” (8 p.m. Saturday). Folks who value the adorable above all will find this irresistible. Those who quibble at robbing children of their dignity and exhibiting them for cash will be appalled.

• In a perfect world, we’d get to hear comedian Louis C.K.’s thoughts on shows like “Bet On Your Baby.” The star of “Louie” on FX returns to the stage in the hourlong special “Louis C.K.: Oh My God” (9 p.m. Saturday, HBO), where he expands on thoughts far from cute. C.K. sets the tone in the opening seconds of his consistently funny, if downbeat, performance. When greeted with a warm bath of applause from his Phoenix audience, he tells them he appreciates it, but does not agree with their sentiments. That, in a nutshell, is the essence of this deeply neurotic and introspective grump, whose bracing, dyspeptic honesty has made his show on FX the best comedy on television — if not the future of comedy on television.

Saturday’s other highlights

NASCAR action (6 p.m., Fox) in the NRA 500, live from Fort Worth, Texas.

• Tom’s ambitions may not be in the show’s best interests on “Smash” (9 p.m., NBC).

• A wayward Soviet sub puts mankind at risk on “Doctor Who” (7 p.m., BBC America).

• Terrified by the cloning experiment, Sarah wants to take the money and run on “Orphan Black” (8 p.m., BBC America).

• Scheduled on “48 Hours” (CBS): a murdered spouse (8 p.m.), deadly politics (9 p.m.).

• Scheduled on “The Nerdist” (9 p.m., BBC America): Jon Hamm, Betsy Brandt and Rory Scovel.

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