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TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: February 6

A select viewing guide for Wednesday, February 6

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DESIGN Candice Tells All (W, 7:30 p.m.) The world would be a much nicer-looking place if Candice Olson was in charge of things. Canada’s pre-eminent design diva continues to pull in solid ratings with this popular makeover series, now in its fourth season. Unlike most shows in the TV design genre, Ms. Olson thoroughly deconstructs the thought and intent behind a modern design principle before any walls are knocked down. In tonight’s new show, she’s both consultant and therapist for a couple looking to redesign their kitchen. She wants a sleek contemporary look while he’s insisting on an over-the-top classic French kitchen with appropriate period fixtures.

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COMEDY The Ron James Show (CBC, 8:30 p.m.) Wednesday appears to be a good fit for the comedy styling of Ron James. Of late this old-school mix of standup comedy and sketch humour is attracting a weekly audience in the 400,000-viewer range, which is pretty much the same audience the show used to draw on Friday nights. In tonight’s new episode, he focuses on the theme of “power and energy,” which translates into a skit with James playing a fast-talking huckster trying to sell a high-school principal on energy drinks. And in his weekly Ode to the Road segment, Ronnie rolls into Windsor, Ontario, which apparently has a terrible reputation as Canada’s “ugly duckling” city. Watch for guest turns from Colin Mochrie and the very funny Ennis Esmer.

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DRAMA Law & Order: SVU (NBC, CTV Two, 9 p.m.) Tonight’s new outing of this sturdy crime-procedural series rates as must-see TV. It begins with Detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) and the SVU squad investigating a brutal attack by a school janitor on an athletic coach. Digging deeper reveals the attacker’s violent behavior connects to his history of sexual abuse by someone he trusted, which in turn leads to the detectives interviewing more victims of the same predator, including a death-row prisoner played by former boxing champ Mike Tyson. Recurring guest-star Andre Braugher reprises his role of defense attorney Bayard Ellis.

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REALITY Barter Kings (A&E, 10 p.m.) You can’t go wrong on TV today with shows about people wheeling and dealing in old junk. Adhering closely to the formula of Storage Wars, this recent arrival follows the daily routine of Steve McHugh and Antonio Palazzola, two slick entrepreneurs who never bring cash to the table in their business dealings. Instead, the pair rely on the age-old tradition of bartering to get what they want and they usually come out ahead in the process. In tonight’s new show, Antonio asks for Steve’s assistance in finding a classic car that he can give his wife as an anniversary present. Fortuitously, Steve obtains the car by trading up for a hot-air balloon ride, which he intends to present to the happy couple on their special day.

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MOVIE The Bride of Frankenstein (TCM, 12:30 a.m. ET; 9:30 p.m. PT) It’s a rare occurrence, but sometimes the sequel to a hit movie is much better than the original. Four years after the success of the 1931 feature Frankenstein, Universal released this infinitely superior followup that still ranks among the greatest horror movies of all time. The story picks up moments after the windmill fire that supposedly killed Dr. Henry Frankenstein’s terrifying monster (Boris Karloff). The undead creature has, in fact, survived the fire and is up to his old tricks of wreaking havoc and destruction upon witless villagers. Meanwhile, the monster’s creator, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is trying to prevent his demented mentor Dr. Praetorious (Ernest Thesiger) from stitching together another monster from dead bodies–and this time it’s a female! The great Elsa Lanchester appears in the opening frames as Mary Shelley (who wrote the original Frankenstein novel) and the reappears as the fright-haired undead bride near the end.

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