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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: May 23

A select viewing guide for Wednesday, May 23

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REALITY American Idol Fox, CTV, 8 p.m. ET/PT The American viewing public will have to find some new way to fill the void following tonight's finale of TV's most-watched program. The 11th season of Fox's karaoke contest upheld the ratings level of seasons past with an average of 17 million U.S. viewers watching each episode. Some unknown warbler will be named the great next singing sensation (where are you now, Ruben Studdard?) but more people will be watching tonight for the scheduled performance by red-hot pop star Rihanna. Idol judge Jennifer Lopez is also booked to perform on the finale, but don't expect a duet with Rihanna.


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COMEDY Modern Family ABC, CITY-TV, 9 p.m. ET/PT The kids grow up so fast these days, don't they? Wrapping tonight, the third season of Modern Family has touched repeatedly on the efforts of the adorable gay couple Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) to adopt another child. They move closer to their dream tonight, but only if they can enlist Gloria (Sofia Vergara) to act as their translator with a Spanish-speaking adoption agent. That leaves Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) to take Mitch and Cam's daughter Lily to her dance recital. Elsewhere, doting parents Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) get misty-eyed when youngest daughter Alex (Ariel Winter) goes off to her first prom, then shocked when their other daughter Haley (Sarah Hyland) announces her post-graduation plans. See you next fall.

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COMEDY Don't Trust the B--- in Apt. 23 ABC, CITY-TV, 9:30 p.m. ET/PT Strange but true: In less than one month of existence, this offbeat sitcom has found a loyal viewing audience and has already been renewed for next season. The premise, in case you missed it, follows the nerdy waif June (Dreama Walker), whose wedding plans crumble and New York dream job never materializes, which somehow results in her sharing an apartment with a manipulative party girl named Chloe (Krysten Ritter). In tonight's first mini-season finale, June is finally feeling like one of the cool kids and foolishly tries to keep pace with Chloe on the Big Apple social scene. While that disaster unfolds, their neighbour James Van Der Beek, playing himself, loses his own cool when he learns that former Superman star Dean Cain has a bigger dressing room than him for Dancing With the Stars.


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MOVIE Raggedy Man Vision, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT Sissy Spacek won the Best Actress Oscar for portraying Loretta Lynn in the 1980 biopic Coal Miner's Daughter (which was recently turned into a Broadway musical), but she's even more believable in this 1981 drama directed by her husband, Jack Fisk. Set in small-town Texas during the Second World War, the film casts Spacek as Nita Longley, a divorced mother of two young boys shunned by former friends and neighbours because of her martial breakup. Nita briefly finds happiness with the rakish sailor Teddy (Eric Roberts), but when he's called back to active duty, she's left to the mercy of the sexually-threatening Triplett brothers. The titular “raggedy man” is a local ragpicker named Bailey, whose intentions toward Nita and her family are not what they seem. A smart little film with a twist ending.

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