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TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: Oct. 17

A select viewing guide for Wednesday, Oct. 17

1 of 5

REALITY American Restoration History, 8 p.m. Currently in its fourth season, this spinoff from Pawn Stars documents the daily routine at the Las Vegas-based Rick’s Restorations, which is operated by professional restorer Rick Dale and his teen son, Tyler. And with rare exception, every item brought into their shop is a start-from-scratch proposition. For example, in tonight’s new show a client hauls in the remnants of a sixties-era playground slide resembling a rocket ship in hopes of restoring the piece to its original condition. Next, a customer wants a rusty 1940s gas pump converted into a coin counter and someone else wants his a cherished toy steamroller from his childhood restored for his grandkids. For Rick and his team, it’s not a job, it’s an adventure.

2 of 5

REALITY Gordon Behind Bars Food Network, 10 p.m. Bombastic British chef Gordon Ramsay just keeps coming up with new TV concepts. Following up on the success of Hell’s Kitchen, MasterChef and the recent Hotel Hell, Ramsay wades into foreign TV territory with this new series, which first aired on Channel 4 in the U.K. Filmed over a six-month period, the premise follows Ramsay venturing into the infamous Brixton prison to instruct inmates how to cook and bake with the broader goal of teaching them how to run a sustainable business selling goods prepared inside the prison to the general public. Does the famously belligerent Ramsay teaching method take with the boys behind bars? Watch tonight’s opener when he has to break up a brawl between two inmates.

3 of 5

MOVIE About a Boy Vision, midnight The works of British novelist Nick Hornby have not translated easily to the big screen. In between the flat film version of High Fidelity (2000) and the abysmal Hollywood take on Fever Pitch (2005), this 2002 comedy-drama starring Hugh Grant stands out as the most faithful adaptation of a Hornby novel. Grant is both a cad and a charmer as the thirtysomething bachelor Will, who is perfectly content to live off his late songwriter father’s money while attempting to sleep with every woman in London. The eternal man-child meets his match–or possibly himself–in the troubled 12-year-old Marcus (Nicholas Hoult), who thinks Will would make a good match for his single mother Fiona (Toni Collette). Worth watching again just for Grant’s shaky version of Killing Me Softly with His Song.

4 of 5

DRAMA Perception Bravo!, 9 p.m. Toronto-born Erick McCormack is the reason to watch this new crime drama from the U.S. cable channel TNT. Formerly known for his six-season run as the fabulous gay man Will Truman on Will & Grace, McCormack is a perfect fit as the brilliant neuropsychiatrist Dr. Daniel Pierce, who is afflicted with both schizophrenia and paranoia yet still conscripted by the FBI to work on difficult cases. Lending capable support is Canadian actress Kelly Rowan as his imaginary best friend, Natalie. In tonight’s new episode, Pierce speaks from experience when investigating the case of a judge also diagnosed as schizophrenic. At the same time, Pierce’s FBI handler Kate (Rachael Leigh Cook) is alarmed to discover that the good doctor is not taking his medication for his own schizophrenia.

Jan Thijs/ABC STUDIOS

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COMEDY Suburgatory Citytv, 8:30 p.m.; ABC, 9:30 p.m. Back tonight for its second season, this sitcom is a perfect companion piece to Modern Family on Wednesday nights. The premise focuses on the disaffected teen Tessa (Jane Levy), whose father George (Jeremy Sisto) freaks when he finds condoms in her room at home in Manhattan and promptly relocated them to the supposedly safer climes of the Long Island suburbs. Naturally, the first season had Tessa terrified in her new world of strip malls, country clubs and divorced moms with bleached-white teeth, while George bumbled along in typical TV dad fashion. In tonight’s second-season opener, Tessa is newly returned to the ‘burbs after spending the summer in the Big Apple and suddenly showing a new interest in the performing arts. Imagine George’s surprise when his sullen daughter signs up for her high school musical revue.

Bob D'Amico/ABC

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