Wednesday TV: New Spy Yarn ‘The Game’

timthumbIt seems like the number of Cold War spy stories, particularly those toward the end of the conflict, are proliferating on TV “The Game” (BBC America, 10 p.m.) is set 40 years back in the early 70s when a young M15 operative played by Tom Huges investigating a big Soviet plot in London. Brian Cox plays the English spy agency head; the whole cast is pretty sharp. It’s from Toby Whithouse whose previous series was the original “Being Human.”

Like an earlier BBC America series this year, “Intruders,” it’s a little dense and hard to follow.  Everybody seems to be calling everybody else a traitor.

The 48th Country Music Association Awards (ABC, 8 p.m.) takes up the whole night, with more performances than awards and lots of celebration of the strange musical amalgam that represents Nashville. Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley return to host; Kacey Musgraves, Blake Shelton, Meghan Trainor and that country songbird Ariana Grande are all slated to perform.

“Fix My Choir” (Oxygen, 10 p.m.) is based on some foreign reality formats, in which needy church choirs get some assistance getting things together from gospel singer Deitrick Haddon and Michelle Williams, who was once in Destiny’s Child. They begin their work in New Orleans.

One of the better design-related reality shows, “The Fashion Fund” (Ovation, 10 p.m.), returns for a second season, with the high powered selection committee interviewing and ultimately rewarding some design company a year-long mentorship and a $300,000 grant. The selection committee includes Anna Wintour, Diane von Furstenberg, Jenna Lyons of J. Crew and the guys from Rag & Bone. Some familiar design house names eventually surface when they get to the final 10, but as the season begins there are literally hundreds who apply.

The latest cooking competion — and there must be dozens by now — is “Kitchen Inferno” (Food Network, 10 p.m.) in chichi two chefs face bigger names for a chance to advance and win the $25,000 prize money. Curtis Stone is the host.

Meanwhile on the other cooking inferno, “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 8 p.m.), contestants on  have to cook for a dog show.

The merge finally comes to “Survivor” (CBS, 8 p.m.), where buffs seem to be thrown down every other episode.

Freakicide is a consideration on “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (FX, 10 p.m.), if that’s a word.

A sloth named Velcro is the focus of a new “Nature” (PBS, 8 p.m., check local listings), an orphan that was raised by a Spanish journalist before being reintroduced to the wilds of Panama.

The last royal family of Russia is the topic tonight on Turner Classic Movies with “Nicholas and Alexandra” (8 p.m.), “Anastasia” (11:15 p.m.), “Rasputin, the Mad Monk” (1:15 a.m.) and “The Rise of Catherine the Great” (3 a.m.).

Basketball tonight includes Indiana at Washington (ESPN, 8 p.m.) and Clippers at Golden State (ESPN, 10:30 p.m.). In hockey, it’s Detroit at Rangers (NBC Sports, 8 p.m.).

College football has Buffalo at Ohio (ESPNU, 8 p.m.) and Northern Illinois at Ball State (ESPN2, 8 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Kelly & Michael: Anne Hathaway, Kristen Johnson. The View: George Stephanopoulos, Stevie Wonder, Oscar De La Hoya. The Talk: Jane Fonda, Grace Helbig, Ashleigh Brewer, Darin Brooks, Scott Clifton, Kimberly Matula, Sergio Perera. Ellen DeGeneres: Howie Mandel. Wendy Williams: Niecy Nash. Meredith Vieira: Matthew Broderick, Donald Faison. Queen Latifah: Gladys Knight, Gloria Steinem.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Jennifer Lopez, Rob Riggle, Kimbra. Jimmy Fallon: Bette Midler, Jim Gaffigan. Jimmy Kimmel: Florida Georgia Line. Seth Meyers: Ella Henderson. Craig Ferguson: Bob Newhart, Melissa Rauch. Carson Daly: Isabella Rossellini, the Acid, Jessimae Peluso. Tavis Smiley: Andrew Dice Clay. Jon Stewart: John Cleese. Stephen Colbert: Sen. Kristen Gillibrand. Conan O’Brien: Howie Mandel, Deepak Chopra, Bleachers.

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