TV Eye 12-8-10: Barack the ‘Mythbuster’

[TV Eye usually runs at but posting issues there today compel me to get this information out here today].

Barack Obama makes his reality TV debut, charging the hosts of “Mythbusters” (Discovery, 9 p.m.) to revisit for a third time Archimedes’s legendary feat of causing a ship to burst into flames by focusing the sun through mirrors.

He’s not developing a new defense weapon on the cheap; the President’s aim is to get kids interested in science. Fair enough, it’s a little sad if the nation’s scientific future rests in the hands of these  TV goofballs.

Before they get to their task, another part of their team spends an awful lot of time trying to replicate a stunt from “Hellboy,” wrecking a dozen vehicles in the process, perhaps not realizing that Hellboy is a fictional character.

Also on TV tonight, “L.A. Holiday Celebration 2010” (WGBY, Channel 57, 9 p.m.) features highlights from last year’s Christmas Eve event at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles with performances by Tia Carrere, Sweet Honey in the rock and the ARC Handbell Choir as well as a hip-hop version of “A Christmas Carol.”

It must be a searing indictment of Berklee College of Music that its team was the first to be eliminated from “The Sing-Off” (NBC, 8 p.m.). Yale’s Whiffenpoofs are among the eight remaining teams, and they all band together to kick off the show with the Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”

Who wouldn’t be interested in a group called Hookers for Jesus? The group from the Church at South Las Vegas are profiled in a short series “Hookers: Saved on the Strip” (Investigation Discovery, 10 p.m.).

Another interesting group, a splinter sect from the Amish try to set up a new community on “Amish: Out of the Order” (National Geographic, 8 p.m.) in Columbia, Mo.

Half the final four are cut on tonight’s “Hell’s Kitchen” (Fox, 9 p.m.) in advance of next week’s finale. There’s plenty of people to cut, too, on “Survivor: Nicaragua” (CBS, 8 p.m.), where two people  obliged them by quitting last week.

Who better to portray Frankie’s parents than Marsha Mason and Jerry Van Dyke? They guest star on a Christmas episode of “The Middle” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

On a new “Modern Family” (ABC, 9 p.m.), Mitch and Cam prepare for a date.

If you missed the peep show last week, or just want to leer at it again, the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (The CW, 8 p.m.) runs again, this time in the family hour. It’s followed by an inside look at the industry of outerwear as well: “Fashion Forward: Making It” (The CW, 9 p.m.), hosted by Ashley Greene.

The goats and gay guys all celebrate on “The Fabulous Beekman Boys Holiday Special” (Planet Green, 9 p.m.). But is the Ghost of Christmas Past fair game for the “Ghost Hunters” (Syfy, 9 p.m.)?

The next competitor in the week’s worth of Tchaikovsky is “The Nutcracker: Berlin State Opera Ballet” (Ovation, 8 p.m.). In the other weeklong series — it’s Big Cat Week — it’s Kire Goodal’s “Lion Warriors” (Nat Geo Wild, 9 p.m.), which follows the relationship of Massai warriors with lions in Kenya.

It’s not just the former contestants that will jog your memory on “Top Chef All-Stars” (Bravo, 10 p.m.), tonight also features the first season host Katie Lee Joel.

A new season starts for “American Ninja Warrior” (G4, 8 p.m.).

“Moguls & Movie Stars: A History of Hollywood” (TCM, 10 p.m.) has moved into the 1950s with an episode titled “The Attack of he Small Screens,” talking about films including “Sunset Blvd” (TCM, 8 p.m.), “Singin’ in the Rain” (TCM, 11:15 p.m.), “North by Northwest” (TCM, 1:15 a.m.) and “The Defiant Ones” (TCM, 3:45 a.m.).

Trish Regan reports on the brave, almost legal world of “Marijuana USA” (CNBC, 9 p.m.).

Talk about Spider-Man. there’s a special on “The Eight-Limbed Boy” (TLC, 10 p.m.), preceded by a program called “Losing One of My giant Legs” (TLC, 8 p.m.).

She was saved from North Korea for this? Laura Ling is host of the new series “E! Investigates” (E!, 10 p.m.), which hopes to create more substantial reports than inside the Kardashians. This week, for example, it’s about teen suicide.

College hoops tonight includes Farleigh Dickinson at UConn (SNY, 7:30 p.m.) from Gampel Pavilion as well as BYU vs. Vermont (CBSCS, 7 p.m.), North Carolina at Evansville (ESPNU, 7 p.m.), Seton Hall at Arkansas (ESPN2, 7 p.m.), Bradley at Duke (ESPN2, 9 p.m.), Vanderbilt at Missouri (ESPNU, 9 p.m.), Oklahoma State at Tulsa (CBSCS, 9 p.m.),  Kentucky vs. Notre Dame (ESPN, 9:30 p.m.) and Gonzaga at Washington State (CSN, 11 p.m.).

In the NBA, it’s Nuggets at Celtics (CSN, ESPN, 7 p.m.) and Raptors at Knicks (MSG, 7:30 p.m.). In hockey, it’s Sharks at Flyers (Versus, 7 p.m.).

Daytime Talk

Regis and Kelly: Amy Adams, Natasha Bedingfield. The View: Donny & Marie Osmond, Nick Cannon. The Talk: Wayne Brady. Ellen DeGeneres: Helen Mirren, Katy Perry. Wendy Williams: Wilson Phillips, Robbie Jones.

Late Talk

David Letterman: Barbara Walters, Jayma Mays, Alison Balsom. Jay Leno: Jeff Bridges, Rico Rodriguez. Jimmy Kimmel: Helen Mirren, Paul Bettany, Little Big Town. Jimmy Fallon: Amy Adams, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Adam Ferrera. Craig Ferguson: Russell Brand, Richard Wolffe. Carson Daly:  Andrew Jarecki, Donald Glover, Florence + The Machine. Jon Stewart: Michelle Williams. Stephen Colbert: Steve Martin. Conan O’Brien: Ray Romano, Arianna Huffington, the LXD. George Lopez: Alan Cumming, Chris D’Elia. Chelsea Handler: Keri Hilson, Greg Fitzsimmons, Whitney Cummings, Brad Wollack.

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