Saturday TV: Marinovich’s Story, Video Game Awards

The Heisman Trophy Presentation (ESPN, 8 p.m.) is followed by the story of a promising quarterback who never reached that goal.

Todd Marinovich was trained from birth by his single-minded father, a former football pro turned trainer. As a result, Todd was starting quarterback in high school as a freshman, where he set records, and was heavily recruited for college, but chose to attend the school where his father made his mark, USC.

As the documentary “The Marinovich Project” (ESPN, 9 p.m.) points out, after a brilliant first year in college, his play became more erratic, especially when, loosened from his father’s iron control and 24-hour training, he began to party and became addicted to drugs.

The story is told with all the principals in place, including Marinovich himself, sitting on a sandy beach and considering the oddity of his life.

Another Saturday, another Republican Presidential Debate (ABC, 9 p.m.). This one is from Drake University in Des Moines and moderated by George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer.

A couple of awards show tonight couldn’t be more different. “The American Giving Awards” (NBC, 8 p.m.) has Bob Costas doling out $2 million to charitable organizations in a kind of PR move for sponsoring Chase bank. And on the 2001 Video Game Awards (Spike TV, 8 p.m.) the competition for game of the year is between such titles as “Portal 2,” “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” and “The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.” Zachary Levi hosts and music is provided by The Black Keys and Deadmaus.

Owen Wilson is the big star on premium cable premieres tonight. He appears with  Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate and Jenna Fischer in “Hall Pass” (HBO, 8 p.m.) and is also featured with Ben Stiller and Robert De Niro in “Little Fockers” (Cinemax, 10 p.m.).

Angela Basssett is among the cast in another movie making its cable premiere, “Jumping the Broom” (Starz, 9 p.m.).

Here’s a new holiday movie tonight about Santa’s daughter, “Annie Claus is Coming to Town” (Hallmark, 8, 10 p.m.). Other Yuletide films include “A Nanny for Christmas” (Lifetime, 8 p.m.), “Fred Claus” (TNT, 8, 10:30 p.m.), “The Polar Express” (Disney, 8 p.m.), “The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause” (ABC Family, 8 p.m.), “Home for the Holidays” (Lifetime, 10 p.m.) and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (ABC Family, 10 p.m.).

This new movie is seasonal as well: “Snowmageddon” (Syfy, 9 p.m.). It follows the similar “Ice Quake” (Syfy, 7 p.m.).

Holiday specials tonight include the old “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (CBS, 8 p.m.) and “The Flight Before Christmas” (CBS, 9 p.m.).

Dominic West of “The Wire,” and more recently, “The Hour,” is featured as a serial killer in the British TV movie “Appropriate Adult” (Sundance, 10 p.m.) that stars Emily Watson as his court-ordered advocate.

The films of director Edward Dmytryk, many of them quite well known, are showcased tonight on Turner Classic Movies: “The Caine Mutiny” (8 p.m.), “Obsession” (10:15 p.m.), “Back to Bataan” (midnight), “The End of the Affair” (1:45 a.m.) and “Till the End of Time” (3:45 a.m.).

A ton of college hoops are on today, including Duke vs. Washington (CBS, noon), Cincinnati at Xavier (ESPN2, 12:30 p.m.), Brigham Young at Utah (Fox Sports Network, 2 p.m.), Oklahoma State vs. Pittsburgh (ESPN2, 2:30 p.m.), Ohio State at Kansas (ESPN, 3:15 p.m.), Kentucky at Indiana (ESPN, 5:15 p.m.) and Michigan State at Gonzaga (ESPN2, 9 p.m.).

Patty Griffin plays on an encore episode of “Austin City Limits” (PBS, 9 p.m., check local listings).

The last time she was on “Saturday Night Live” (NBC, 11:30 p.m.) as a musical guest, she was enlisted to play in a couple of sketches. So this time, Katy Perry will host for the first time, leaving the musical performance to Swedish dance music star Robyn.

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