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Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010


* Winter Olympics (8/7c NBC)


Some of the Winter Olympics' most recognizable names are in action, with live coverage of some top-notch events. Making his first-and-only appearance in competition is the ballyhooed Shaun White in snowboarding's halfpipe. The "Flying Tomato" had spectators' jaws dropping with new tricks in events prior to the Games. Also anticipated is the women's downhill in Alpine skiing, with U.S. star Lindsey Vonn (if she returns from her shin injury), who dominated this event in the World Cup. "I try to ski like the guys," she says. "Dynamic, but also balanced." On the ice, world-record holder and defending gold medalist Shani Davis races in speed skating's 1,000-meter. His toughest foe may be 20-year-old teammate Trevor Marsicano, who beat him on this ice in the 2009 Worlds. "Instead of [him] thinking of me as a kid, and me being in awe of him: We now have a mutual respect," claims Marsicano. Apolo Anton Ohno, goes round and round in two short-track events, the 1,000-meter prelims and 5,000-meter relay semifinal.


* American Idol (9/8c Fox)


Amid all the spiking pressure, an ever diminishing number of remaining singer-wannabes tried to display their musical chops in last night's showcases, their bid for a slot in the Top 24 on the line. Tonight's episode marks the conclusion of the Hollywood round, with judges Simon, Randy, Kara and Ellen laboring to make the final cuts. Their work yields the unveiling of the coveted Top 24, as 12 males and 12 females are deemed the best of the rest, their positions solidified for next week's semifinal round.


* Leverage (10/9c TNT)


The fine con-job series draws to a seasonal close in the conclusion of its two-part sophomore-year finale. Nate fever continues when the scheme weavers, captained by hustling do-gooder Nate Ford, go forward in their "mission impossible" to take down an immoral mayor and his gunrunning cohort. Here, the winter story arc revolving around the goddess of grift - temp team member Tara Cole (Jeri Ryan), that is - wraps up. Not only that, but a dramatic revelation involving Sophie comes to the fore. Dean Devlin directed the episode.


* Nip/Tuck (10/9c FX)


Can this relationship be saved? We'll see what sort of shape they're in when they limp to the finish line (the series finale's March 3), but last week's "couples therapy" certainly was jarring, and tonight, Christian has a nightmare (while under anesthesia for a face-lift) populated by Joan Rivers, his father (Robert Davi), and old friends Annette Wainwright and Lulu Grandiron (Joan Van Ark and Donna Mills). Business is terrible, to boot. But at least Liz meets a gal she likes.


* Psych (10/9c USA Network)


The Psych gang's obsession with all things 1980s continues tonight when Breakfast Club alum Judd Nelson guest-stars, joining the ranks of fellow Brat Packer-turned-Psych guest star Ally Sheedy. In the episode, Shawn and Gus try to get their hands on a deadly pathogen that's been stolen. The pressure is on to catch the thief before he or she unleashes it on the city.


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