Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010 - Featured

* Modern Family (9/8c ABC)


This sitcom must have Hollywood on speed dial. Still only in its first season, the show has compiled an impressive list of guest stars, including Edward Norton, Shelley Long and Benjamin Bratt, and now you can add Minnie Driver, whose character's cosmopolitan lifestyle sparks feelings of inadequacy in her old friend Claire. Meanwhile, Manny tries to get Mitchell to steer clear of giving Gloria legal advice, and Jay has a racquetball outing with Cameron he won't soon forget.


* American Idol (9/8c Fox)


This season's system of rotating guest judges has added some hot-hot-heat to the star search. The claws came out last Tuesday when catty clashing flared up between Kara and stand-in arbiter Katy Perry, and tension spiked last Wednesday between Simon and guest judge Neil Patrick Harris. But this musical chairs of judges - and the drama that comes with it - ends tonight, as the Hollywood Rounds begin next week and permanent judge Ellen DeGeneres joins the panel. Before that, we have one last look at the colorful open tryouts with a "Road to Hollywood" installment, featuring appearances from all the celeb appraisers of Season 9.


* Mercy (8/7c NBC)


James Van Der Beek, best known from Dawson's Creek, dons the Mercy Hospital scrubs and joins the medical drama in a recurring role beginning tonight. He plays brash, self-important Dr. Joe Briggs, the newly minted head of the ICU - and his arrival jars the hospital staffers. It's a bitter pill to swallow for Veronica, who resists his arrogant swagger and promptly clashes with him. Veronica's other frosty relationship is with Dr. Sands, but they put profession first and join forces to treat a boy.


* Super Bowl's Greatest Commericials (8/7c CBS)


The Super Bowl commercials have become almost as anticipated as the main event, and for good reason. With those spots being among the most expensive seconds in TV and a large audience of consumers watching, advertisers bring out their A-game and they rarely disappoint, as this annual show has proved. Jim Nantz and Lara Spencer look at 10 of the best commercials to air during past Super Bowls, with viewers choosing the top spot. The program also includes a preview of the 2010 commercials.


* This Is My Africa (8/7c HBO2)


This summer, the world will descend on South Africa for soccer's World Cup, though it's safe to say many folks won't know much about that country in particular or the continent in general. So perhaps this film, directed by Nigerian-born Zina Saro-Wiwa, could serve as a useful primer. In it, London-based Africans and Africa-philes, including actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Colin Firth, artist Yinka Shonibare and filmmaker John Akomfrah, comment on the continent's history, culture, arts, cuisine and politics.


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