Tonight's TV Hot List: Friday, Jan. 22, 2010


* Caprica (9/8c Syfy)


The reinvention of the Battlestar Galactica saga continues in the debut of this prequel series set in the vibrant world of Caprica, a planet that resembles an optimistic view of what Earth might be like in the very near future, where an act of terrorism in the name of religion helps usher in the rise of those metallic antagonists known as Cylons. Eric Stoltz, Esai Morales and Alessandra Torresani star.


* Hope for Haiti Now (8/7c ABC, CBS, CW, FOX, NBC, CNN, BET, HBO, MTV, VH1 and CMT)


Several major broadcast and cable networks are simulcasting this two-hour commercial-free telethon to benefit the victims of the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. George Clooney, Wyclef Jean and Anderson Cooper host the fund-raiser from Los Angeles, New York and Haiti, respectively. All donations will be divided between Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Yele Haiti Foundation. Among those scheduled to perform during the event are Bono, Bruce Springsteen, Taylor Swift, Sting, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys, Stevie Wonder, Shakira and Jay-Z.


* Music Videos Exposed (8/7c VH1 Classic)


This series looks at music-video auteurs, their creative processes and their accomplishments. First up is director David Mallet, whose innovative videos include such hits as Billy Idol's "White Wedding," David Bowie's "Ashes to Ashes," Queen's "Radio Ga Ga" and Mick Jagger and David Bowie's "Dancing in the Street."


* Spartacus: Blood and Sand (10/9c Starz)


Some may find this action-adventure spectacle bloody entertaining. Some may just find it far too bloody. The body count for this new cable series, which tips its helmet to the big-screen gorefest that was 2007's 300, approaches that number. Disembowelings, beheadings, dismemberings, slicings, stabbings and spearings are the order of the day. OK, message sent. It's violent. It is also captivating and compelling, as it regales with the tale of a Thracian warrior (Andy Whitfield) turned Roman slave turned gladiator.


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