Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 - Featured


* Human Target (9/8c Fox)


Sunday's sneak preview of this new thriller gave us a good idea how Christopher Chance operates, such as finding a novel way to get off a high-speed train without the benefit of, say, stopping. Tonight he takes to the skies (what's next, the sea?) when unidentified goons are after an anonymous computer hacker who's privy to a critical piece of information. And faster than you can say "all in a day's work," a routine flight for our hero means flying upside down after the plane catches on fire.


* Spectacle: Elvis Costello with... (10/9c Sundance)


The bard of the Jersey Shore, Bruce Springsteen, graces the stage for the first of a two-part sit-down with Elvis Costello. It's an introspective and reflective hour as Bruce opens up about how music puts its "fingerprints on your imagination and into your heart" and how his "first band wouldn't let me sing." But sing he does as he goes solo on "Wild Billy's Circus Story" and "American Skin (41 Shots)," and brings down the house when he and Elvis channel Sam and Dave on the soul men's "I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down."


* Modern Family (8c ABC)


Although Jay would probably be the first to admit he's not the most enlightened man in the world, he has learned to accept, at least grudgingly, that his son, Mitchell, is gay. But when Mitchell suggests that one of Jay's best friends, Shorty (Chazz Palminteri), might be homosexual, the elder Pritchett is going to require a lot more convincing. Meanwhile, Phil's new universal remote renders the techno-illiterate Claire powerless, and Gloria gives Manny's date a makeover. Kristen Schaal also guest stars.


* Being Erica (10/9c SOAPnet)


This fantasy-comedy series returns for a second season and finds a big change in store for Erica: Dr. Naadiah has taken over her therapy sessions for Dr. Tom. After a year in which Erica and Dr. Tom kept digging into her past, Erica opts for a little role reversal and looks into Dr. Tom's past. Dr. Naadiah sends her back to 1998 to visit a younger, troubled version of Dr. Tom, and it turns out to be quite an eye-opening experience for her.


* The Human Spark (8/7c PBS)


If the host was anyone other than Alan Alda, this joke might resonate: Today's show proves that the actor has a brain. In any event, the three-parter's finale finds Alda's gray matter being mapped via high-tech imaging techniques, uncovering the parts used for language, tool making and deducting what's on the minds of others, as well as the very intangible that sets us apart from our simian counterparts: imagination.


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