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Tonight's TV Hot List: Friday, April 30, 2010


* Medium (9/8c NBC)


A neighborhood slaying puts Allison and her family on the defensive. In the wake of the murder of her neighbor (Jonathan Silverman), our matriarchal medium springs into action, installing a high-tech security system in her home. But that's when a bizarre Kubrickian drama plays out. Straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Allison comes to believe this cutting-edge alarm system has a mind of its own and is actually communicating with young Marie. Dub this one "2010: A Case Oddity." Meanwhile, eldest daughter Ariel sees dead people: She encounters a ghost who might be able to help her attend a coveted college.


* Who Do You Think You Are? (8/7c NBC)


Co-executive producer Lisa Kudrow's seven-part celeb family-tree series closes its inaugural season. The ancestral investigations spike in the season finale with filmmaker Spike Lee as the focus. The acclaimed director and Oscar nominee (for 1989's Do the Right Thing and 1997's 4 Little Girls) delves into his family's past in a fact-finding mission that directs him to Georgia and Texas. Ultimately, he discovers a surprising connection with his great-great-grandfather and meets an unlikely relative.


* The Life & Times of Tim (9:30/8:30c HBO)


As long as he toils under a self-absorbed boss, it's pretty clear that Tim is never going to rise above his current station at Omnicorp. This could all change, however, when the company's visiting chairman (voice of Alfred Molina) from England sees Tim's promise in the second-season finale. Of course, things don't always work out for Tim, so he winds up spending a lot more time at O'Flaherty's, where his fortunes change after a chance encounter with a famous novelist (Philip Baker Hall).


* Smallville (8/7c The CW)


Zod leaves his mark on Oliver - literally - when, after a confrontation that leaves the do-gooder at death's door, he brands Oliver's chest with a Z. Meanwhile, Oliver's gal pal Chloe is trapped with Tess inside Watchtower and realizes that the Kandorians have a direct line to Watchtower's server, and the connection must be severed. But the worst news of all is what Clark uncovers: Zod's soldiers have all been given superpowers - and that can't be good.


* Stargate Universe (9/8c Syfy)


If Lt. Scott, Eli, Chloe or Greer ever wondered what could be worse than being trapped on a runaway spaceship, this episode will put an end to that curiosity as the away team becomes lost in a planet's underground maze while the aforementioned runaway ship takes off without them. Tune in to see if Dr. Rush and Col. Young have any clever ideas for rescuing their left-behind comrades.


* Live From Abbey Road (8/7c Sundance)


Arguably the best popular-music show on TV, this episode showcases a trio of superb groups. Florence and the Machine hit on all cylinders and ride the ethereal lilt of lead singer Florence Welch. Highlights are the beautifully melodious "Rabbit Heart" and the intoxicatingly powerful "Hurricane Drunk." Chairlift leaves its mark with the synth-poppy peppy "Bruises," and the Killers do a killer version of the movingly poetic "Human," paced by front man Brandon Flowers' impassioned vocals.


* Now on PBS (8:30/7:30c PBS)


Tonight marks the end of an era: Both Now on PBS and Bill Moyers' Journal come to an end, replaced next week by a new public-affairs program that promises to add an online angle. Now looks back at its coverage of the economy, the push for health-care reform and the environment; Moyers' show features a conversation with populist commentator Jim Hightower about the growing distrust people have of the federal government.


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