Tonight's TV Hot List for Tuesday, February 17


* Leverage (10 pm/ET TNT)


The catchy caper show's inaugural season begins winding down with the first of a two-part finale. (Part 2 airs next week.) Tonight's mission impossible turns intensely personal for team leader Nate Ford. Our modern-day Robin Hoods close in on one Ian Blackpoole (Kevin Tighe), the big-business miscreant who denied medical treatment for Nate's son, leaving the boy to die. The crack crew schemes to steal the greedy CEO's Michelangelo maquette, but their plan is jeopardized when Nate's ex-coworker (Mark A. Sheppard) makes an unforeseen appearance. The episode was directed by Dean Devlin, producer of the films Independence Day and Godzilla.


* Real Housewives of New York City (11 pm/ET Bravo)


It's apples and oranges with these housewives. The soapy franchise relocates to the Big Apple from Orange County to continue documenting the diva dramas of New York ladies Alex, Bethenny, Jill, LuAnn and Ramona. Season 2 lifts off tonight with tension surrounding Jill, whose published interview incites a feud with Alex and Simon. Meanwhile, social butterfly Bethenny spreads her wings in the Hamptons, and a new housewife is introduced: She's Kelly Killoren Bensimon - model, fashionista, equestrian, writer and now reality personality.


* Frontline (9 pm/ET PBS (check local listings))


It's said that those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. With that in mind, it's worth learning the whys and wherefores of our current economic woes, if only so we don't make the same mistakes again. "Inside the Meltdown" offers a look at what went wrong, including how the failure to save Lehman Brothers led the already rocky economy to collapse, and gives a behind-the-scenes account of the passage of the $700 billion bailout.


* The Mentalist (9 pm/ET CBS)


Many crime dramas today are edgy, with a stylized modern look and sophisticated technology. Some classic devices, however, never grow old. When Jane and the team investigate the murder of a country club's "queen bee," the series echoes the familiar whodunit scenario of a murder case revealing a closed society's hidden world of intrigue, love affairs and dark deeds.


* Dogg After Dark (9 pm/ET)


MTV Snoop Dogg is back on the televizzle, taking his turn as host of this new variety show, which features celebrity interviews, music guests, sketch-comedy segments, and whatever else the D-O-double G dreams up. In typical Snoop fashion, he's not filming in a studio; he's comin' at ya from L.A. hot spot Kress nightclub on Hollywood Blvd.


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