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Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2010

* American Idol (8/7c Fox) Simon says - Season 9 of the well-tuned talent contest begins tonight with a two-hour premiere blast. Judges Simon Cowell, Randy Jackson and Kara DioGuardi journey to Boston for the first edition of the preliminary auditions, where starry-eyed hopefuls are rated. (And berated?) In Boston, it's a good bet that some will be wicked good and others will be just plain wicked. Season 9 brings a sweeping change, of course: New judge Ellen DeGeneres replaces the departing Paula Abdul and joins the judges after the audition episodes. The tryouts continue tomorrow night in Atlanta. * NCIS (8/7c CBS) Robert Wagner guest stars as Tony's father, who is connected to a case involving an assassination attempt on a foreign prince. The family link to the investigation has Gibbs more than a little worried that Tony might not be able to do his job effectively and with objectivity. * Southland (10/9c TNT ) TNT picks up where NBC left off by adding the once-canceled police drama to its lineup, beginning with the series opener. Benjamin McKenzie stars as Los Angeles rookie cop Ben Sherman, whose future with the force depends on a good evaluation from his partner (Michael Cudlitz), who is, of course, a tough veteran with his own way of bringing down the bad guys. When a bust gets out of control, Sherman has to act on instinct and hopes that his partner won't judge him too harshly. Otherwise, his first day could be his last. * Independent Lens (9/8c PBS) Nothing compares to the Young@Heart Chorus, a New England senior-citizen choir that tackles such unconventional fare as the Clash's "Should I Stay or Should I Go" and Sonic Youth's "Schizophrenia." The doc, which chronicles the group's preparations for a hometown concert in Northampton, Mass., also steps off stage to profile some of the participants, including 92-year-young Eileen Hall, and features a very funny take on the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." * Tabatha's Salon Takeover (10/9c Bravo ) The salon makeover and takeover series closes shop for the season. There will need to be plenty of style counsel in the Season 2 finale when hair-parlor authority Tabatha Coffey journeys to Illinois to rescue a sinking salon, and she won't let her hair down until she succeeds. Among the establishment's tangled problems: The owner lacks leadership skills, the manager is snippy, and a stylist isn't making the cut. Source Here

Tonight's TV Hot List: Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2009 - Featured

* The Kennedy Center Honors - (9/8c CBS) The 32nd annual gala, hosted by Caroline Kennedy, salutes Mel Brooks, Dave Brubeck, Grace Bumbry, Robert De Niro and Bruce Springsteen. * NOVA - (8/7c PBS ) Charles Darwin's theory of evolution left much unanswered, including how evolution works. Now, the science of evolutionary development is beginning to fill in the blanks via the study of embryo development and gene mutations. * 20/20 - (10/9c ABC) With The Blind Side, Hollywood has already spoken on the subject of Michael Oher, a homeless Memphis kid who was taken in by a well-to-do suburban family and became a football star. So have the NFL's Baltimore Ravens, who drafted him. * Tabatha's Salon Takeover - (10/9c Bravo ) Here's Bravo's sole series-episode debut episode this week Chef Academy, Launch My Line and The Real Housewives of Orange County have all taken holiday vacations, but they'll return next week with new shows. * One Big Happy Family - (9/8c TLC ) The contestants on The Biggest Loser have it easy: They get to live on a ranch, surrounded by personal trainers 24/7. But in real life, it's not so easy to lose weight, as the subjects of this six-part series discover. In the opener, the morbidly obese Coles family goes on a quest to shed pounds after their youngest son, Shayne, gets a sobering health report. He needs to lose weight, pronto, and he can't do it without the help of his family. A second episode follows, as the Coles ditch junk food and begin a walking routine.