STAY TUNED: 'Leverage,' TV Land comedies return this week

BILL GREEN
STAY TUNED: 'Leverage,' TV Land comedies return this week

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Many of your favorite networks shows — "Revenge," "Revolution," and the like — bowing out for their winter break for the next few weeks, it's time to take a look at what will keep us entertained over this holiday season.

TV con artists prepare to steal Christmas

For five years, television's coolest gang of con artists have used their unique skills to help "level the playing field" for people whose lives have been destroyed by the rich and powerful.

Beginning Tuesday at 10 p.m., TNT's hit series "Leverage" returns with five brand new episodes.

Academy Award winner Timothy Hutton stars, along with Gina Bellman, Christian Kane, Beth Riesgraf and Aldis Hodge.

Since premiering in 2008, Leverage has been a solid hit, averaging more than 3.8 million viewers in its fifth season, with 1.4 million adults 18-49 and 1.7 million adults 25-54.

What's new in TV Land

If you're looking to laugh, TV Land original series "Hot in Cleveland" and "Happily Divorced" premiere, at 10 and 10:30 p.m. respectively, Wednesday.

"Hot in Cleveland" revolves around three fabulous best friends from L.A. — novelist Melanie Moretti (Valerie Bertinelli), eyebrow archer to the stars Joy Scroggs (Jane Leeves) and former soap star Victoria Chase (Wendie Malick) — who find their lives changed forever when their plane, headed for Paris, makes an unexpected landing. When the friends discover that life is better in Cleveland, they decide to stay. Starting over together, they rent a house that happens to come with a very opinionated caretaker, Elka Ostrovsky (Betty White).

"Happily Divorced" is inspired by Fran Drescher's real life. The show revolves around L.A. florist Fran Lovett (Drescher) who finds out after 18 years of marriage that her husband Peter (John Michael Higgins, "Best in Show") is gay.

Inventive new show

Scotty Ziegler and Reichart Von Wolfsheild are on a mission to find the next brilliant invention, the next bold innovation, the next million-dollar idea. The two host "Invention USA" premiering on History channel at 10 p.m., Wednesday.

Ziegler is a product designer, car fabricator and self-proclaimed human crash test dummy. Von Wolfsheild is a scientist, engineer and resident genius.

Between the two of them, are hundreds of inventions and patents to their credit. But now, they're searching America for inventors who might have the next big thing. They'll test each invention, pushing them — and each other — to their limits.

'Cook Off' returns in January

Food Network icon Rachael Ray, and best-selling cookbook author and successful restaurateur Guy Fieri, return to coach and mentor eight new celebrity contestants for the second season of "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off," premiering 9 p.m. Jan. 6.

The eight celebrities are divided into Team Guy and Team Rachael, as they head out to the west coast to compete over the course of six episodes in intense weekly challenges. The losing team must send its two bottom-rated contestants to face off against each other, with one member sent home each week in a blind tasting elimination challenge. The last celebrity standing will join the ranks of season one winner, Lou Diamond Phillips, and win $50,000 for the charity which they are playing for.

The eight celebrity contestants competing for the title of Cook-Off champion and a cash prize include Chilli (member of pop/R&B group TLC), Gilbert Gottfried (actor, comedian), Cornelia Guest (designer, author, philanthropist), Dean McDermott (actor, reality television star), Kathy Najimy (actress, "Sister Act"), Hines Ward (former NFL player; Super Bowl Champion and MVP), Carnie Wilson (singer, Wilson Phillips) and Johnny Weir (two-time Olympic Figure Skater, three-time U.S. National Champion).

A gift suggestion for the soap fan in your family

In celebration of "The Bold And The Beautiful's" 25th anniversary, a new book released this month goes behind the scenes and delves into the show's history.

"B&B" debuted in 1987 and this new book "Becoming Bold & Beautiful: 25 Years of Making the World's Most Popular Daytime Soap Opera" has more than 200 photographs featuring cast and crew on Stage 31 of CBS Television City in Los Angeles, and on location in Malibu, Cabo San Lucas, and Aspen.

Reader question

Russ R. writes: "Why are we no longer receiving Tampa Bay Bucs home games?"

Local affiliates have little to no control over what games they will show. The network tells each of their affiliates what game will air in their markets. And their decisions often leave station managers and viewers scratching their heads.

Have a question about television. Send it to bgreen@naplesnews.com.

Until next time, stay tuned!

Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at bgreen@naplesnews.com. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.

© 2012 marconews.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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