10 pm/ET FX
Patty Hewes has a new client (William Hurt) as Glenn Close's chilly and shadowy legal thriller begins its second season. Actually, he's not her client yet, and we don't know much about his case, other than it involves "chemical analysis" and that there will be blood on the floor tonight. As for Ellen Parsons (Rose Byrne), she has grown richer — and harder-edged — since we left her in October 2007. Now she's gunning for Patty (who tried to kill her, remember?) while still working for her. — Paul Droesch
For clips of Damages, visit our Online Video Guide.
People's Choice Awards
9 pm/ET CBS
The awards season is officially here with the 35th annual celebration at L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium that recognizes fan favorites in movies, TV and music. Queen Latifah hosts the gala. The Dark Knight leads all film nominees with five. In music, Carrie Underwood is up for two awards, including Favorite Female Singer, and she performs on the telecast (Rascal Flatts, also nominated, perform). New Favorite categories this year include: Superhero; TV Drama Diva; Movie Cast; and Scene-Stealing Guest Star. The latter one could fetch Britney Spears an award for her comic turn on How I Met Your Mother. — Tim Holland
Watch interviews with the cast of The Dark Knight in our Online Video Guide.
13 — Fear Is Real
8 pm/ET CW
Horror meets reality in this scary competition series designed to frighten the living daylights out of 13 contestants and "kill" all but one of them, who will collect the $66,666 grand prize. Tonight, the unlucky 13 are abandoned in the Louisiana bayou, where they meet the Mastermind, who conjures up terror-filled challenges for them. So, what does he have in store for the opener? Being buried alive! — Tim Holland
For more CW programs, visit our Online Video Guide.
Barbara Walters Special
10 pm/ET ABC
It has been about 10 months since Patrick Swayze's pancreatic-cancer diagnosis was disclosed, and with rumors of its spread in some media outlets, he and Lisa Niemi, his wife of 33 years, will discuss his illness tonight. And, since Swayze's a Hollywood star, don't be surprised if he gets in plugs for his latest projects: the A&E crime drama The Beast (he plays an FBI veteran), debuting Jan. 15, and the steamy theatrical drama Powder Blue (due sometime this year), in which he plays a strip-club owner. — Paul Droesch
For more Patrick Swayze, visit our Online Video Guide.
10 pm/ET MTV
The seminal reality series launches its 21st season in Brooklyn, just across the bridge from where it all started almost 17 years ago, and for the first time there are eight — not seven — strangers who are picked to live in a house...have their lives taped...well, you know the rest. — Karen Andzejewicz
For clips of The Real World, visit our Online Video Guide.
Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009