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Tonight's TV Hot List: Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2010

The Middle8/7c ABC Mike and Frankie come to question their parenting skills in this episode. Axl gets suspended for truancy, and Mike decides to teach him a lesson by making him work in the quarry during the suspension. Mike's plan implodes, though, when Axl really likes the job, and decides he wants to drop out of school and work in the quarry full time. Also, Sue's beloved cross-country team is cut by the school, and Frankie fears she's responsible for the cutback. Some days parents can't buy a break. — Fred MitchellRead on for previews of Survivor: Nicaragua, Hell's Kitchen, Law & Order: SVU, CNBC Titans, Storm Chasers and What's Eating You?.

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The Middle
8/7c ABC
Mike and Frankie come to question their parenting skills in this episode. Axl gets suspended for truancy, and Mike decides to teach him a lesson by making him work in the quarry during the suspension. Mike's plan implodes, though, when Axl really likes the job, and decides he wants to drop out of school and work in the quarry full time. Also, Sue's beloved cross-country team is cut by the school, and Frankie fears she's responsible for the cutback. Some days parents can't buy a break. — Fred Mitchell
Survivor: Nicaragua
8/7c CBS
The young-vs.-old experiment didn't last long. Just five episodes in, the tribes are being mixed up. Tonight, the castaways are shocked when Jeff Probst tells them to drop their buffs because the division between ages is ending and new teams are forming. Of course, it's a blessing for some and a curse for others, and leads some to form new alliances and others to seize leadership roles. In addition, a torrential storm batters the coast and causes NaOnka to reach her lowest point in the game. — Tim Holland
Hell's Kitchen
8/7c Fox
If they want to continue as serious chefs, Emily and Melissa will probably learn to cook halibut and scallops, respectively. But it's too late for them here, so bye-bye, gals, and we're down to nine tonight, when Gordo celebrates the series' 100th show by inviting folks near and dear to him to sample his wannabes' fare. (Is that a nice thing to do to your family?) Challenge losers will get to "celebrate" by peeling a thousand or so potatoes. And, food fans, this note: It's peanuts and Cracker Jacks for the next two weeks, because Gordo and Co. are slated to be pre-empted by baseball. — Paul Droesch
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
9/8c NBC
Former Numb3rs star David Krumholtz steps back into familiar territory by portraying a professor on a crime show. However, this time he finds himself on the wrong side of the law when his professor character, who's also an aggressive activist, is the prime suspect in woman's murder. The victim's body is found in Bethesda Fountain, and an examination reveals that her death was the result of poisoning: She had been given toxic mushrooms. — Jennifer Sankowski
CNBC Titans
9/8c CNBC
The envy of many a man, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner built a brand and empire on a vision that, in 1953 America, was not an easy sell. This profile recalls how, at the age of 26, he begged, borrowed and saved $8000 — and then rolled the dice by publishing the magazine of his dreams. — Jeff Gemmill
Storm Chasers
10/9c Discovery
If there's a void in your life that can only be filled by the drama of watching people crammed into a high-tech truck while they drive dangerously close to tornadoes, strap yourself to the couch for an intense ride with Sean and his crew: They get acquainted with a West Texas twister as the reality series' fourth season barrels into town. — Michael Chant
What's Eating You?
10/9c E!
People who are battling dangerous eating disorders are profiled in this six-part series. The life-threatening food rituals are mostly associated with distorted views of the person's body. In tonight's opener, a successful dancer attempts to overcome years of anorexia and a woman tries to suppress her bulimic tendencies that have cost her family over $100,000 and threaten to end her life. — Tim Holland