Channel hop

Yvonne Lai

The television fortune for the year has been told. The globe (the shiny golden one) has predicted an auspicious Year of the Tiger for those of us who like to camp out on our couch and hog the remote.

The surprise winner for the best television comedy or musical series award in Los Angeles last week - Glee - is already on the air (Star World, Wednesdays at 9pm - see last week's Channel Hop); as is Julianna Margulies, named best actress in a TV drama - for The Good Wife (Hallmark Channel, Thursdays at 10pm) - and who was our own pick for the award.

We are now more excited than ever about the fourth season of Dexter (coming soon-ish to Fox Crime) after it won the best-performance-in-a- TV-series award for its star, Michael Hall (Six Feet Under) and John Lithgow (Raising Cain, 3rd Rock from the Sun) nabbed the award for best supporting actor in a TV series.

Also coming our way this spring is Grey Gardens (HBO), about the eccentric aunt and a first cousin of former United States first lady Jackie Onassis. This was HBO's big TV movie coup of the year: six Emmys and now two Golden Globes: best made-for-TV picture and, trumping Hollywood heavyweights Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen and Jessica Lange, best actress for Drew Barrymore (right) as Little Edie.

One actress we'd like to see a lot more of is Toni Collette (far right, Muriel's Wedding; Little Miss Sunshine) - playing Tara Gregson, a wife and mother of two with dissociative identity disorder in United States of Tara. Diablo Cody's (Juno) creation of Tara's colourful inner and outer worlds is unlike anything we've seen before and the way Collette weaves them together has earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe for best actress in a comedy. If she were a country, we'd move there straight away.

You know it's going to be a tough day with Jack Bauer around. Those who caught 24: Redemption - a feature-film bridge between seasons six and seven of 24 - last week know Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland; The Lost Boys) went in search of inner peace (if you'd shot as many people and blown up as many things as he has, you'd be looking for a bit of R&R, too). He wound up in Sangala - a fictional African country - during a coup, helping an ex-special-forces friend relocate his orphanage to the US embassy. It turned out Bauer was wanted by his own government and, at the end of the film, he was arrested and sent home.

Set shortly after the events of Redemption, Day 7 (or season 7) of 24 (AXN, Tuesdays at midnight) begins and ends at 8am. Bauer is being grilled in a Senate hearing about the illegal torture he has used (as if that would ever happen in real life!). A government computer breach heralds the arrival of Sangala terrorists in the US and Bauer is asked to help the investigation because he has a personal history with one of the suspects.

As the show marches towards being the longest-running espionage series in television history - we have one question, who is Bauer's plastic surgeon? For a character who we've seen through roughly 15 years (in the show's chronology) of action, the man doesn't look a day older than he did on Day 1.