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Free-to-air TV: Wednesday, January 30

ABBA: Bang a Boomerang, ABC1, 8.30pm

IN THE mid-1970s, enchanted by video clips that screened on ABC music show Countdown, Australia fell in love with Swedish pop group Abba. A smiling, sweetly sexy foursome, the Eurovision Song Contest winners initially dazzled with Mamma Mia and went on to dominate the music charts. They did a concert tour, were greeted by hordes of screaming fans and starred in a mega-rating TV special. Narrated by Alan Brough, this documentary about the Abba phenomenon includes interviews with laconic tour manager Michael Chugg, music critics and devoted fans, as well as Swedish filmmaker Lasse Hallstrom, who directed Abba's clips and a documentary about their tour. Incorporating a smattering of social history, this chronicle of Abba-mania, which has had bouts of backlash and revival during subsequent decades, offers a perspective on Australia's love affair with a group that recorded its last single in 1982.

Glee, Channel Ten, 7.30pm

IN AN episode pervaded by notions of secret identities, superheroes and dynamic duets, the customary Gleetheme emerges: the need for individuals to triumph over fear and insecurity, realise their potential and find strength in unity. All this bubbles away as Finn (Cory Monteith) struggles to prepare New Directions for the coming sectionals and the troupe's rivals attempt to lure away star singer Blaine (Darren Criss). Glee can be a cloying confection, but it's saved occasionally by snappy dialogue and jazzy musical numbers.

AACTA Awards, Channel Ten, 9.30pm

THE Australian film industry needs and deserves a showcase to celebrate and applaud its accomplishments. But despite the fitful stabs at hype, this chopped-back version of the AACTA (Australian Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards, in essence a delayed telecast of a highlights package, is unlikely to fit the bill. Part of the problem is that the under-funded Australian Film Institute struggles to stage the event. Another part of problem is that the free-to-air networks remain indifferent about broadcasting it. What these awards should recognise, purely and exclusively, is the depth, distinctiveness and distinction of local film industry talent because, in spite of the substantial litany of problems associated with the event, there's much to celebrate. The ceremony will be hosted by Hugh Sheridan, and the best film nominees are Burning ManLoreThe Sapphires andWish You Were Here.