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TV tips for the week of Jan. 14

Today on the tube ...

Today on the tube ...



Monday, Jan. 14

-Michael, T-Bag and the rest of the "Prison Break" clan are back scheming and fighting as they try to bust out of that filthy and sweaty Panamanian prison. In tonight's new episode, the first after a long winter hiatus, Michael faces solitary confinement and the wily T-Bag scores a spot in the escape plan. (Global, Fox)

-Crossing over to the other side of the law on "The Border" we find U.S. Homeland Security special agent Bianca LaGarda working with Kessler to bust a smuggling operation on the St. Lawrence River. (CBC)

-The crime-fighting drama continues on "CSI: Miami" as Horatio's ex-girlfriend - played by guest-star Elizabeth Berkley of "Saved by the Bell" and "Showgirls" fame - shows up to try to gain custody of their son. (CTV, CBS)

-On the lighter side of the lineup is the Season 7 premiere of the Canadian teen drama "Degrassi: The Next Generation." This two-part premiere sees straight-laced cheerleader Darcy going on a secret weekend getaway with her bad-boy boyfriend. (CTV)

-While many of the teens in Degrassi have yet to figure out their calling in life, Brent of "Corner Gas" tonight comes to terms with his life's purpose - as a gas station attendant, of course. (CTV)

-Freelance camera operators who go into hostile environments are honoured in the "Firing Line 2007" awards special. (CBC Newsworld)

-If you haven't had a chance to catch the compelling series "Rome," take advantage of tonight's first season premiere. The acclaimed historical drama, which debuted on HBO in 2005, begins in 52 BC, after Caesar's conquering of Gaul. (History Television)

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Tuesday, Jan. 15

-Another season of the popular singing competition "American Idol" is upon us, with judges Randy, Paula and Simon hitting Philadelphia for the first round of auditions in a two-hour premiere. This season will see some hopefuls using instruments during auditions - something that's been done on "Canadian Idol" but never on the U.S. series. Judging by the previews, this season will be chock full of the usual motley crew of people willing to humiliate themselves for our enjoyment. (CTV, Fox)

-Speaking of quirky characters, tonight's oddball-filled "JPod" sees Ethan suspecting his brother of being involved in human trafficking. (CBC)

-On "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," detectives interview a rabbi and a tutor after the beating and sexual assault of a student. (CTV, NBC)

-The Canadian pilots on "Jetstream" get their Hornet jet "call signs" (nicknames) this evening, bringing to mind some of the classic pilot handles from the Tom Cruise flick "Top Gun" - Maverick, Goose and Iceman, to name just a few. (Discovery Channel)

-While "Jetstream" pilots brave the skies, the cast of "Surf's Up" will perform acts of bravery in the water. The new show follows lifeguards as they rescue people on the Australian coastline. (OLN)

-In "High Heel Confidential," filmmakers document "just how far will a woman go for the perfect pair of shoes." Profiled are shoe designers Manolo Blahnik and Patrick Cox, as well as Tamara Mellon, president and CEO of shoe company Jimmy Choo. (The Documentary Channel)

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The Canadian Press

Wednesday, Jan. 16

-"American Idol"'s season premiere continues with another two-hour episode featuring the addictive audition round. This time, the judges are searching for talent in Dallas. (CTV, Fox)

-Ellen DeGeneres gets girly as she guest-stars on the game show "Deal or No Deal." The tomboyish talk show host is a briefcase model in this episode and - gasp! - actually puts a dress overtop her trademark wardrobe of slacks, dress shirt and runners. (E, NBC)

-"Starring Brian Linehan" is a special on the life of the late Canadian celebrity interviewer known for his rich research on the stars and intimate chats with them. Comedian Joan Rivers, who was a close friend of Linehan, speaks of his legacy along with biographer George Anthony, who wrote the book "Starring Brian Linehan: A Life Behind the Scenes." (Star)

-Kimora Lee Simmons, former model and the CEO of the street chic fashion line Baby Phat, is the focus of "Kimora: Life in the Fab Lane." (E)

-Speaking of fashion, the well-dressed gals on "Cashmere Mafia" face much turmoil as the married Juliet considers having an affair, Mia butts heads with a new male editor and Caitlin's sexual preferences are revealed on a gossip blog. (ABC, E)

-Thinking of renovating your home? You might want to check out "CBC News: Marketplace" as it explains how to avoid a gas explosion during home construction efforts. Apparently, it's more common than most people realize. (CBC)

-There's also some compelling doc action in "CBC News: The Fifth Estate," which outlines cases of animal abuse on film sets and some potentially sketchy practices in wildlife documentaries. (CBC)

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Thursday, Jan. 17

-Season 5 of the lesbian and bisexual drama series "The L Word" kicks off with Shane derailing plans to move in with Paige, and Jenny returning from a Mexican vacation with a billionaire movie financier. Special guest star Cybill Shepherd returns for this season. (Showcase)

-Another all-female program kicking off is the reality series "The

Bad Girls Club," about a group of partiers living together in a lavish Los Angeles mansion. (Showcase Diva)

-Meanwhile, in the "Celebrity Apprentice" condo mansion, each team brainstorms over the design of a mobile photo printing station that they'll take to the streets to raise cash for charity. (Global, NBC)

-Living a much less glamorous life is "Ugly Betty," who tonight starts wearing a new perfume that drives Henry wild and her crazy - literally. (ABC, Citytv)

-For something more intellectually stirring, check out "Disappearing Doctors" on "The Doc Zone." The film suggests that "the family doctor is on the verge of extinction" in Canada. (CBC)

-Canadian opera star Measha Brueggergosman is on "Who Do You Think You Are?" In the episode, the singer learns that her bloodline goes back to revolutionary America and Africa. (CBC)

-Another Canadian luminary, author W.P. Kinsella, is profiled in "Curveball: W.P. Kinsella." Kinsella wrote the book "Shoeless Joe," on which the baseball film "Field of Dreams" was based. In this film, he allows cameras into his B.C. home and addresses accusations of racism in his writing as well as his reputation for being "curmudgeonly and tempestuous," says a release. (Bravo)

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Friday, Jan. 18

-Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton guest-stars on Courteney Cox's tabloid drama "Dirt." The episode sees Julia discovering that a sex tape of her and a former co-star is on the Internet - something Hilton likely would not hesitate to splash all over his website. (Bravo)

-"Without a Trace" has the team looking for a woman who goes missing while working in a veterans hospital. (CTV)

-Day care is what Tami Taylor and Coach Taylor are looking for on "Friday Night Lights." The episode also sees Lyla (Minka Kelly) landing a job as a DJ on a Christian radio station. (NBC, Global)

-On "Ghost Whisperer," a spirit is angry after dying in a gas explosion and blames Jim for his death. (CTV, CBS)

-Speaking of the supernatural, Mick the vampire on "Moonlight" may achieve his dream of becoming human - but the transition could come at a price. (CTV, CBS)

-For programming that's rooted in reality, check out "20/20" as it profiles anorexia and other eating disorders suffered by moms and how "ingenious therapies" can help them gain weight. (ABC)

-Also in the non-fiction vein is "The Doomsday Rock," about the Earth's close encounter with an asteroid the size of a football field 5 1/2 years ago. The special says the asteroid passed us at a distance of about 120,000 kilometres - less than a third the distance to the moon. The special also profiles scientists who believe a full-on collision with an asteroid is entirely preventable. (The Documentary Channel)

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Saturday, Jan. 19

-Martin Sheen narrates "Confessions of an Innocent Man," about William Sampson, a Canadian who says he was tortured for about 2 1/2 years while imprisoned in Saudi Arabia starting in 2001. The two-hour CTV documentary outlines the case from the perspectives of Sampson, his relatives, high-ranking Canadian government officials and journalists. (CTV)

-"Sex, Drugs & Middle Age" has scientists discussing the effects of low testosterone on men. Some experts say the condition, sometimes referred to as male menopause or andropause, is a treatable middle-aged disease. (The Documentary Channel)

-The subject of tonight's "Pretty Dangerous," about notorious female criminals, is Susan Hjeltness, who allegedly used her good looks to woo men into committing crimes for her. (Global)

-In its Season 3 debut, "What's That About?" explores locations and occupations that are remote or in some cases top-secret. This premiere looks at the beer-making business in Canada with profiles of breweries in Charlottetown, Moncton, N.B., and Toronto. (Discovery Channel)

-Fishing fans may want to PVR "What a Catch" as host and casting instructor Kathryn Maroun snags a big taimen fish in Mongolia. (Global)

-Film choices on regular cable include the Tom Hanks and Catherine Zeta-Jones romantic dramedy "The Terminal," about an eastern European immigrant (Hanks) who gets stuck at a New York airport due to a tense political situation (ABC, E); and the thriller "White Noise," starring Michael Keaton as a man who uses a communication tool known as "electronic voice phenomenon" to contact his dead wife. (Citytv)

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Sunday, Jan. 20

-"The Wire" is always a sure Sunday night bet. This episode of the police drama sees the executive editor of the Baltimore newspaper delivering some big news to staff. (The Movie Network, Movie Central)

-Pull out the dictionary and calculator because the live televised Canadian IQ challenge "Test the Nation" is back for another special. Wendy Mesley and Brent Bambury host the national trivia challenge that sees six teams from across the country competing live to determine which group has the highest IQ. Viewers at home also get a set amount of time to answer 60 questions in six different categories to see how they measure up. You can also play online at www.cbc.ca/testthenation. (CBC)

-"Alone Against the Sea" profiles five solo sailors as they embark on the "Around Alone" global sailboat races. The special sees one of the boats capsizing. (OLN)

-For more adventure, there's always the around-the-world reality competition "The Amazing Race." (CBS)

-Get a condensed lesson in speedy, gourmet cooking with the "Iron Chef America" marathon. (Food Network)

-On the documentary docket is "Will We Survive?" about scientists speculating when an asteroid will hit Earth. Yes, that's right - not "if" but "when." Says a release: "Experts can't pinpoint when it will happen or where the asteroid will strike, only that it will happen." Yikes. (Discovery Channel, Discovery HD)

 
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