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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: April 21 to April 27

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY APRIL 21 MasterChef Canada (CTV, 8 p.m.) We’re almost down to the finish line in this reality contest search for Canada’s top amateur chef (which has already been renewed for a second season). After multiple botched dishes and countless tears, these are the last four home cooks standing: The intense Eric Chong from Oakville, Ontario; precocious Calgarian earth mother Tammara Behl; the inscrutable Marida Mohammed from Toronto; and the beautiful but easily rattled Kelowna, B.C. native Kaila Klassen. The tension heats up tenfold tonight with the arrival of guest judge Joe Bastianich – best known for his blistering critiques on the U.S. version of MasterChef – who challenges the final four to prepare dishes using his favourite Italian ingredients. Mamma mia.

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TUESDAY APRIL 22 Pioneers of Television (PBS, 8 p.m.) Grey’s Anatomy may be the only network medical drama on television today, but there was a time when doctor-and-nurse shows aired every night of the week. This retro-series rewinds the clock to the sixties golden era of medical dramas, when programs like Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey and Medical Center ruled the primetime roost. The profile includes interviews with ER mainstays Noah Wyle, Gloria Reuben and Anthony Edwards, while Canada’s own Howie Mandel talks about the magic that was St. Elsewhere.

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WEDNESDAY APRIL 23 Modern Family (ABC, Citytv, 9 p.m.) Lock up the Fosters and hide the koalas: The Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clans are off to Australia. This departure episode of TV’s best sitcom takes the entire brood to the land down under – all because Phil (Ty Burrell) wants to honour his mother by visiting the land where he was conceived. Before they even unpack, Jay (Ed O’Neill) and Claire (Julie Bowen) are consumed by work duties back home, while Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) are feuding with a gay pal (Rhys Darby from Flight of the Conchords) who is now a major TV personality. G’day.

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THURSDAY APRIL 24 Bad Teacher (CBS, Global, 9:30 p.m.) It’s probably not a sign of primetime longevity when a show debuts in late April, but this TV version of the 2011 film starring Cameron Diaz is not without its charms. In place of Ms. Diaz, the capable Ari Graynor (you may recall her as Meadow’s tipsy roomie on The Sopranos) assumes the role of Meredith, a former trophy wife who launches a plan to find rich husband number two by posing as an elementary school teacher. As per the movie, Meredith finds an ally in the insecure fellow teacher Irene (Sara Gilbert) and an enemy in the uptight faculty president Ginny (Kristin Davis). Enjoy it while it’s here.

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FRIDAY APRIL 25 Kitchen Nightmares (Fox, Global, 8 p.m.) The mad English chef Gordon Ramsay seems to get more belligerent with each new season of this popular reality series in which he attempts to rescue restaurants on the verge of folding. In tonight’s special two-hour episode, he rolls into Woodland Park, Colorado, to visit an Italian eatery with an identity crisis and no customers. In short order, he determines that morale between owner Julie and her staff is almost non-existent – and Julie does not take kindly to the advice of strangers. Get ready for the fireworks.

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SATURDAY APRIL 26 Tracy Morgan: Bona Fide (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.) Although Tracy Morgan is known primarily for his former cast-member duty on Saturday Night Live and several seasons on 30 Rock, he made his name as a working comedian. The straight-talking Brooklynite returns to his standup roots in this Comedy Central special in which he reminisces about his brief career as a crack dealer and recalls the time that Prince threw him out of his house. As on SNL and 30 Rock, Morgan is hilarious.

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SUNDAY APRIL 27 The Simpsons (Fox, Global, 8 p.m.) Now in its 25 th season, The Simpsons still gets away with storylines that would never see the light of day on other primetime programs. Case in point: The short tagline for tonight’s new episode is, “Bart gets his teacher pregnant.” The expanded description reveals that the precocious grade-schooler has actually made a voodoo doll of his art teacher, which instead of relieving her of teaching duties, somehow helps her become pregnant. In the blink of an eye, all the childless couples of Springfield are reaching out to Bart for help in conceiving. Cowabunga, dude.

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