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Seven Days of Television: January 6 to January 12

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY JANUARY 6 Hardcore Heroes (History, 8 p.m.) Real heroes never stop to pose for pictures or ask questions; they just get the job done. Debuting tonight, this sharp new series from Toronto’s Proper Television pay homage to real-life heroes whose selfless behaviour would probably never get any attention otherwise. The format employs live-action reconstruction, CGI effects and first-person interviews to reenact remarkable acts of courage. Tonight’s opener focuses on New York City Fire Department member Jack Pritchard, who went above and beyond the call of duty and former U.S. Marine John Keller, who personally assisted in the rescue in hundreds of people in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Be inspired.

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TUESDAY JANUARY 7 Killer Women (ABC, Citytv, 10 p.m.) Get ready for a hot new lady cop – and she’s Canadian, too. Debuting tonight, this new crime drama casts Tricia Helfer, the pride of Donalda, Alberta, as the no-nonsense Molly Parker, who breaks ground (and quite a few heads) as one of the first females to join the Texas Rangers. The slight twist on the formula is that Molly primarily tracks down female suspects, which seems either an odd paean to sisterhood or simply an excuse to showcase some snazzy fashions. In tonight’s opener, she’s on the hunt for a woman who killed a local prosecutor – right at the victim’s wedding ceremony!

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WEDNESDAY JANUARY 8 Dude, You’re Screwed (Discovery, 8 p.m.) Who says there are no new ideas in television? Launching tonight, this new series is seemingly aimed at fans of Survivor and other roughing-it-in-the-bush reality series. How it works: Five survival experts hailing from different backgrounds (a Green Beret, a Marine, et al) are “kidnapped,” and then dropped into an unforgiving environment. The expert then has to make his or her way back to civilization within a 100-hour time period, while the other four comment on their progress from a command center. In the opener, a rugged Navy SEAL is unceremoniously dumped on top of an Icelandic volcano. Paging Bear Grylls!

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THURSDAY JANUARY 9 Mystery Diners (Food Network, 9 p.m.) Back tonight for a fifth season, this program from the U.S. version of Food Network benefits from a big budget and a sneaky attitude. The premise focuses on restaurant owners who suspect their own employees of dodgy work practices. The solution: Call in the experts to install hidden cameras in their eateries to catch the bad behaviour. And when the staffers get caught in the act, the big reveal is always a magic TV moment. Tonight’s season opener takes viewers to a vegan restaurant whose owner is horrified to discover that customers are being served meat.

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FRIDAY JANUARY 10 Bride of Frankenstein (TCM, 8 p.m. ET) Four years after the success of the 1931 feature Frankenstein, Universal released this superior followup that still ranks among the greatest horror movies of all time. The story picks up moments after the fire that supposedly killed Dr. Henry Frankenstein’s monster (Boris Karloff). The undead creature has, in fact, survived and is up to his old tricks of wreaking havoc upon witless villagers. Meanwhile, the monster’s creator, Dr. Henry Frankenstein (Colin Clive) is trying to prevent his mentor Dr. Praetorious (Ernest Thesiger) from stitching together another monster from dead bodies – and this time it’s a female! Elsa Lanchester appears in the opening frames as Mary Shelley (who wrote the original Frankenstein novel) and then reappears as the undead bride near the end.

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SATURDAY JANUARY 11 It Happened One Night (TCM, 8 p.m. ET) In one fell swoop, this classic 1934 film created the screwball comedy and became the first movie to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Screenplay and Director). The winsome Claudette Colbert plays the pampered heiress Ellie, who is dating the aviator King (Jameson Thomas) to spite her father (Walter Connolly). Ellie escapes her father’s clutches and sneaks onto a bus that happens to include the hard-drinking newspaper reporter Peter (Clark Gable) as a passenger. When the newsman realizes who she is, they strike a deal: If he helps her get to New York, she’ll give him a scoop for his paper. If only the newspaper business were so simple these days.

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SUNDAY JANUARY 12 The 71 st Annual Golden Globe Awards (NBC, CTV, 8 p.m.) Let the award season commence! Hosted for the second straight year by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, the annual trophy-fest will broadcast live from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. As always, the show honours excellence in both movies and television. The films American Hustle and 12 Years a Slave are the frontrunners with seven nominations apiece; in television, the Netflix original series House of Cards is tied with the HBO movie Behind the Candelabra with four nominations apiece. Among other stories to watch: Will Bryan Cranston collect Best Actor honours for his sendoff season of Breaking Bad? Will Julia Louis-Dreyfus take home two statuettes (she’s nominated for both HBO’s Veep and the feature film Enough Said). Will any celebrities get noticeably tipsy in the audience?

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