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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: June 24 to June 30

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY JUNE 24 Under the Dome (CBS, Global, 10 p.m.) A blessedly welcome arrival in the off-season of repeats and retreads, this new sci-fi series is based on a Stephen King bestseller, which should guarantee strong ratings for the first show. Booked for a 13-week run, the story takes place in the tiny New England town of Chester’s Mill, where the residents are understandably perplexed when a massive transparent dome suddenly cuts them off from the rest of the world. As resources dwindle, the town’s residents naturally start to panic and feed off each other with the exception of the affable fry cook Dale (Mike Vogel) and Julia (Rachelle Lefevre). Breaking Bad regular Dean Norris (aka Walt’s conniving brother-in-law Hank) acquits himself nicely as the town villain.

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TUESDAY JUNE 25 Saving Hope (CTV, 10 p.m.) Just because you didn’t watch this offbeat medical drama last year doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it this summer. For the uninitiated, the first season introduced viewers to the well-written characters of Dr. Alex Reid (Erica Durance) and her fiancé Dr. Charlie Harris, who was hit by a car and sent into a coma in the very first episode. For most of the season, he wandered the halls of the hospital where they work and interacted with other patients in various states of unconsciousness. The first season closed with Charlie coming out of his coma and the second season begins with the lovebirds reunited but somehow caught in the middle of a shooting spree (these two have the worst luck). Weirder yet, Charlie learns he can still talk to spirits! The show doesn’t always make sense, but it’s still a lot of fun.

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WEDNESDAY JUNE 26 Big Brother (CBS, Global, 8 p.m.) It wouldn’t be summer without a new edition of Big Brother. Based on a popular Dutch TV concept, the show launches its 15 th season with a fresh group of lambs for the slaughter and a few new twists to the gameplay. This time, viewers will vote a “Big Brother MVP” each week and the contestants themselves will nominate three players for eviction per episode. As in seasons past, the show’s success depends entirely on the housemates selected to play the game and the new group of 16 includes a lawyer, a bartender, a real estate agent and a railroad conductor (that’s still a job?). Julie Chen returns to host.

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THURSDAY JUNE 27 The Boomer Revolution (CBC, 9 p.m.) Anybody out there remember The Summer of Love? If so, you’re likely what is known as a “baby boomer” and it might tickle your sweet bippy (hey, that’s how people talked back in 1967) to realize that boomers currently constitute upwards of 30 per cent of the Canadian population. That’s more than 10-million people in their fabulous fifties and only slightly slower sixties. This breezy documentary doesn’t really impart much beyond those factoids, but there’s plenty of footage of boomers having fun and jet-skiing and being active, much unlike the boomers you probably know, who never want to leave the house or even get off the La-Z-Boy. If you’re pushing 50–and you will, someday–it will make you feel better.

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FRIDAY JUNE 28 Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids (TLC, 9 p.m.) Never to be confused with Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta or any of the other brand extensions in the seemingly bottomless TLC wedding-show well, this series returns for its fourth season tonight. The premise documents the chaotic work routine at the Bridals by Lori salon in Atlanta. Do tensions arise between the brides-to-be and their ladies in waiting? Buckle up. In tonight’s first show, a bride-to-be named Renee is forced to deal with bitter jealousy brewing among her bridesmaids. In the second show, a client named Vilma demands that her wedding frock be an exact match of her emerald engagement ring. Good luck with that.

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SATURDAY JUNE 29 Casino Jack (CBC, 9 p.m.) Now that the Stanley Cup playoffs are finally over, how ion earth is CBC going to fill valuable primetime real estate? On this Saturday night, they’ve scheduled this 2010 movie profile of infamous Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, played in an all-out performance by Oscar-winner Kevin Spacey. The story opens with Abramoff and wily business partner Michael Scanlon (Barry Pepper) perfecting the art of exerting influence over D.C. power players. But just when they’re starting to enjoy the high-rolling lifestyle, they make the fatal mistake of entering into an unholy union with dim mob guy Adam (Jon Lovitz) to make some extra income under the table. The lesson here: Don’t get greedy.

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SUNDAY JUNE 30 Crimes of the Century (CNN, 9 p.m.) Suddenly Sunday nights are a little grimmer. Slated for an eight-episode run, this new series recalls infamous criminal acts that made global headlines at the time and still have repercussions today. The format merges archive news clips with never-before-seen footage along with fresh perspective from historians and journalists who covered the original story. The series kicks off with the shocking murder of John Lennon on December 8, 1980. As revealed here, Lennon’s clearly unhinged assassin, Mark David Chapman, had compiled an extensive list of celebrity targets, which included Lennon’s former Beatle bandmate Paul McCartney, actor George C. Scott and then-president Ronald Reagan. Chilling stuff.


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