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Seven Days of Television: March 17 to March 23

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY MARCH 17 Dancing With The Stars (ABC, M3, 8 p.m.) The lights, the stars, the fallen arches! Season 18 of the schmaltzy dance competition arrives with a particularly bizarre lineup of semi-famous people willing to mess up the paso doble and other complicated dance steps best left to the professionals. On deck: Gangly pop elf Cody Simpson, ex-Full House regular Candace Cameron, marathon swimmer Diana Nyad, former NHL star Sean Avery and 77-year-old Billy Dee Williams, for heaven’s sake. DWTS remains the only network TV show with a defibrillator on-set.

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TUESDAY MARCH 18 Glee (Fox, City, 8 p.m.) Has it been 100 episodes already? TV’s giddiest comedy/drama hits the century mark tonight, which means the show will ease into second-run syndication next fall. As befits the occasion, we have the return of several A-list guest stars to help honour the singing-and-dancing kids of McKinley High. Back again is the she-beast known as Gwyneth Paltrow to resume her Glee persona of the witless supply teacher Holly Holiday, along with Kristin Chenoweth returning as the shrill April Rhodes.

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WEDNESDAY MARCH 19 Dragon’s Den (CBC, 8 p.m.) Can Canada's most-watched reality show survive without its main curmudgeon? Regular Dragon's Den viewers were left reeling by the news that resident crank Kevin O'Leary would depart the show at the end of its current eighth season. O'Leary will retain his one-percenter duties on ABC's Shark Tank, but after this season will not field pitches from wide-eyed Canadians. So it's probably best to enjoy him while we can. According to the listings info, tonight’s new show features an entrepreneur pitching a new product to “take the sting out of summer.” So it’s either mosquito repellent or gin.

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THURSDAY MARCH 20 CBC Doc Zone: Love Under Cuban Skies (CBC, 9 p.m.) The sex tourism business is booming in Cuba, particularly for the male Cuban studs. This smart new documentary chronicles the booming love-for-sale business in the sun-drenched paradise. Written and directed by Wendy Champagne, the film follows several women who travel to Cuba looking for romance and adventure and are more than willing to pay for it. The most revealing moments come in the interviews with the men-for-hire: well-educated but mostly-unemployed men, whose employment options are limited. Work is work in Cuba.

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FRIDAY MARCH 21 The Next Star: SuperGroup (YTV, 8 p.m.) Remember the next star? For several season the singing competition was our version of American Idol and gained more viewers with each new season on YTV. The search continues in the same spirit in this new series, which, as the title suggests, searches for the next great Canadian super group. Jordan Francis hosts the format that takes a few dozen kids completely strange to each other and mentors them to the point where they really believe they are the next Backstreet Boys or Pussycat Dolls.

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SATURDAY MARCH 22 The Pink Panther (TCM, 8 p.m.) A clever script and deft performances make this 1963 caper comedy a splendid choice for a Saturday night. The late David Niven plays it extra suave as Sir Charles Litton, aka the smooth jewel thief known as The Phantom, who is vacationing in a posh Alpine resort in pursuit of a priceless diamond known as The Pink Panther, Italian beauty Claudia Cardinale plays the princess with a curious interest in the bauble. And the inimitable Peter Sellers plays it bumbly as the inept Inspector Jacques Clouseau, who has been chasing The Phantom for years and can’t understand why he can’t catch the dastard (hint: Clouseau’s wife is sleeping with the jewel thief). A classic.

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SUNDAY MARCH 23 American Dream Builders (NBC, 8 p.m.) Debuting tonight, this new series hosted by Oprah pal Nate Berkus takes the TV makeover format to a new level. In each episode, two teams of are tasked to renovate and refurbish two domiciles belonging to lucky homeowners who have let the places fall apart. The results are judged by Berkus and two fellow design experts, and the winning team gets bragging rights. If this show doesn’t have a country song as its opening theme, I’ll eat my cowboy hat.

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