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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: May 26 to June 1

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY MAY 26 The Listener (CTV, 9 p.m.) All good things come to viewers who wait. Back tonight for a long-awaited fifth season, this smart Canadian-made crime drama still stars the talented Craig Olejnik as Toby, a nice-guy paramedic whose ability to read minds makes him an invaluable member of an elite police squad. As the new campaign opens, Toby has moved in with crime reporter Tia (Melanie Scrofano), who isn’t hesitant to dig into his enigmatic past. In other news, Toby’s former paramedic partner Oz (Ennis Esmer) is now the owner of a popular gastro-pub.

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TUESDAY MAY 27 The Night Shift (NBC, Global, 10 p.m.) Despite rumours to the contrary, the medical drama is alive and well on network primetime television. Debuting tonight, this new series is set at San Antonio Memorial Hospital and profiles the selfless men and women who work the night shift. Standing out in the crowd is the medic T.C. (Eoin Macken), who comes to the hospital straight from three tours of duty in Afghanistan, which in no way prepares him to deal with wacky patients at three A.M. Rounding out the cast of players is T.C.’s former girlfriend Jordan (Jill Flint) and his best pal Topher, played by Ken Leung, formerly of Lost.

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WEDNESDAY MAY 28 So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, CTV, 8 p.m.) Now where did I put those leg-warmers? Back tonight for an 11th season, SYTYCD has become a summer tradition for Fox – most likely because it faithfully ranks among the network’s highest-rated shows. Once again, the wide-eyed contestants will be grilled in multiple dance styles, including ballet, hip-hop, salsa and the very difficult discipline known as “crunking.” Cat Deeley returns to host and is joined by SYTYCD fixtures Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. Shake your groove thing, kids!

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THURSDAY MAY 29 The Sixties (CNN, 9 p.m.) Booked for an eight-week run, this new retro-series launches with the imprimatur of Tom Hanks as executive producer, which makes sense since the Oscar-winner grew up in the sixties. Buoyed by grand news footage and celebrity interviews, the program rewinds the Mad Men decade in painstaking detail with each episode covering a specific theme. The kickoff show focuses on the significant impact of TV in the sixties, with emphasis on the cultural impact from happening shows like Laugh-In, The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour and Julia – one of the first network shows to feature an African-American woman (Diahann Carroll) in a non-stereotypical role.

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FRIDAY MAY 30 Crossbones (NBC, Global, 10 p.m.) Welcome to the small screen, John Malkovich. Best known for his roles in films like Dangerous Liaisons, In The Line of Fire and, obviously, being John Malkovich, the imposing actor gives ample reason to watch this summer tryout series. Set in the 17th century and filmed in gorgeous locales, including the Bahamas, the setup casts Malkovich as a fictional version of the infamous pirate Edward “Blackbeard” Teach, who is happily plying his villainous trade even though most people think he’s dead. As he does, Malkovich inhabits every fiber of the character.

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SATURDAY MAY 31 Bet On Your Baby (ABC, 8 p.m.) Oh, baby, it’s back. Launched last summer, this reality-style game show focuses on five families with kids between the ages of two and three-and-a-half years who have agreed to put the tots inside a customized arena called “The Babydome” to take part in kid-friendly challenges. The parents actually wager on their little ones – ostensibly toward the cause of saving money for college. So what sort of challenges? Tonight’s second-season opener tests one infant’s ability to pick up a phone within six rings, while triplets are tasked to empty three rolls of toilet paper within 90 seconds. No wagering at home, please.

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SUNDAY JUNE 1 Halt and Catch Fire (AMC, 10 p.m.) Now that Mad Men has wrapped and won't return for several months, where can the average viewer grab their weekly period-piece TV fix? Try this new AMC show, which is set in the eighties and rewinds the heady days when personal computers were still only a fantasy for most people. Former Pushing Daisies star Lee Pace plays Joe MacMillan, an ambitious techie who makes it his personal mission to "build a computer faster and better than the IBM PC." Helping Joe on his quest are his pals Gordon (Scott McNairy) and Cameron (Mackenzie Davis). Come for the history lesson, stay for those funky post-disco fashions.

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