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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: September 29 to October 5

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY SEPTEMBER 29 Castle (ABC, CTV, 10 p.m.) Back tonight for a seventh season, this low-key mystery series still ranks among Monday’s most-watched network programs. Regular viewers will recall the previous season closed with author-sleuth Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion) driving to his own wedding when he was sideswiped by an ominous black SUV. As the new season opens, Castle’s fiancé, NYPD detective Kate Beckett (Stana Katic) is called to an accident scene where her betrothed’s car is engulfed in flames. Can this be the end of the dashing author-sleuth? Probably not, since the show is still called Castle.

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TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 30 Selfie (ABC, 8 p.m.) It was probably only a matter of time before somebody made a TV show with this title, so just be grateful it’s a sitcom and not a reality series. The comedic premise casts the winsome Scottish actress Karen Gillan as Eliza Dooley, a breakout social-media superstar whose 263,000 followers track her every blog post, tweet and, yes, selfie. The opener finds Eliza discovering that being friended by strangers isn’t quite the same thing as having real friends, so she enlists the services of pal and marketing guru Henry (John Cho) to help her find her way in the real world. And yes, the fact that the characters are named Eliza and Henry is not by accident: The show really is based on My Fair Lady.

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WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 1 Criminal Minds (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) Never underestimate the public appetite for grisly crime stories. Kicking off its 10 th season, network Criminal Minds remains the preferred Wednesday option for viewers who like their crime stories nasty and wrapped up in an hourlong period. In the season opener, Behavioural Analysis Unit boss David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) takes his team to the dusty climes of Bakersfield, California, where a serial killer has left a trail of unidentifiable bodies (as in, they’ve been hacked to bits). On the upside, the BAU also wecomes a brand-new member: Kate Callahan, played by TV veteran Jennifer Love-Hewitt, who could come in handy if the team ever needs to whisper to ghosts.

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THURSDAY OCTOBER 2 Bad Judge (NBC, 9 p.m.) In the vein of big-screen efforts like Bad Teacher and Bad Grandpa, primetime television now has a reprehensible figure in judge’s robes. Former Private Practice star Kate Walsh assumes the lead role in this new series casting her as Rebecca Wright, a former wild child with the day unlikely job of being a criminal court judge. The pilot episode makes it clear that Rebecca still likes to have a good time (she even plays drums in a punk-rock band!), but the flinty adjudicator’s heart melts ever so slightly when she takes in a precocious eight-year-old boy named Robby (Theodore Barnes) – whose parents she sent to jail.

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FRIDAY OCTOBER 3 Last Man Standing (ABC, CHCH, 8 p.m.) Love him or hate him, Tim Allen still has TV staying power. The former Home Improvement star gives reason to watch this old-school sitcom casting him as Mike Baxter, an unapologetically old-fashioned suburbanite with a wacky wife (Nancy Travis) and three daughters – the eldest a single mother. Season four opens with macho Mike thrilled by that news that youngest daughter Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) has been chosen to be the placekicker on the high school football team. Wife Vanessa is less than pleased, and sitcom hilarity ensues.

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 4 The Passionate Eye: Where is Flight MH370? (CBC News Network, 10 p.m.) First broadcast on British television, this BBC documentary attempts to unravel one of the most puzzling tragedies in aviation history. The film rewinds events leading up to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that was carrying 239 people from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing last March. More than two-dozen nations joined forces to search for the missing plane, and while nothing was found, there was seemingly a new theory – from terrorist attacks to technical malfunctions – surfacing to explain the tragedy with every new day. The film interview pilots, aviation experts and engineers to reveals the most probable scenarios that lead to the plane’s disappearance.

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SUNDAY OCTOBER 5 Mulaney (Fox, 9:30 p.m.) According to the Fox Network, the future of TV comedy wrests with John Mulaney. Best known for his occasional standup turns and previous gig writing for Saturday Night Live, the boyish Chicago comedian takes center stage in this new sitcom casting him as…a young comedian named John Mulaney! Borrowing ever-so slightly from Seinfeld, the format finds Mulaney living in New York and struggling to make it in the comedy world, which apparently begins in earnest when he lands a writing job with pompous comedy legend and game show host Lou Cannon, played by Canada’s own Martin Short, naturally. And in lieu of George, Elaine and Seinfeld, Mulaney has a platonic roommate named Jane (Nasim Pedrad) and comedian roommate Motif (Seaton Smith). It’s no Seinfeld, but Mulaney is pretty amusing.

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