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The Globe and Mail

The end of The Office and more: 7 TV shows to watch this week (May 13 to 19)

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of TV

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MONDAY MAY 13 The West Wing (CTS, 8 p.m.) Oh, for the days of idealistic TV drama. Originally broadcast from 1999 to 2006, this earnest series created by Aaron Sorkin was pretty much Hollywood’s response to George Bush in the White House. In this fictional administration, the commander-in-chief was the stouthearted American president Josiah Bartlett, played by Martin Sheen, who naturally was surrounded by like-minded Democrats all trying to do the right thing. In tonight’s original series pilot, Bartlett’s feisty chief of staff Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) gets into hot water after criticizing a Christian commentator on live television, while deputy communications director Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) gets caught with a hooker. If only U.S. politics were really this exciting.

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TUESDAY MAY 14 So You Think You Can Dance (Fox, CTV Two, 8 p.m.) Roll up the carpet and get out your dancing shoes for another edition of TV’s best talent-competition series. Back for a 10 th season, SYTYCD renews the search for America’s favourite dancer and the format remains virtually identical to seasons past. The high-energy Cat Deeley returns to host, as does the judging panel comprised of Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy, with the third chair filled each week by a celebrity judge (booked so far this season: Minnie Driver, Wayne Brady and Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Beyond that, it’s the same old concept of fresh-faced young kids showing their moves in the dance disciplines of hip hop, jazz, ballet, lyrical and even krumping! May the best hoofer win.

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WEDNESDAY MAY 15 CSI (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) Network television’s longest-running crime drama is wrapping its 13 th season with a bang. Laconic crime-lab boss D.B. Russell (Ted Danson) and his team are called in for cleanup duty following a series of grisly murders that have taken place up and down the Las Vegas strip. Their investigation brings them into contact with a wide-eyed preacher called Brother Daniel (played by guest star Eric Roberts) and requires one of the CSIs to go undercover in order to get closer to the killer. The real attraction: An acting appearance and musical performance by Ozzy Osbourne and his band Black Sabbath! (Turn down the volume).

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THURSDAY MAY 16 The Office (NBC, 8 p.m.) Thursday nights are about to get less funny. Based on a hit British sitcom created by Ricky Gervais, the NBC version of The Office finally wraps tonight following nine seasons and countless cast changes. Tonight’s long goodbye to the series runs more than two hours. The first hour is devoted to a retrospective special in which the stars, writers and producers sit around and reminisce about their favourite episodes. The final episode is slated for an hour and 15 minutes and features all the current cast gathered for a big wedding, with surprise drop-in appearances by former Dunder-Mifflin employees Kelly (Mindy Kaling), Ryan (B.J. Novak) and others. And while it’s not confirmed, don’t be surprised if Steve Carell returns briefly to his role of the addled Michael Scott.

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FRIDAY MAY 17 Shark Tank (ABC, CTV, 8 p.m.) Never underestimate the viewer appeal of needy people begging millionaires for money. The fourth season of this reality-entrepreneur search series has notched remarkable ratings and it’s a foregone conclusion that ABC will renew the show in the coming weeks. For Canadian viewers, the watch-factor stems from the presence of Dragon’s Den fixtures Kevin O’Leary and Robert Herjavec as two of the “Sharks” fielding startup business ideas from people. Tonight’s season-ender includes pitches from two women pitching their concept for military-themed jewelry and a man trying to turn the English scone into a fast-food sensation. Good luck to all.

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SATURDAY MAY 18 Kristen Schaal: Live at the Filmore (Comedy Network, 10 p.m.) How could anyone not adore Kristen Schaal? Best known for her offbeat reports on The Daily Show and her guest role on the HBO series Flight of the Conchords, the daffy comedienne acquits herself quite nicely in this standup special. Taped at San Francisco’s famed Filmore Theatre, the program features Schaal expounding on all manner of bizarre topics, ranging from doomed relationships to lazy eyes. The highlight: When Schaal is heckled by a 10-year-old girl in the audience and tells the kid to come up if she thinks she could do better. And the kid does come onstage. Schaal is daffy, but very funny.

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