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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight, Aug. 17

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MUSIC. Teachers Rock, CBS, 8 p.m. Don’t tell the kids, but it’s almost time to go back to school. To warm them up to the inevitable, try getting them to watch this new special that pays gushing homage to the U.S. educational system. In part it’s a music special taped last month with performances from the likes of Josh Groban, Dierks Bentley and Garth Brooks. More screen time is devoted to celebrities reminiscing about that special teacher that made them love learning, with taped testimonials from Meryl Streep, Usher, Jack Black, Jennifer Garner and Morgan Freeman. Viewers should also expect multiple clips from the upcoming movie Won’t Back Down, starring Viola Davis and Maggie Gyllenhaal as two determined moms trying to save their children’s rundown inner-city school.

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COMEDY. Shake It Up!: Made in Japan. Family Channel, 8 p.m. Or for those kids who want the summer to last forever, this extended version of the popular Disney Channel series Shake It Up! provides a perfectly escapist field trip. The premise involves best pals CeCe (Bella Thorne) and Rocky (Zendaya) competing in a TV dance competition and winning a trip to Japan to star in an interactive video game. Their friendship is tested when Rocky want to explore the country and the culture and CeCe wants to hang out in karaoke bars. Somehow, everything is made better with an appearance by the Blue Man Group.

Craig Sjodin

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REALITY. Pyros. Discovery, 9 p.m. Everybody loves enjoys a splashy fireworks display, but who ever thinks about the people setting them off? Launched two months back, this new series documents the daily work routine at the Montreal-based Groupe Fiatlux-Ampleman, or GFA, which specializes in staging spectacular fireworks displays all over the world. The one to watch is the GFA boss Maude Furtado, who runs the company with an iron hand. In tonight’s show, her team mounts an elaborate version of the Battle of Britain and faces technical difficulties staging a fireworks display at the foot of a waterfall. It’s not a job, it’s an adventure.

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REALITY. Say Yes to the Dress: The Big Day. TLC, 10 p.m. Dust off your best bib and tucker. Wedding season is almost behind us but there’s always room for one big bash on this still-popular series. Now in its eighth season, the format takes cameras behind the scenes at New York’s swank Kleinfeld Bridal Salon, where the best wedding frocks can run upwards of six figures. Since this is a reality program, most episodes naturally lean toward profiling problematic clientele and tonight’s special-edition episode is devoted entirely to one customer. Bride-to-be Kelly adores French elegance and wants a wedding with a Marie Antoinette theme, right down to the elaborate dress. The bad news: Kelly’s obsession has her mom and fiancé looking for the guillotine.

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MOVIE. Bugsy. AMC, 11 p.m. Film critics took considerable issue with Warren Beatty playing real-life mobster Bugsy Siegel in this 1991 biopic, but his portrayal feels more accurate upon encore viewing. Stylishly directed by Barry Levinson, the story follows Siegel’s relocation from New York to sunny Los Angeles in the early thirties. Shortly after arrival, Bugsy reconnects with his actor pal George Raft (Joe Mantegna) and falls hard for a moll named Virginia Hill (Annette Bening). In between muscling out local hoods and plotting to assassinate Benito Mussolini, Bugsy has the idea of building a hotel-casino in the middle of the Nevada desert—the first stage of the gambling mecca that would become Las Vegas. The reliable Harvey Keitel lends support as the infamous L.A. mob boss Mickey Cohen.

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