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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: February 28

A select viewing guide for Thursday, February 28

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REALITY Income Property (HGTV, 7 p.m.) Recently bumped up to hour length, this Canadian-made series ranks among HGTV’s highest-rated programs and you can bet the ladies are watching it because the show is framed entirely around savvy real-estate investor and professional contractor Scott McGivillvray, a fetching lad who provides invaluable expertise to greedy people looking to convert vacant space in their domiciles into rentable properties. Tonight he’s fully committed to some dude named Peter, the recent purchased of a pricey renovated Victorian home. Peter bought the place with the goal of renting the basement, currently in dismal state, but he travels so much with his job and keeps taking up new hobbies and yada yada. And that’s when brawny Scott strips down to his T-shirt and starts ripping out insulation and knocking down walls. Sigh.

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DRAMA The West Wing (CTS, 8 p.m.) Before Barack Obama, there was Martin Sheen’s tiny perfect president Jed Bartlet. Originally broadcast from 1999 to 2006, this fictional White House drama from the fertile mind of Aaron Sorkin cast Sheen as the fantastically idealistic commander-in-chief, whose staff was comprised of like-minded Democrats all trying to do the right thing. Tonight’s rebroadcast episode aired in the show’s sixth season and finds old Jed at odds with his Democratic heir apparent Matt Santos, played by Jimmy Smits, who seems to be getting awful chummy with the Republicans for some reason. If the Santos character rings familiar, it’s likely because Sorkin based the character on the then-Senator for Illinois, Barack Obama.

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DOCUMENTARY Doc Zone: The Boomer Revolution (CBC, 9 p.m.) Are you old enough to remember The Summer of Love? If so, you’re likely what is known as a “baby boomer,” and it might tickle your sweet bippy (that’s how people talked back in 1967) to realize that boomers constitute 30 per cent of the Canadian population. That’s more than 10-million people in their fabulous fifties and only slightly slowed-down sixties. This documentary features a dizzying array of boomers having fun and being active, much unlike the boomers you probably know, who never want to leave the house or even get off the La-Z-Boy. Either way, golden years ahead.

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DRAMA Law & Order: SVU (NBC, CTV, 10 p.m.) Ever wonder why SVU is the last show standing in the once-almighty L&0 empire? Quite likely because unlike the overdone original series and overwrought Criminal Intent, franchise creator Dick Wolf keeps the stories brisk and ugly New York stories a-coming. Tonight’s episode opens with the arrest of a rape victim accused of killing her ex-boyfriend and a hanging judge (Jane Kaczmarek) looking to extend no mercy. At the same time, sexy but tough detective Benson (Mariska Hargitay) arrests someone else for the same crime, which somehow results in two simultaneous trials for the same murder. And you wonder why taxes are so high in the Big Apple?

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MOVIE The Producers (TCM, 10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT) Mel Brooks made his name with this movie. The raucous 1968 comedy was written and directed by Brooks, who was sharp enough to cast stage veteran Zero Mostel as the sleazy theatrical producer Max Bialystock, reduced to wearing a cardboard belt and sleeping with nasty old ladies to raise funds for his next big production. Max’s new accountant Leo (Gene Wilder) explains how a Broadway flop can actually make more money than a hit, which naturally prompts Max to mount the most atrocious musical in stage history: Springtime for Hitler, penned by an unrepentant Nazi (Kenneth Mars) and directed by a brittle British crossdresser (Christopher Hewitt). Forget the overblown stage version and limp 2005 movie remake. This is the real deal.

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