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TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: July 19

A select viewing guide for Thursday, July 19

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FOOD: Bake with Anna Olson (Food Network, 7 p.m.) Not to be confused with Fresh with Anna Olson, this newer series features the affable celebrity chef taking viewers on a learning curve from beginner to master baker. The host’s infectious enthusiasm for the subject is made evident in tonight’s first episode, in which she receives instruction on how to make the perfect chocolate mousse.

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DOCUMENTARY: Dolphin Boy (CBC News Network, 10 p.m.) Swimming with the dolphins takes on a deeper meaning in this documentary . The program was filmed over a four-year period and profiles Morad, an Arab youth living in the north of Israel who was brutally beaten in a case of family dishonour and mistaken identity. Although Morad quickly recovered from his physical injuries, he refused to communicate and was on the verge of moving into a mental institution. His salvation came in the form of advanced dolphin therapy at the southern city of Eilat. After three months of swimming with dolphins, Morad finally began to speak to family and friends again and even found a steady girlfriend.

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DRAMA: Saving Hope (NBC, CTV, 9 p.m.) Don’t hold out too much hope for Saving Hope. Although the filmed-in-Toronto medical drama debuted to a healthy audience last month, U.S. ratings have steadily tailed off, which does not bode well for a second season. For those who missed it, the premise casts Erica Durance as the earnest young surgeon Alex, who was on her way to get married to her chief-of-surgery sweetie Charlie (Michael Shanks) when their taxi was broadsided. Charlie slipped into a coma and now his spirit roams the hallways of the hospital, where he interacts with recently expired patients, or sometimes even other coma patients. Which is what happens in tonight’s new episode when a routine surgery goes wrong and Alex’s patient – also a soon-to-be-wed woman – falls into a coma and immediately catches Charlie’s eye in the dreamy netherworld.

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REALITY: Cajun Justice (A&E, 10 p.m.) Launched last month, this unscripted series already sits among A&E’s highest-rated programs. The format follows the detectives and deputies working out of the Terrebonne Parish Sheriff’s Office in southern Louisiana. The cops are responsible for watching over more than 2,000 square miles (5,180 kilometres) of swampland, which naturally leads to some interesting confrontations with bizarre characters. In tonight’s show, Sergeant Dudley (DJ) Authement receives a call to investigate a disturbance on a shrimper trawler – which turns out to be a hostage situation – while deputy Melissa (Catfish) Quintal tries to settle a fight that has left one shrimper with a nearly severed finger.

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MOVIE: The Taking of Pelham 123 (Showcase, 10 p.m.) Directed by action veteran Tony Scott (Top Gun, Spy Game), this 2009 thriller is more violent and much louder than the 1974 film it’s based on. In this version, Denzel Washington plays the soft-spoken New York train dispatcher Walter, who is simply doing his job when informed that an armed gang has hijacked a subway car and is holding the passengers hostage. The gang’s leader, Ryder (John Travolta ), has threatened to start executing people unless he receives a $10-million ransom. As always happens in these films, the police are completely ineffectual, thereby leaving Walter to devise his own plan to save the hostages.

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