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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: March 8

A select viewing guide for Friday, March 8

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ANCE The Next Step (Family Channel, 7 p.m.) The world of competitive dance takes the spotlight in this sharp new Canadian series. Filmed in Toronto, the show employs a unique reality-TV format to tell the serialized story of an elite group fighting for a coveted spot in the “A-Troupe” of dancers at The Next Step Dance Studio. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the series is that not only are the kids real dancers, they’re also terrific actors. Principal characters include the cocky bad girl Emily (Alexandra Beaton), naïve new arrival Michelle (Victoria Baldesarra) and the affable breakdancer James (Trevor Tordjman), whose foundering school grades are threatening to derail his dance dreams. Stick around for The Next Step Aftershow, which will feature interviews with the talented young cast and even include some cool dancing tips (note to parents: be sure to warm up first).

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REALITY Fashion Star (NBC, CTV Two, 8 p.m.) The next great frock is just out there waiting to be discovered. Back tonight for a second season, this show provides a showcase for rookie fashionistas to flaunt their fabulous designs. The designs are paraded before a judging panel comprised of designer John Varvatos, former Paris Hilton BFF Nicole Richie and the sort of fashionable Jessica Simpson. Last year’s host, model Elle Macpherson, has been replaced by Glamour magazine editor Louise Roe. And in this frantic fashion setup, the gratification comes quickly: Each episode concludes with the designs receiving offers from major retailers including Macy’s, H&M and Saks Fifth Avenue.

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REALITY Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta (TLC, 9 p.m.) You simply can’t have a storybook wedding without the perfect dress. Back tonight for its fifth season, this lively series documents the daily work routine at Atlanta’s Bridals by Lori–the largest bridal salon in America!–where the frocks are fabulous and price is rarely an issue. Since this is a reality series, most episodes naturally lean toward profiling the store’s more problematic clientele. Tonight’s season opener focuses on the efforts of ABC News reporter Linsey Davis to find the perfect gown for her upcoming nuptials. The problem: Half her bridesmaids want her to look like Beyonce, while the other half think she should go for a Grace Jones punkish gown.

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DRAMA Blue Bloods (CBS, CTV, 10 p.m.) Still holding up in Friday-night ratings, this New York-based crime drama earns points for actually filming in the Big Apple (unlike, say, NYPD Blue, which filmed primarily on L.A. soundstages). In tonight’s new show, dour detective Danny Reagan (Donnie Wahlberg) attempts to track down a pair of young bank robbers styling themselves after the infamous Bonnie and Clyde. Meanwhile, Danny’s father Frank (Tom Selleck) is having difficulty reconciling his duties as police commissioner with his burgeoning relationship with a young lady from the ACLU (that’s the American Civil Liberties Union to those of you who didn’t grow up in the sixties).

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MOVIE The Brothers Grimm (Space, 9 p.m.) Directed by Terry Gilliam (Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) puts an audacious spin on the fairy-tale storytelling genre. Set in a dark and unpleasant Germany in the early 19 th century, the story casts Matt Damon and the late Heath Ledger as the feuding brothers Will and Jake Grimm, who make their living going from village to village to destroy supernatural beasts that have been terrorizing the citizens. When one town catches on to their ruse, they force the Grimms to deal with a frighteningly real creature that has been stealing young girls at an alarming rate. Take note: Some scenes are far too frightful for younger viewers.

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