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Television

TV: Critic's picks for Jan. 11 Add to ...

SCIENCE

William Shatner's Weird or What? History, 7 p.m.

Has there ever been a more beloved - or harder-working - Canadian than William Shatner? The former Star Trek captain, who turns 80 in a few weeks, appears to enjoy himself tremendously in this series attempting to attach scientific explanations to bizarre occurrences. Tonight's episode deconstructs three strange tales: First, a woman who survives being shot in the chest claims her breast implants saved her life. Next, a man saves the life of a woman who saved his life years before. And finally, an explanation why the global cow population all faces the same direction. Set phasers on stunned disbelief.

DRAMA

NCIS: Los Angeles CBS, Global, 9 p.m.

It's not as well-made as the original series - or as well-cast or well-written - but this sophomore action drama is still holding a huge viewing audience south of the border. In tonight's new episode, the NCIS team discovers a top-secret tracking system when a body is stolen from their autopsy room. Elsewhere, special agent Callen (Chris O'Donnell) challenges co-worker Hetty (Linda Hunt) on the rock wall. Bet on Hetty.

MUSIC

Suzie LeBlanc: A Musical Quest Bravo!, 10 p.m.

First broadcast in 2007, this documentary is an affectionate profile of Acadian singer Suzie LeBlanc. The film follows the world-renowned soprano back to her New Brunswick birthplace in search of the landmarks and creative muse that make her music unique. The film also documents LeBlanc as she rehearses and performs selections from her well-received CD, Tout Passe.

INTERVIEW

Shootout AMC, 11 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. PT

There is more to AMC than Mad Men, Breaking Bad and Three Stooges reruns. Launched in 2003, this show has been named one of the best interview series on television by several media critics. The show's strength stems entirely from its two hosts: Peter Bart is a former editor of Variety, while Peter Guber is a film producer who has also run several Hollywood studios. Shootout has not filmed any new episodes in the past several months, but AMC runs two episodes back-to-back tonight. First, Canada's Mike Myers reveals the acting subtleties behind Austin Powers, followed by Sean Coombs discussing the parallels between rap and acting.

MOVIE

The Hustler AMC, 8 p.m. ET, 8 p.m. PT

There was more to the Paul Newman mystique than those incandescent blue eyes. Watch this 1961 drama with Newman playing cocky pool shark "Fast" Eddie Felson. Professional gambler Bert (George C. Scott) takes Eddie under his wing, but Eddie thinks he's better than he is. In short order, Eddie is playing in high-stakes pool games and against heavy competition - including Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason). Note: Newman was Oscar-nominated for The Hustler but lost. He finally earned his best-actor trophy when he returned as Eddie in the 1986 feature The Color of Money, directed by Martin Scorsese.

 

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