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Your select viewing guide for Tuesday, June 19
REALITY: Cake Boss (TLC, 4 7 p.m.) Besides being known as the birthplace of baseball and Frank Sinatra, the city of Hoboken, New Jersey, is famous all over again courtesy of Carlo’s Bake Shop. Owned and operated by Buddy Valastro, the unassuming establishment routinely draws lineups of customers and has actually been credited with increasing tourism in New Jersey. The show’s fourth season devotes fleeting coverage of the master baker at home with his wife and new son Carlo, but the format faithfully returns to scenes of Buddy elbow-deep in flour and confectionery sugar while trying to complete last-minute orders. In tonight’s first show, he struggles with constructing a cake that is supposed to look and taste like beer. In the second episode, Buddy pours all his love into a cake for Carlo’s first birthday party, but first he has to deal with a chronically tardy employee.
HISTORY: Queen Victoria’s Empire (PBS, 8 p.m.) Airing tonight and next Tuesday, this four-hour documentary gives full credit to Queen Victoria for establishing Britain as a global superpower. Narrated by Donald Sutherland, the film employs historical records, personal accounts and dramatic reenactments to chronicle the key moments of Queen Victoria’s remarkable 64-year reign from 1834 to 1901. Tonight’s first instalment documents the former monarch’s role in the sweeping changes brought to England by the industrial revolution, which also created the problems of extreme urban migration and pollution. By the 1850s, Britain was producing and exporting roughly one-half of the world’s industrial goods, but back home the Queen was left reeling by such catastrophic events as the siege of Cawnpore. A sprawling history lesson well-told.
DRAMA: Camelot (CBC, 9 p.m.) Now that hockey is over and everything on American television is in repeats, viewers here may finally have the time for this frothy import drama first shown last September. More suitable for summer viewing, the Irish-U.S. co-production is a period-piece that puts a decidedly modern spin on the era of King Arthur, Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table. In this take, Arthur (Jamie Campbell Bower) is a young rake with an eye for the ladies; Morgan le Fay (Eva Green) is an evil seductress; and Merlin (Joseph Fiennes) is a scheming skinhead with plans for global domination. Unlike previous versions of the story, the 10-part series features spectacularly gory battle scenes and nudity abounds – so don’t let the kids watch.
(Michael Muller/Starz Original)
REALITY: World’s Worst Tenants (Spike, 10 p.m.) Buckle up for TV’s newest guilty pleasure. Launched last week, this new series follows the daily routine of “professional evictor” Todd Howard, a former Marine who makes his living removing terrible tenants from residential and commercial locations. Howard’s team includes his wife Randye and equally imposing business partner Rick, and the trio seem to derive immense personal pleasure in their work. Of course, the premise is helped immeasurably the fact that most of the evictees are wanted felons or lowlifes. Watch tonight as the team investigates claims that a man has turned his residence into a bio-hazardous zone, and then Todd and Rick walk right into the middle of a nasty lover’s spat.
MOVIE: The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down a Mountain (Vision, 9 p.m.) Remember when Hugh Grant seemed to be in every romantic comedy that came out of Hollywood? Since gone into semi-retirement, the rakish thespian is in top form in this fanciful 1995 comedy that came and went from theatres in the blink of an eye. Grant plays the British cartographer Reginald, who takes an assignment in a tiny Welsh town with his dour partner George (Ian McNeice). The town’s citizenry are naturally aghast when the pair’s survey reveals their beloved mountain is actually 15 feet shy of being classified as a mountain; officially, it’s just a hill. While the townsfolk hatch a madcap scheme to heighten the hill, Reginald begins to fall under the spell of the lovely lass Betty (Tara Fitzgerald). A trifle of a movie, but Grant is charming to watch in full fop mode.