A select guide to the best shows on Monday March 21
FOOD Fresh with Anna Olson Food Network, 7 p.m. TV chef Anna Olson is forever on the lookout for unique food experiences. Born in Atlanta and raised in Toronto, she spent several years in the banking industry before switching over to the culinary arts. Once converted, she promptly authored several best-selling cookbooks and has hosted several cooking shows, including this rather personal series wherein she home-cooks with the freshest ingredients possible, or available. And who wouldn't want to be Anna's friend? Tonight, she's off with her pals to the racetrack, but not before throwing together a picnic repast that includes her triple-chocolate brownies.
REALITY Dancing with the Stars ABC, CTV, 8 p.m. Roll up the rug for another season of TV's gaudiest dance contest. In fact it may astound you to hear that tonight's return is the 12th edition of Dancing with the Stars, which is based on a hit Brit series. As with American Idol, Survivor, The Amazing Race, there exists a sizeable slice of the viewing audience who will watch the show's return tonight, and stick with it until the end. As in seasons past, the star-hoofers have been cast to represent a freakish cross-section of American pop culture famousdom. Ergo, we have ex-boxing champ Sugar Ray Leonard, Karate Kid actor Ralph Macchio and, weirdest yet, onetime Cheers star Kirstie Alley. Also a rapper, a football player, a basketball player, a Playboy bunny and so forth. You get the idea. Break a leg, kids.
(Bob D'Amico/© 2011 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.)
REALITY Dirty Jobs Discovery, 9 p.m. If any man needs a break in his work routine, it's Mike Rowe. Over six seasons and more than 150 episodes, he's rolled up his sleeves to perform hundreds of nasty vocations that would have most people running for the door. Take your pick: Roadkill cleaner or maggot farmer. But Iron Mike never complains, so he probably deserves the break he received shooting tonight's episode. He first becomes a jelly-bean maker at the factory of U.S. candy giant Jelly Belly. Next, he goes blueberry harvesting and then bakes a lovely blueberry pie. Back to the nasty stuff next week.
(Andrew Cutraro/Andrew Cutraro)
DRAMA Hawaii Five-O CBS, Global, 10 p.m. No longer the ratings magnet it was when launched last fall, this remake of the seventies series still pulls a loyal audience each Monday night. And tonight's story looks to be a strange thing: At a sci-fi convention, a fan wearing a superhero cape is thrown out a window on the 21st floor, and this kid can't fly. The Five-O unit needs to discover why the victim was given truth serum before the big plunge. In other news, a CIA agent fills in top cop McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) on details of the Yakuza who killed his parents. A sexy lady CIA agent, hubba-hubba.
Kings Row TCM, 8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT Everyone knows that former U.S. president Ronald Reagan was once an actor, but very few people have seen any of his performances. This 1942 drama is probably his best work, with Reagan standing out in an ensemble cast. It’s a potboiler about mean-spirited people feeding off each other in a small-minded American town. Reagan is brilliant as the rich cad Drake McHugh, whose legs are unnecessarily amputated by a sadistic surgeon. “Where’s the rest of me?”
(© Courtesy Everett Collection)