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A select viewing guide for Monday, Nov. 5
HISTORY: Antiques Roadshow (PBS, 8 p.m.) TV’s original reality series remains appointment viewing for thinking viewers on Monday nights. Launched in 1997, the PBS version is based on a popular BBC series that began in 1979 and still runs to this day. In tonight’s new episode, the Roadshow crew takes a whirlwind tour through El Paso, Atlanta and Minneapolis to attach a dollar value to dusty old items people have hauled out of storage for expert appraisal. The highlights: Tiffany diamonds nearly a century old, a rare signature from Dr. Seuss’s alter ego Theodore Geisel and a Missouri regiment Colt pistol estimated to be worth more than $22,000. Mark Walberg hosts.
COMEDY: Partners (CBS, Citytv, 8:30 p.m.) There are no sure things in gambling or the sitcom racket. Although this new comedy launched with the imprimatur of former Will & Grace creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick–on whose lives the lead characters are supposedly based–the show has not set the ratings world on fire, which does not bode well for an extended primetime run. The setup focuses on the really straight architect Joe (David Krumholtz, formerly of Numbers) and his wildly gay best pal and co-worker Louis (Michael Urie, ex of Ugly Betty). The premise and writing are fine, but the show often tries a bit too hard for sentimental moments to underscore the pair’s friendship, as in tonight’s new episode in which Louis offers her grandmother’s ring to Joe so he can propose to his girlfriend. Watch it while you can.
DRAMA: The Mob Doctor: (Fox, 9 p.m.) Also worth a look before its inevitable cancellation, this rookie series merges the TV realms of medical drama and crime drama. The likeable Jordana Spiro assumes the role of Dr. Grace Devlin, a talented surgeon indebted to the mob courtesy of a massive debt incurred by her brother. Thereafter the mob boss Constantine (William Forsythe) occasionally reaches out with requests, which naturally breaches her code of medical ethics. In tonight’s new show, Dr. Devlin is trying to find a heart-transplant donor for a critically-ill woman when the wiseguy comes up with a solution: Why not whack the patient’s estranged and imprisoned father and take his heart?
DRAMA: Castle (ABC, CTV, 10 p.m.) Still the most-watched U.S. network show on Monday night, this low-key crime drama is driven by the performance of two solid Canadian actors. Edmonton-born Nathan Fillion stars as the rakish author-sleuth Richard Castle, while Hamilton native Stana Katic plays his NYPD handler (and now official romantic interest) Detective Kate Beckett. Now in its fifth season, the show is hugely popular among viewers who like a straightforward mystery story in an offbeat setting. Tonight’s new outing is a case in point, with Castle and Beckett investigating a murder at a sci-fi convention, which naturally means all the suspects in the case are costumed nerds. Watch for a guest turn by veteran character player Armin Shimerman, better known as Quark from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
MOVIE: The Great Gatsby: (TCM, 10:15 p.m. ET; 7:15 p.m. PT) Released to scathing reviews in 1974, the third film version of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel was not a box-office success but it’s gorgeous on all counts. Set in the early twenties, the film casts a painfully handsome Robert Redford as the mysterious Jay Gatsby, a filthy-rich tycoon who never attends the epic parties he throws at his Long Island estate. Gatsby makes the acquaintance of the idealistic naïf Nick Carraway (Sam Waterston) and confides that he’s long been in love with Nick’s flighty cousin Daisy (Mia Farrow). The bad news is that Daisy is married to the philandering brute Tom (Bruce Dern). Tossed into the mix is Tom’s slattern mistress Myrtle (Karen Black) and the conniving golf pro Jordan (Lois Chiles) vying for Nick’s affections. Note: The fourth version of the story, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, opens in theatres next spring.