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The Globe and Mail

Five shows worth watching tonight: Sept. 19

Andrew Ryan's picks for Weds. Sept. 19

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FOOD Chef Michael’s Kitchen Food Network, 7 p.m. Celebrity chef Michael Smith towers over most personalities in the cooking world – and not just because he’s 6-foot-7. Since graduating from New York’s prestigious Culinary Institute of America, Chef Smith has overseen the operation of fine-dining establishments in Manhattan, London and other locations in addition to hosting a half-dozen cooking series. In this new show, he’s at home in Prince Edward Island and adding his personal twist to classic recipes. In tonight’s show, he merges the flavours of Mexico and Hungary to create Ancho Chili and Hungarian Goulash with Spatzle. And for dessert? Tropical fruit crisp with coconut-crusted ice cream.

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REALITY Survivor CBS, Global, 8 p.m. Some reality shows just keep going and going. Survivor, O one of the first reality shows to click with a mainstream viewing audience, Survivor debuts its 25 th season tonight with a new edition filmed on the Caramoan Peninsula in the Philippines. The format remains unchanged from years past, save for the return of three castaways who were removed from previous seasons due to illness or injury. The lucky three: Michael Skupin (Australian Outback), Jonathan Penner (Cook Islands) and Russell Swan (Samoa). Tonight’s opener will see the 18 contestants divided into three tribes – Kalabaw (Water Buffalo), Tandang (Rooster) and Matsing (Monkey) – to be immediately followed by the requisite challenges to determine immunity and ejection. Jeff Probst hosts.

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DRAMA Titanic: Blood and Steel CBC, 9 p.m. Anybody who’s seen the movie Titanic knows the story doesn’t have a happy ending (the boat sinks), but what about the people who made the massive passenger liner? Epic in scope, this 12-part costume drama penned by Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes has already aired in Europe (to mostly tepid reviews) and is promoted as the big-ticket event for CBC’s fall-season kickoff week. Tonight’s opener introduces the pivotal character of young American metallurgist Dr. Mark Muir (Kevin Zegers), who convinces tycoon JP Morgan (Chris Noth) to hire him to oversee the building of the proposed RMS Titanic at a Belfast shipyard. during the long months of construction, Mark becomes smitten with the lovely immigrant’s daughter Sofia (Alessandra Mastronardi), but is more concerned with preventing the shipyard’s Irish Protestant chairman from discovering the truth that he’s really an Irish Catholic.

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DRAMA CSI CTV, 10 p.m. Soon to begin its 12 th season on network television, this sturdy crime-procedural drama can attribute some of its success to spreading the storylines evenly among its talented ensemble cast. At least once a season, the show’s writers turn the spotlight on the fine character actor Robert David Hall, who has portrayed Dr. Albert Robbins since the show’s inception in 2000. In tonight’s rebroadcast episode, the crusty coroner’s wife Judy, played by Canadian actress Wendy Crewson, is the obvious suspect when the CSI team is called in to investigate a naked dead man in her bedroom. Judy’s got some ’splaining to do.

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MOVIE Blood Alley TCM, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT Happy birthday to the inimitable Lauren Bacall, who turned 88 this week and still takes on an acting role when it suits her fancy (most recently in the film The Forger). In this 1955 adventure film, she turns in a typically crisp performance as Cathy Grainger, the tough daughter of a medical missionary stationed in a remote Chinese village. In consort with the anti-Communist locals, Cathy springs the American boat captain Tom Wilder, played by John Wayne, from the local jail in the hopes he’ll pilot a leaky ferryboat with the entire village on board to freedom in Hong Kong. Ms. Bacall lends an air of class to an otherwise humdrum film.

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