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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: February 3 to February 9

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY FEBRUARY 3 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful (NBC, 9 p.m.) Only in America could the simple concept of females in swimsuits inspire a two-hour TV event. This glitzy special commemorates the annual midwinter tradition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition. Hosted by former SI model Heidi Klum, the program talks to other women who have held the honour, including Kathy Ireland, Marisa Miller, Kate Upton and Christie Brinkley, who still looks freakishly the same even though she’s 60. Also thrown in are performances by Enrique Iglesias, John Legend and others. Take your cheap thrills where you find them this winter.

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TUESDAY FEBRUARY 4 American Experience: The Amish Shunned (PBS, 9 p.m.) Imagine if you were suddenly cut off completely from your family and your faith? This new documentary profiles seven individuals who have close to leave behind the Amish communities that raised them from birth. Literally shunned by their own family members, the seven face a near-overwhelming series of obstacles, including the necessities of obtaining a social security guard and finding employment. And most of these people have never even heard of a smart phone.

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WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 5 Raising an Olympian (NBC, 8 p.m.) Three guesses as to which U.S. network has broadcast rights to the Winter Olympics. Sponsored by a soap company, this new documentary profiles seven all-American moms whose kids are going to compete for gold at the Sochi Winter Games. Expect countless pics and videos of kid athletes and story after story about parents getting up at some ungodly hour to drive their child to the rink. All together now: USA! USA!

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THURSDAY FEBRUARY 6 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (TCM, 8 p.m.) Based on the play by Edward Albee and directed by Mike Nichols, this 1966 film shocked moviegoers. Very few were prepared for the harsh language between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, a real-life married couple at the time. In the setup, he’s George, an alcoholic college professor, and she’s Martha, his long-suffering and insufferable wife. One evening, George invites junior professor professor Nick (George Segal) and his mousy wife Honey (Sandy Dennis) over. As the drinks flow, the nasty verbal exchanges between George and Martha reach a boiling point.

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FRIDAY FEBRUARY 7 XXII Winter Olympics Opening Ceremony (NBC, CBC, 8 p.m.) Let the viewing marathon begin. The Sochi Winter Games kick off tonight with the traditional opening ceremony. In keeping with standard Olympic-level secrecy, few details have been announced about the opening ceremony, save for the fact it will take place in the newly-constructed Fisht Olympic Stadium, which holds 40,000 people. Also, expect the stage participation of conductor Valery Gergieve and viola player Yuri Bashmet. Otherwise, it’s three hours of international athletes in snowsuits waving flags (and since it’s usually alphabetical, the Canadian squad should show up early).

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SATURDAY FEBRUARY 8 Untold Stories of the ER: Sex Edition (TLC, 10 p.m.) Not to be confused with Sex Sent Me to The ER (also on TLC), this new series reenacts supposedly real-life events in which people were getting busy one moment and then being wheeled into emergency on a gurney the next. Ergo, we have wild and woolly reenactments of that time when that man got his whoozis caught in the whatsis and that woman could stop having you-knows. Followed by Sex Sent Me to the ER, of course.

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SUNDAY FEBRUARY 9 The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.) Welcome back to primetime’s best drama with zombies. Back for the second half of its fourth season, TWD is appointment viewing and left off last fall on a particularly disastrous note: Good ol’ boy survivalist Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and company were left scrambling after a fatal, final attack by the Governor (David Morrisey), which left Hershel (Scott Wilson) missing a head, the Governor dead and the once-safe prison literally overrun with walkers. And the most horrific question: Where is Rick’s infant daughter Judith (aka Little Ass Kicker).

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