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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: July 7 to July 13

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY JULY 7 Secrets & Lies (CBC, 9 p.m.) Who says the CBC can’t produce top-notch original TV drama? Oh, wait, this came from Australia. Airing here three months after its highly-rated run down under, the six-part crime procedural delivers a premise worthy of Hitchcock himself: Unassuming everyman Ben (Martin Henderson) stumbles upon the body of a four-year-old boy in his suburban neighbourhood. The local constabulary immediately considers him the prime suspect, which in turn corrupts Ben’s relationship with his own wife and kids. His only choice: Find the real killer.

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TUESDAY JULY 8 History Detectives (PBS, 9 p.m.) Whatever happened to Glenn Miller? The forties-era bandleader traded in his music success to entertain troops overseas during the Second World War. On Dec. 15, 1944, Miller left on a flight departing England for France but the plane vanished somewhere over the English Channel. In typically exhaustive fashion, the History Detectives forensics team look into recently discovered evidence, including an entry in an aircraft-spotter’s logbook, in hopes of finding what really happened to the man who invented the big-band sound.

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WEDNESDAY JULY 9 Extant (CBS, Global, 9 p.m.) Launched under the imprimatur of Hollywood bigshot Steven Spielberg (because nobody really cares about the other five executive producers), this summer series gives Oscar-winner Halle Berry her first major TV role since Knots Landing (on which she had six-episode guest arc in 1991). Merging elements of Gravity and TLC’s I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant, the concept casts the Oscar-winning actress in the role of astronaut Molly Woods, who returns home from her year-long solo mission in space to discover that she’s with child. Naturally, Molly’s husband John (Goran Visnjic, ex of ER) wants an explanation, as does NASA.

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THURSDAY JULY 10 Welcome to Sweden (NBC, 9 p.m.) Who’s up for laughing at foreign cultures? Booked for a short summer run, this smart sitcom – which has already aired in Sweden – revolves around an affable New Yorker named Bruce (played by Greg Poehler, who based the show on his own life experiences) who marries a lovely Swedish woman named Emma (Josephine Bornebusch) and then tags along when she decides to move back to her native Stockholm for a high-paying job. Along with the language barrier and bizarre Swedish foodstuffs, Bruce faces the challenge of winning over Emma’s oddball parents, played by Claes Mansson and Swedish film legend Lena Olin.

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FRIDAY JULY 11 Finding Carter (CTV, 9 p.m.) Are teens and tweens watching TV on Friday nights this summer? CTV is rolling the dice that young viewers will check out this MTV series that is a mix of both Felicity and Law & Order: SVU. Newcomer Kathryn Prescott assumes the titular role of Carter, a winsome teen living a seemingly perfect existence with her single mom/bestie Lori (Milena Govich). And then a random police check reveals that Lori actually abducted Carter from her real family when she was an infant. Awkward!

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SATURDAY JULY 12 Bad Teacher (CBS, 8 p.m.) Take note: One of the funniest sitcoms of the past TV season is slowly burning off episodes on the Saturday-night TV wasteland. Spinning off the 2011 movie starring Cameron Diaz, the series rides on the strength of Ari Graynor’s outrageous portrayal of Meredith, a gold-digging harridan who takes a teaching gig in order to meet the wealthy single fathers of her students. And is Meredith bad to the bone? In the first new episode, she attempts to discredit a famous vegan chef during health week; in the second, she arranges a betting pool on the school’s science fair and naturally tries to bend the rules to her advantage.

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SUNDAY JULY 13 Ray Donovan (The Movie Network, 9 p.m. ET) Welcome back, Ray Donovan. Veteran actor Liev Schreiber resumes his portrayal of the capable and shrewd Mr. Donovan, who makes his living as a “fixer” (and occasional head-breaker) for a high-end L.A. law firm representing the rich, famous and sleazy. The first season found Ray’s regular thug routine hampered by the unexpected release of his duplicitous dad Mickey (Jon Voight) from prison, but does anybody believe the old man is going to fade quietly into the background? Followed by the season-two premiere of Masters of Sex.

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