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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: June 16 to June 23

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY JUNE 17 Honey Do (TLC, 10 p.m.) Don’t you just hate it when your significant other keeps putting off repair jobs around the house? Apparently this is a burning issue south of the border, thereby explaining the arrival of this new series wherein beleaguered housewives send out distress calls to four skilled contractors for help in finishing home-improvement projects. The fact that the four dudes look like Chippendale’s dancers likely speaks to current research confirming that TLC has a high female viewership. And whether intentional or not, there’s inherent dramatic tension to the concept. Watch the fireworks in tonight’s opener when a woman named Veronica finally gives up nagging her husband Michael to repair the fixtures in their home. Michael plays helpless but quickly changes his tune once the hunky handymen show up with tools in tow.

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TUESDAY JUNE 18 American Experience (PBS, 8 p.m.) They sure don’t make tycoons like John D. Rockefeller anymore. Best known as the founder of Standard Oil, the former bookkeeper rose from humble roots to become the world’s first billionaire. At his financial peak in the late 1800s, Rockefeller owned 90 per cent of the world’s oil refineries and more than a third of all the oil wells on the planet. As shown in this profile, Rockefeller was a methodical businessman who built his fortune by working off the radar and in the process he changed the face of American industry. Although his only son John Jr. spent his life attempting to redeem the family name, he couldn’t erase the memory of the old man’s business practices.

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WEDNESDAY JUNE 19 Masterchef (Fox, CTV, 8 p.m.) Still ranking high in network ratings, this series in which belligerent Brit Gordon Ramsay lambastes amateur chefs who dare to step into his kitchen remains the fastest two hours in network television. Returned last month for its fourth season, the show is infinitely more civilized than Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen or Kitchen Nightmares, primarily because the mad chef is sharing the judging duties with restaurateur Joe Bastianich and Chicago chef Graham Elliot. Now the group of cooking contestants has been whittled down to 14 and tonight’s episode challenges them to prepare perfect pasta. Adding to the pressure is decision to have their dishes judged by Joe’s mom, legendary TV chef Lidia Bastianich. In the same show, the chefs visit are instructed to prepare a meal for the entire cast of Glee. Just wait until Sue Sylvester (Jane Lynch) tucks into that vegetarian lasagna!

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THURSDAY JUNE 20 Boston’s Finest (Bravo!, 9 p.m.) Treat yourself to this smart new documentary series. Executive-produced by Boston-born Donnie Wahlberg (who plays a New York cop on the series Blue Bloods), the show documents the daily work routine of the Boston Police Department, which fell under the spotlight recently with its successful tracking and arrest of the second suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy. More documentary than reality series, the premise deftly shifts focus between hard-hitting police matters and the personal lives of the men and women in uniform. Case in point: In tonight’s new episode, the head of the department’s drug-control unit orchestrates a massive raid on several suspected dealers; at the same time, the patrol officer Jenn Penton decides to try speed-dating!

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FRIDAY JUNE 21 Anderson Cooper Special Report: The Madman in My Life (CNN, 10 p.m.) Now that Anderson Live has been cancelled, CNN’s highest-profile news anchor likely has more time to devote to his ongoing series of special reports devoted to unique topics. As the title suggests, tonight’s new special features the Cooper conducting interviews with the family members of some very, very bad men. Included in the group is the brother of Ted Kaczynski, aka “The Unabomber”; the widow of suicide pilot Joe Stack; the father of cannibal serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer and–the big exclusive–the daughter and brothers of Ariel Castro, recently charged with the kidnapping and containment of three young women in Cleveland.

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SATURDAY JUNE 22 Don’t Drive Here (Discovery, 8 p.m.) Did Andrew Younghusband not learn anything from hosting eight seasons of Canada’s Worst Driver? Whether brave or foolhardy, Younghusband is on the road again in this new series that takes him all over the world to locations known for vehicular chaos. The big difference this time is that Younghusband is getting behind the wheel himself in order to obtain that white-knuckle driving experience in foreign countries where reading traffic signs is regarded as a formality. In the opener, Younghusband ventures to New Delhi for a tutorial on navigating congested streets from the city’s best cabbie. Scarier yet, he agrees to get behind the wheel of a rundown delivery truck on India’s most dangerous highway, where drivers routinely drive on the wrong side of the road. Upcoming episodes take him to Bangkok, Thailand, Manila and Mexico City.

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SUNDAY JUNE 23 Whodunnit? (ABC, Citytv, 9 p.m.) New show! Hailing from CSI franchise creator Anthony Zuiker, this new unscripted series is sort of the TV equivalent of the classic board game Clue. The format brings 13 strangers to an ominous estate called Rue Manor, where a creepy butler named Biles welcomes them for a month-long stay. Before they can settle in, the guests are thrown into a game of intrigue when they make a grisly discovery: One of their own has been murdered and is lying in a pool of water with electric current running through the corpse (note: nobody was really killed in the making of the series). How did it happen? Over the next eight episodes, the remaining dozen use deductive reasoning and forensic evidence to unravel the murder and the contestant who successfully identifies the killer takes home the $250,000 grand prize. You just know it was Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick.

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