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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: March 24 to March 30

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY MARCH 24 MasterChef Canada (CTV, 8 p.m.) Are you hooked on Canadian TV’s most-watched new reality show? Since launching several weeks back, this rookie show has gained a respectable viewing audience and most viewers have settled on a favourite amateur chef in the madcap cooking competition. Last week saw the departure of Carly, which was more or less a merciful ejection. In tonight’s new outing, the remaining chefs are forced to compete in a team challenge that takes place at Toronto City Hall (and in no way involves Toronto mayor Rob Ford).

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TUESDAY MARCH 25 Rick Mercer Report (CBC, 8 p.m.) In the best Canadian television tradition, Rick Mercer just gets more likeable with each new season of this lively travelogue series. And just like Tommy Hunter or Wayne Rostad before him, Mercer’s undeniable appeal still stems from the fact that he’s simply the kind of guy you’d like to hang out with. Tonight, he’s in Lethbridge, Alberta, with a handful of Canadian athletes training for this summer’s Commonwealth Games. Careful, fella.

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WEDNESDAY MARCH 26 Recipe to Riches (CBC, 8 p.m.) Welcome to the great Canadian dream of having your own personalized product at the grocery store. Helmed by the reliable Carlo Rota, this series has at least provided viewers with an alternative to American Idol and like-minded reality fare on Wednesday nights. And instead of slyly sneaking in the product placement through the back door, the entire show is one big commercial for a particular grocery-store chain. Tonight, an architect, a market-savvy mom and an amateur athlete attempt to whip up consumer-ready versions of their savoury snack recipes.

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THURSDAY MARCH 27 Surviving Jack (Fox, 9:30 p.m.; CTV, 8 p.m.) Here’s this season’s sleeper hit: Debuting tonight, this new show drops former Law & Order: SVU mainstay Christopher Meloni into a sitcom setting. The premise takes place in mid-nineties Southern California, with Meloni well-cast as Jack Dunlevy, a tough ex-military medic bumped up to full-time parenting duties when his wife Joanne (Rachael Harris) decides to go to law school. The only people unhappy with the setup: Jack and Rachael’s teen daughters (Connor Buckley, Claudia Lee).

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FRIDAY MARCH 28 Piers Morgan Live (CNN, 9 p.m.) Fare thee well, Piers Morgan. The prickly Brit newsman ends his run on CNN’s highest-profile timeslot tonight following a three-year run and plenty of ruffled feathers. No word on his final guest, but we’re pretty sure it’s not going to be Madonna (Morgan famously banned the pop icon from ever appearing on the show). And now that PML is over, it’s fair to ask why CNN pulled the plug. Was it Morgan’s insufferable broadcast style or the fact that he normally took three minutes to ask a question? Or was it, as Morgan himself has suggested, that American viewers were “tired of hearing me bang on about gun control.”

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SATURDAY MARCH 29 Captain America: The First Avenger (Showcase, 10 p.m.) A perfect popcorn movie pick for a slow Saturday night, this 2011 actioner sets up the story for the upcoming blockbuster Captain America: The Winter Soldier (opening May 6). The first film in the franchise takes place in the middle of World War II and stars Chris Evans as a scrawny U.S. recruit Steve Rogers, who volunteers to take part in an experimental military program to turn average guys into super soldiers. The experiment works, and then some, and pretty soon he’s Captain America, a red-white-and-blue superhero whose primary job is to sell war bonds to Americans. Captain America finally leans into the war effort with the arrival of a psychotic villain named The Red Skull (Hugo Weaving).

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SUNDAY MARCH 30 The Walking Dead (AMC, 9 p.m.) That’s a wrap for TV’s most-watched zombie drama. Season four of The Walking dead grinds to a halt tonight and likely won’t be returning until the fall. The past campaign has been a cleanup campaign for the human survivors that were left scrambling after their prison fortress was destroyed in the season-three closer. To whit: Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) were reunited in the Georgian wilderness with the sword-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira); Daryl (Norman Reedus) was making his way through the woods with Beth (Emily Kinney) until they were split apart by zombies and he joined up with a biker group; and while Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is searching the woods for Glenn (Steven Yeun), Glenn was searching for Maggie. The story takes a turn tonight with some of the survivors finally arriving at the alleged sanctuary known as “Terminus.” Nowhere is safe.

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