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The Globe and Mail

Seven Days of Television: October 6 to October 13

A select viewing guide to the next seven days of television

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MONDAY OCTOBER 7 theZoomer (Vision, 9 p.m.) And the fresh new face on Vision TV this fall is… Conrad Black? The former publishing bigshot and convicted fraudster makes a seemingly unseemly move to television with this new series obviously aimed at the elder tiers of the viewing demographic. Black co-hosts with former MuchMusic and CBC exec Denise Donlon and there’s a raft of geezer-lifestyle correspondents, including consumer guy Dale Goldhawk and business expert Libby Znaimer (hey, her brother owns the joint). But most people will watch just to see how Black, never a shy man, handles the TV spotlight. Break a leg, kid.

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TUESDAY OCTOBER 8 Rick Mercer Report (CBC, 8 p.m.) Finally, a reason to stay home on Tuesday nights again. Back tonight for its 11 th season, Mercer Report comes as blessed relief amidst the usual Tuesday night lineup of reality blather and sitcom rot. Blessedly, the format hasn’t changed much since day one: Our man Rick travels coast-to-coast of this great big beautiful country with occasional stopovers in places most of us will never go to do things most of us will never do. Along the way, he always delivers one of his trademark rants on a current topic, and he’s usually bang-on. In tonight’s opener, Mercer’s risking his neck doing something called “heli-hiking” in Mount Nimbus, B.C. and riding a hog at a motorcycle rally in Port Dover, Ontario. Get yer motor running.

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WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 9 Boss (Bravo!, 10 p.m.) If you missed this smart drama the first time around, here’s your chance to watch it from the beginning. First broadcast in 2011, the original series from the U.S. Starz cable channel handed a plum role to ex-Frasier star Kelsey Grammer in the person of Chicago mayor Tom Kane, a vainglorious, cunning and altogether human political animal. In between the power struggles and corruption plotlines, the show provides an intense character study (Grammer was nominated for both People’s Choice and Golden Globe awards), which kicks off with a jolt in tonight’s series opener when we learn that the mayor has been diagnosed with rapid-onset dementia and is running the city on borrowed time. Hamilton’s own Kathleen Robertson shines as Kitty, the mayor’s savvy aide.

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THURSDAY OCTOBER 10 Doc Zone: Deadly by Design (CBC, 9 p.m.) Take a bow, Canada! Sort of. According to this new documentary, we’ve officially become the world’s third-largest producer of illegal synthetic drugs–particularly ecstasy. Easily attainable and wildly popular on the club circuit, ecstasy was responsible for more than 30 deaths in western Canada in 2011 alone. The film talks to several emergency room physicians tasked with overdoses and the cops trying to catch the dealers. Most interestingly, the cameras go underground to meet the furtive alchemists who cook up the toxic party treats much like Walter White cooked up meth on Breaking Bad. Except this is real.

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FRIDAY OCTOBER 11 The Next Step (Family Channel, 7 p.m.) The high-stepping kids are back. Recently returned for its second season, this Canadian-made series has become must-see TV for teens and tweens on Friday nights. For newcomers, the premise revolves around an elite group of young and good-looking teens comprising the “A-Troupe” of dancers at the Next Step Dance Studio. What pushes the show above the usual teen-drama fare is the fact that all the principal characters are portrayed by real and very talented dancers. In tonight’s new episode, Riley (Brittany Raymond) helps her maybe boyfriend James (Trevor Tordjman) catch up on the dance moves he missed, while Giselle, played by former So You Think You Can Dance Canada winner Jordan Clark, struggles to get back into A-Troupe.

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SATURDAY OCTOBER 12 Putin’s Road to Sochi (CBC News Network, 10 p.m.) At last check, the budget for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, have passed the $50-million US mark and is still climbing. According to this report, the city of Sochi, located on the “Russian Riviera,” is little more than a summer resort town for the country’s rich and powerful citizens. There’s a personal tour of the downtown area from Sochi mayor Anatoly Pakhomov, who talks a good game, but the viewer receives a far more ominous forecast for the games from other sources. Beyond the endless corruption and inevitable kickbacks–most traceable to Russian president Vladimir Putin–there’s the environmental carnage created by the massive construction projects to build the Olympic venues. Long before the torch is lit, the Sochi Games are a sad state of affairs.

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SUNDAY OCTOBER 13 Long Island Medium (TLC, 8 p.m.) Still ranking among TLC’s most-watched shows, this reality series works off the premise that most people really, really want to believe in the supernatural. Now in its fourth season, the premise follows the everyday existence of brassy suburban mom Theresa Caputo, who works as a professional medium in her hometown of Hicksville, N.Y., when she isn’t trying to take care of her hubby and two kids. Naturally, the two world’s collide, as in tonight’s first new episode in which Theresa helps a grieving couple talk to their dead son while simultaneously working to rid her home of mould. She’s a mad, precognitive multi-tasker!

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