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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: January 31

A select viewing guide for Thursday, January 31

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COMEDY The Big Bang Theory (CBS, CTV, 8 p.m.) Although the bloggers and entertainment press are all abuzz about this evening’s series finale of 30 Rock (NBC, Citytv, 8 p.m.), far more people will be tuned into this half-hour comedy. Still the most-watched sitcom on Canadian television, Big Bang airs a new episode that should keep the fans happy. Uber-geek Sheldon (Jim Parsons) bridles when he’s forced to work with his arch-nemesis Kripke (John Ross Bowie) on a top-secret project. In other nerd news, Howard (Simon Helberg) and Raj (Kunal Nayyar) splurge to create action figures of themselves. Hey, what else would they do with their money?

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REALITY My Teenage Wedding (Slice, 9 p.m.) Shakespeare was right: The course of true love never did run smooth. Debuting tonight, this new Canadian series focuses on teen couples intent on making the cliff dive into matrimony. In tonight’s first show, Jessica, 19, and Jorge, 18, deal with several people telling them they shouldn’t be getting hitched (even Jorge’s best man, his 13-year-old brother). In the second show, high-school sweethearts Patti and Mikel, both 19, forge ahead with their wedding plans, even after a big fistfight breaks out at his stag party. My, the kids grow up fast today, don’t they?

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REALITY Income Property (HGTV, 9 p.m.) Are you a fan of home-reno shows but slightly scared of the burly handyman Mike Holmes? Consider switching to this popular series constructed around the savvy real-estate investor and professional contractor Scott McGillivray, who resembles Tom Cruise and provides expert counsel to couples on the seemingly bountiful benefits of income property ownership. Now expanded to an hour length, the show launches its seventh season tonight by introducing viewers to the nice young couple Marli and Toby, serial renters looking to become real-estate investors. McGillivray helps the couple decide between an existing duplex and a single-family home with income potential. Did we mention he looks like Tom Cruise?

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DRAMA Elementary (CBS, Global, 10 p.m.) Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional detective never looked so good. One of the few breakout hits of the current TV season, this new series has been earning remarkable rating since its October debut, which explains why CBS has awarded it the covet timeslot following this Sunday’s Super Bowl broadcast. Give all the credit to the measured portrayal of Holmes by the fine British actor Jonny Lee Miller (he was “Sick Boy” in Trainspotting) and the unorthodox casting of Lucy Liu as his muse/addiction sponsor, Dr. Joan Watson. In tonight’s new outing, Holmes has been suspended from his usual duties with the NYPD, but naturally he can’t resist investigating a hit-and-run accident involving a high-profile conspiracy theorist.

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MOVIE The Dirty Dozen (TCM, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT) Still the penultimate guy’s movie, this 1967 war movie has actually improved with age. The story takes place midway through the Second World War with Lee Marvin perfectly cast as the gruff Major Reisman, a career soldier assigned the unenviable task of coordinating a suicide-mission attack on a French chateau occupied by top Nazi officers. Since no ordinary soldier would ever volunteer for such a mission, Reisman assembles his team from a group of condemned military prisoners, which includes the psychopath Franko (John Cassavettes), sex offender Maggott (Telly Savalas) and the mentally-unstable Pinkley (Donald Sutherland); the remaining recruits are played by Charles Bronson, Trini Lopez, Clint Walker and others. Note: Make a pot of coffee if you’re planning to watch, because this war story runs two-and-a-half hours.

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