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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: January 7

A select viewing guide for Monday, January 7

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REALITY The Bachelor (ABC, Citytv, 8 p.m.) Let the guilty reality-TV pleasures of winter begin! Back tonight for its 17 th season, ABC’s romantic confection reintroduces viewers to Sean Lowe, an insurance investigator and former suitor on The Bachelorette. Since being dumped in the late rounds by Emily Maynard on that program, Sean has been hitting the gym and tanning bed in preparation for this series that puts him in the love-connection driver’s seat. In tonight’s opener, he meets the 25 twentysomething women vying for his affections. The single ladies include personal organizer Ashlee, bridal stylist Desiree, cruise ship entertainer Kelly, yoga instructor Katie and “fit model” Amanda. Before the show’s over, five will be sent packing.

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REALITY Antiques Roadshow (PBS, 8 p.m.) Also kicking off its 17 th season, albeit to a fantastically different viewing demographic, the venerable Roadshow team rolls into Corpus Christi, Texas, where the antique experts naturally shock average people with their appraisals. The big score is an oil painting by Mexican artist Diego Rivera–painted when he was just 18 years old–valued at a cool $1-million U.S. The appraisers also deliver good news to the owner of a Japanese bronze sculpture and a man with a rare painting by American sculptor Alexander Calder. Mark Walberg hosts.

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HISTORY Air Aces (History, 9 p.m.) Off we go into the wild blue yonder, again. Debuting tonight, this new series focuses on heroic airborne combat missions and the foolhardy men who flew them. The program merges rare archival footage and computer-reenactments of the aerial battles along with interviews with surviving pilots and military historians. Tonight’s opener profiles Canadian-born pilot George Beurling, widely acknowledged as one of the most accomplished fighter pilots of the Second World War. During the infamous Siege of Malta, Beurling gunned down 27 Axis planes in 14 days.

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DRAMA Deception (NBC, Global, 10 p.m.) Suddenly the serialized TV whodunit is back in vogue. In the vein of ABC’s Revenge and NBC’s Revolution, this new series debuts tonight with a lurid murder-case storyline designed to run all season (or at least six episodes). The story casts newcomer Meagan Good as Joanna, a San Francisco cop who takes it very personally when her longtime friend Vivian is found dead, allegedly from natural causes. Going undercover, Joanna infiltrates the victim’s well-heeled family in order to determine who wanted the party girl dead, and why. Veteran TV fixture John Larroquette (Night Court) guest-stars as a U.S. senator with a dodgy past.

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MOVIE Brannigan (Vision, midnight) According to most accounts, the late John Wayne deeply regretted turning down the lead role in the 1971 feature Dirty Harry (which of course went to Clint Eastwood), so he spent the rest of his days trying to make amends. In this odd 1975 crime drama, the big guy is cast as Jim Brannigan, a tough cop sent to London to bring back the nasty Chicago gangster Larkin, played by Canada’s own John Vernon. The London police chief Swann (Richard Attenborough) assigns a lady-cop handler to Brannigan, but all plans go out the window when the American mobster is kidnapped by a British mobster. Mostly, the film is an excuse for The Duke to run around London shooting people with Big Ben and the Thames River featured in nearly every shot.

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