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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: July 12

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COMEDY The Big Bang Theory CBS, CTV, 8 p.m. ET/PT Canada is still wild about the lovable nerds of Big Bang. The show’s fourth-season finale several weeks ago pulled in more than four-million viewers for CTV – the type of audience normally reserved for an Olympic gold-medal hockey game in this country. Even in reruns, Big Bang remains a ratings magnet in the U.S., which likely explains why CBS is airing rebroadcast episodes back-to-back all summer. In tonight’s first show, Leonard (Johnny Galecki) has his head turned by an attractive comic book artist while Sheldon (Jim Parsons) tries to scare the guys for Halloween. In the second show, Sheldon has yet another showdown with his mortal enemy Wil Wheaton at a house party. Bazinga!

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REALITY Big Brother CBS, Global, 9 p.m. ET/PT Back tonight for its 14 th season, this series received advance publicity when CBS attempted to file a lawsuit against ABC for launching the copycat series Glass House (the lawsuit was thrown out). As before, the concept features 12 complete strangers sharing a house outfitted with cameras and microphones recording their every move. One gets voted off each week and the last one standing collects $500,000 (U.S.). In a slight format tweak, the house will also open its doors to four previous Big Brother players, to be named in tonight’s opener, who will compete for a separate prize. Once again, the core group will run the gamut of American life – a goth girl, a chef, a trucker, a waitress and so forth. And if you’re really into the series, you can watch them 24 hours a day on the show’s website.

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REALITY Fast N’ Loud Discovery, 10 p.m. ET; 9 p.m. PT Before you think about junking that old clunker in your garage, watch this program. Debuting tonight for a six-week run, the show follows the daily routine of Texas good ol’ boys Richard Rawlings and Aaron Kaufman, who specialize in turning old cars into sleek racing machines that fetch big bucks at collector auctions. Half the battle is finding the perfect heap, which in tonight’s opener takes them to a small town in Missouri to scope a rust-free 1931 Model A. Their plan is to restore the car and sell it at a Texas swap meet, but they soon hit a major speed bump: The car hasn’t been driven in a half-century and the restoration is going to cost a lot more than planned.

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DOCUMENTARY The Real Rocky TSN, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT This ESPN documentary examines the life and times of Chuck Wepner, who went from pug status to international fame after his 1975 title fight with Muhammad Ali in which the challenger took a vicious beating, remaining true to his nickname of “The Bayonne Bleeder.” One of the people watching the fight was Sylvester Stallone, who was inspired to write the script for the 1976 hit film Rocky. The documentary chronicles Wepner’s abrupt fall from grace following the Ali bout (at one point he actually wrestled a bear) and his legal battle with Stallone for a slice of the Rocky franchise money.

Travis Clancy

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MOVIE Oscar Wilde TCM, 11:15 p.m. ET; 8:15 p.m. PT Stark and understated, this 1960 British film paints a colourful, if slightly idealized, portrait of the famous Irish writer and poet Oscar Wilde. Veteran character player Robert Morley assumes the role with a minimum of flamboyance and deftly captures Wilde’s trademark wit. The film’s central set piece is the extended scene re-enacting Wilde’s trial for gross indecency, during which the accused takes great delight in frustrating the Crown and prosecutor Edward Carson (Ralph Richardson) with his witty wordplay. No less wonderful is the late John Neville as Wilde’s trusted confidant Sir Alfred Douglas.

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