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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: July 4

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REALITY Dogs in the City CBS, Global, 8 p.m. Bank on this series becoming a summer-TV perennial, if not part of CBS’s regular-season lineup. Since launching last month, the show has pulled healthy ratings, even opposite the Fox powerhouse So You Think You Can Dance. More to the point, the show’s star, Manhattan “dog guru” Justin Silver, is a good-looking dude with multiple tattoos, which can’t hurt his chances for primetime longevity. In tonight’s show, he takes a counselling session with the special-needs dog of workout king Russell Simmons’s executive assistant, Simone, who recently lost her eyesight. At the same time, Silver shows a family how their lack of discipline for their two bloodhounds has created petulant pooches, and provides some tough-love lessons for the owner of four rambunctious rescue dogs.

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MOVIE Independence Day CTV Two, AMC, 8 p.m. Now here’s how you celebrate America’s birthday: One of the highest-grossing films of 1996, this sci-fi thriller revisits an alien-invasion scenario that has sustained Hollywood since the fifties. In this version, massive alien spacecraft quietly enter Earth’s orbit and are soon hovering over cities around the world. At the behest of the U.S. President (Bill Pullman), an olive branch is proffered and immediately zapped by a death ray. Pretty soon it’s earth versus the flying saucers and our only saviours are a cocky fighter pilot (Will Smith) and a brainy satellite technician (Jeff Goldblum) tracking the alien radio transmissions. Wildly implausible and seriously jingoistic – America saves the world again! – but still a pretty decent thriller.

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REALITY School Spirits Space, 9 p.m. Anybody who believes poltergeist sightings are restricted to creepy old houses and former insane asylums has seen too many old movies. Debuting tonight, this new series from the U.S. Syfy cable channel investigates claims of paranormal activity taking place at educational institutions all over the U.S. Merging dramatic re-enactment with supposed eyewitness accounts, the show attempts to prove or debunk the paranormal claim without prejudice. Tonight’s opener takes viewers to a University of Michigan sorority house where the residents swear they’ve communicated with a shadowy figure claiming to be a man named Joseph Jacob Walser. The sisters go from skittish to freaked out when informed that a man with that name lived in the same house more than a century ago.

Syfy/Barbara Nitke/Syfy

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REALITY The Real World MTV, 10 p.m. Hey, remember this show? Lost in the shuffle among more recent MTV fare like Jersey Shore and Teen Mom, the original reality concept is still going strong, forcing several young strangers to co-habitate for several months in a strange city. The show recently returned for its 27 th (!) season, this time in the idyllic settling of the island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you missed last week’s premiere, the housemates sharing space in a posh beachside villa include LaToya, Marie, Trey, Walter and two Brandons, one cool, one not so cool. And the tropical paradise seems to be moving things along at an accelerated pace in tonight’s second episode, in which Robb and Marie continue to flirt, Laura and Trey are already smooching, and the roommates are trying to learn to accept the uncool Brandon.

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