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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: March 19

A select viewing guide for Monday March 19

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SCIENCE William Shatner’s Weird or What? History, 7 p.m. ET/PT Canada’s own William Shatner just keeps going boldly into new TV adventures. The former Star Trek captain and recent Juno Awards host supplies all the gravitas in this series that attempts to put a scientific spin on seemingly inexplicable phenomena. In tonight’s show, he recounts three stories related to the end of the world as we know it. First, Shatner profiles a physicist who believes the world will end in 2012, courtesy of a massive super-volcano located beneath Yellowstone National Park. Next, he meets a NASA scientist, who has stumbled upon an alleged alien artifact predicting that earth will be destroyed by solar storms. And finally, our boy meets a world-class scholar who explains how robots will take over the planet by the year 2050. Save us, Captain Kirk!

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REALITY Dancing with the Stars ABC, CTV Two, 8 p.m. ET; 5 p.m. PT Dance fever dominates primetime television for the next three months. Launching its 14th season tonight, the reality dance competition returns virtually unchanged from previous editions. Tom Bergeron is still host and the judging panel is still comprised of Carrie Ann Inaba, Len Goodman and Bruno Tonioli. The only variable, of course, being the celebrity contestants and the new season delivers a pretty random group of B-listers. Among the dozen star-hoofers set to trip the light fantastic: singer Gavin DeGraw, NFL star Donald Driver, actress Melissa Gilbert, mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins, soul singer Gladys Knight, tennis champ Martina Navratilova and talk host Sherri Shepherd. The underdog: Jaleel White, whom viewers over 40 will recall as “Urkel” on Family Matters. Got any cheese?

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DRAMA Alcatraz Fox, Citytv, 9 p.m. ET; 6 p.m. PT The future is not looking rosy for this midseason series from Lost creator J.J. Abrams. Although the audience was solid for the show's debut in January, ratings have steadily dropped each week to the point where many TV-industry watchers are predicting imminent cancellation. If you're late to the party, the premise follows San Francisco cop Rebecca (Sarah Jones) unraveling the mystery of former inmates of the infamous Alcatraz Island prison suddenly reappearing in present day (which would be really strange since the facility closed in 1963). Helping her out is the supersized Doc Soto (played by Lost's Jorge Garcia) and the slightly scary government operative called Hauser (Sam Neill). In tonight's new episode, the three are forced to join forces to track the music-loving serial killer Webb Porter (Rami Malek), who is back and more violent than ever before.

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DRAMA Hawaii Five-O CBS, Global, 10 p.m. ET; 7 p.m. PT Still plugging along on Monday nights, this sophomore crime drama pays homage to the seventies series it's based on in tonight's new episode. The show features a guest appearance by Ed Asner reprising his role of August March, a diamond smuggler he played in a 1975 episode of the original series. Still crusty and very cranky, the character reemerges from hiding to help out McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin) whose sister has been falsely accused of smuggling $20-million in diamonds. Footage from the original episode will be featured in tonight's show, which is pretty cool.

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MOVIE Beautiful Girls Vision, midnight ET; 9 p.m. PT Oh, for the era of nineties cinema when most feature films were about troubled young people looking for love in all the wrong places. This 1996 dramedy is set in a postcard-perfect New England town and involves a gaggle of complicated chaps a few years post-high school. Willie (Timothy Hutton) is soulful pianist-poet about to take a job as a salesman. Tommy (Matt Dillon) is the ex-jock stuck in the high school days and still chasing the prom queen. And Paul (Michael Rappaport) is a big dope. A few local ladies, played by Mira Sorvino, Uma Thurman and Lauren Holly, go in and out of their lives and everybody talks about life and feelings and the like. What feels wrong with this movie today is Hutton's character infatuation with a 13-year-old figure skater named Marty, played by a very young Natalie Portman.

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