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TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: Nov. 1

A select viewing guide for Thursday, Nov. 1

1 of 5

FOOD Recipe to Riches Food Network, 7 p.m. Culinary dreams become reality in this popular Canadian series. Recently returned for a second season, the show gathers home cooks from across the country for a heated competition to have their unique recipe turned into a President’s Choice product. The rakish Jesse Palmer, formerly of The Bachelor, serves as host while the amateur chefs’ creations are judged by marketing whiz Tony Chapman, product development expert Dana McCauley and cookbook author Laura Calder. The format works because the contestants compete three at a time, as in tonight’s episode in which a returning hopeful from Cote St.-Luc, Quebec faces off against a law clerk from Etobicoke, Ontario, and a mom from Point Claire, Quebec, in the category of cookies and squares. Let the games begin.

2 of 5

COMEDY The Big Bang Theory CBS, CTV, 8 p.m. Take a bow, you lovable nerds. Now into its sixth season, The Big Bang Theory continues to be the most-watched show on Canadian television. Last month’s return episode earned a staggering 4.2 million viewers here and even rebroadcast episodes draw nearly two-million. In tonight’s new episode, the resident hottie Penny (Kaley Cuoco) enrolls in a local college class but has difficulty keeping it secret from her sometime beau Leonard (Johnny Galecki). In other news, Sheldon (Jim Parsons) panics when his collegial connection with world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking is threatened courtesy of a game of Words with Friends. A fan of the series, Hawking supplies his own voice.

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COMEDY The Office NBC, 9 p.m. The good thing about an ensemble comedy is that the concept doesn’t fall apart when someone leaves. Currently in its ninth and final season, The Office has survived the departure of Steve Carell by heightening the focus on Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), whose personal life is always in shambles and just might be the most gullible character ever created for television (in a recent episode his co-workers convinced him he was related to Michelle Obama. In tonight’s new episode, Andy tries to keep it together upon learning that his father (Jack Coleman) has squandered all the family money and his younger brother Walter (Josh Groban) has become a drunk. Meanwhile, Dwight (Rainn Wilson) is interviewed on a local radio show, which naturally leads to crank calls from his office nemesis Jim (John Krasinski).

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DRAMA Flashpoint CTV, 10 p.m. Also in its sendoff season, Flashpoint continues to crank out powerful tales of police heroism, one hour at a time. In tonight’s new outing, an intelligent young man (Sebastian Piggott) blessed with an eidetic memory is abducted by a criminal and forced to participate in a break-in at a high-tech research facility. Once inside, he’s forced to memorize the design of a new smart gun. The abductee’s only chance at coming out alive wrests with sniper Ed Lane and the Strategic Response Unit–but how can they defend themselves against a weapon they’ve never seen before?

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5 of 5

MOVIE The Truman Show AMC, 10 p.m. Widely acknowledged as Hollywood’s big miss of 1998, this offbeat comedy-drama directed by Peter Weir boasts a remarkable performance by Jim Carrey. Playing it more or less straight, Carrey fully morphs into the character of Truman Burbank, who has lived his entire life before TV cameras without knowing it. Shortly after his 30 th birthday, Truman begins to notice that some things in his pastoral hometown are amiss–such as his car radio picking up transmissions from the crew filming him–and begins to question his seemingly perfect existence. The implausible story is aided immeasurably by Laura Linney’s portrayal as Truman’s wife.

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