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The Globe and Mail

TV: Five shows worth watching tonight: Nov. 29

A select viewing guide for Thursday, November 29

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COMEDY Absolutely Fabulous (Vision, 8:30 p.m.) Sharp as it ever was, this saucy British sitcom originally broadcast from 1992 to 1995 and on any given night it’s still the funniest show on TV. Judge for yourself with tonight’s fourth-season outing in which the faded fashionista Edina (Jennifer Saunders) is asked to participate in a mother-daughter fashion layout to be shot in Paris. First, Edina tries book the actresses Kate Beckinsale, Live Tyler and Chloe Sevigny for the shoot; eventually she settles on her own real daughter Saffy (Julia Sawalha). The real fun begins in Paris when Edina and her drinking pal Patsy (Joanna Lumley) attempt to resurrect a tradition they used to perform once a year in the City of Lights: Flashing their breasts. Oh, behave, girls!

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COMEDY Two And a Half Men (CBS, CTV, 8:30 p.m.) Remember this show? Formerly the hottest sitcom on television, the program’s profile lowered a few notches with the departure of series regular Charlie Sheen last year and the arrival of Ashton Kutcher as his ad hoc replacement; moving from Monday to Thursday didn’t help the ratings cause either. The remarkable part is that it’s pretty much the exact same show it was during the Sheen era, except that Kutcher’s character Alan has decidedly less luck with the ladies. In tonight’s new outing, his roommate Alan (Jon Cryer) is thrown for a loop when his second ex-wife Kandi (April Bowlby), now famous and hotter than ever, shows up on the doorstep desperately seeking a reconciliation.

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DRAMA Person of Interest (CBS, Citytv, 9 p.m.) Big Brother is not only watching you. It also knows if you’re about to commit a crime. On this popular sophomore crime drama, “The Machine” is a full character. The ominous term refers to the software program developed by computer genius Finch (Michael Emerson, formerly of Lost) that identifies individuals about to perpetrate or be a victim to a monstrous criminal act. In tonight’s new episode, The Machine presents a challenge for Finch and his top gun Reese (Jim Caviezel) when it spits out the names of a husband and wife. Are they soon-to-be victims or a criminal duo?

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REALITY Panic 9-1-1 (debut; A&E, 10 p.m.) The A&E network sure knows Thursday-night audience. Following in the mode of the longrunning true-crime reality series The First 48, this new program takes viewers for ride-alongs with first-response police and paramedic teams dealing with life-and-death situations. In tonight’s opener, the cops respond to a call from a single mother threatening to use her handgun against a suspected rapist; a lone gunman running amok in a sporting-goods store; and a grandmother convinced that an intruder has broken into her house.

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MOVIE Casino (AMC, 10 p.m.) Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi make one of the best creative teams in cinema history. The director and the author collaborated on the 1990 masterpiece Goodfellas and reunited with this 1995 film based on real-life events. Robert De Niro is outstanding as the sports handicapper Sam “Ace” Rothstein, who is shipped to Las Vegas to oversee the mob-run Tangiers Casino. Sam’s childhood friend Nicky (Joe Pesci, of course) follows him to make sure the “skim” of money keeps flowing back East at any cost. The one to watch is Sharon Stone, who earned an Oscar nomination as Ginger, a gorgeous good time girl who captures Sam’s heart and nearly topples the entire setup.

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