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Circus School

Bravo!, 7 p.m. First, a confession. I once fell under the spell of a daring young man on the flying trapeze as he patiently tried to teach me the most fundamental of his tricks. I get a childlike joy from the spectacle of modern circus. And my daughter studied circus arts for eight years. So, I'm not entirely objective when viewing a five-part documentary series about students at the National Circus School in Montreal. Only a few of those from around the world who audition are admitted to the prestigious program. Some soon discover that the mental and physical rigours are more than they can bear. But watching the talented young artists who persevere and relentlessly develop their skills is humbling and thrilling.



YTV, 7 p.m. On the eve of Back-to-School, this new Canada-France co-production offers a good diversion for junior high students with first day jitters. The 26-episode family series, set at a tennis academy for teens, was filmed in Quebec's Eastern Townships and features a mostly Canadian ensemble cast. 15/Love skillfully delivers tension and laughs, occasionally veering into bathos, not unlike a many a tennis match.


Father of the Pride

NBC, 9 p.m. Set in the menagerie of retired Vegas act Siegfried & Roy, this computer-animated series from the makers of Shrek was in production before Roy Horn was attacked by his tiger. John Goodman is the voice of libidinous lion Larry. Married to Kate (Cheryl Hines) and father to two cubs, Larry is constantly being needled by his father-in-law (Carl Reiner). With its double entendrs and premiere episode about mating pandas (Andy Richter guest-voices as a bashful virgin male), Father of the Pride is a slighty-naughty comedy for adults. A nine-months-per-episode production schedule means NBC has invested heavily in the show, but Pride may not make it through the fall. Early reviews from American TV critics have not been kind, so catch these feline funnies while you can.


Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

NBC, Global, 10 p.m. Your 15 minutes are up, darlings. It's time to rein yourselves in. But with an entire Dallas frat house makeover in the works and talk of taming the creepily hetero Gene Simmons, it's unlikely the Fab Five will decamp with decorum. The second season begins tonight with the boys trading in their charm for gimcrackery as they bamboozle a poor suburban shlub into a life to which he does not aspire.



NBC, Global, 8 p.m. Friends' Joey (Matt LeBlanc) moves to L.A. and does his cute but dumb shtick. Boobs of a different kind also dominate the premiere episode of this spin-off series. Joey's sister Gina (Drea de Matteo) greets him at the airport with an invitation to touch her newly enhanced chest, a feature that remains prominently on display along with the abundant cleavage of his brash agent. New York equals neurotic coffee shop habitus; Hollywood equals women flashing their large breasts. How original. Also: Immediately following Joey, it's the second season premiere of The Apprentice (see the Editor's Note on page 2 for more details).