The Mentalist If your evening viewing isn't already dedicated to all those premieres stacked up in the PVR, check out this promising new series with Simon Baker as a discredited psychic turned crime solver. CTV, Ch. 3, 8 p.m.
Swingtown Whoo hoo! The swingin' '70s live on in reruns, even though the partner-swapping-in-suburbia series just wrapped up two weeks ago. Global, Ch. 78, 8 p.m.
Time and Place The fishy tale of the sockeye of Adams River near Chase, B.C. Animal Planet, Ch. 134, 9 p.m.
The Hour It's the best of the week with Spike Lee--'cause he doesn't have anything controversial to say, right? CBC, Ch. 6, 11 p.m.
Sat Sept 27
Making it Home: Greensburg In tonight's final episode, Doug Wilson and Faber Dewar say goodbye to the families rebuilding their homes after the town was hit by a cataclysmic tornado. TLC, Ch. 24, 5 p.m.
Heroes Rerun alert! This week's two-hour season premiere gets another shot to recapture viewers who have lost interest since the show went on hiatus in 2007. Global, Ch. 7, 8 p.m.
Autopsy: Life And Death The morgue segment of CSI, but with real cadavers and way more explanation. Discovery Health, Ch. 123, 11 p.m.
Sun Sept 28
That's My Time What to do after being diagnosed with terminal cancer? One year after his bad news, standup comedian Irwin Barker hits the road on a cross-Canada tour. Bravo!, Ch. 36, 6 p.m.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Dang it all, here I am all out of tissues and the two-hour premiere features a single mom raising her dead sister's 10 children, in addition to her own four kids. E!, Ch. 18, and ABC, Ch. 5, 8 p.m.
The Next Star The nation's latest reality star is crowned in tonight's live finale as the contestants perform at Canada's Wonderland. YTV, Ch. 20, 8 p.m.
The Simpsons You know you want it... and the rest of the animated gang (King of the Hill, Family Guy and American Dad) that goes along with it. Global, Ch. 7, and Fox, Ch. 22, 9 p.m.
The Unit What better way to launch the season than with a good old plot to assassinate the president and, to keep things spicy, the vice-president? CBS, Ch. 12, 11 p.m.
Mon Sept 29
Income Property Facing a mortgage crunch? Scott McGillivray helps first-time homebuyers with plans on how to turn a portion of their home into a rental income. Although the show is set in Toronto, there's some solid advice in here if you're thinking of trying the suite life on for size. HGTV, Ch. 50, 8 p.m.
The Passionate Eye Presidential fact and fiction come together in Mr. President, a doc that culls clips from movies and TV series and combines them with interviews and archival footage to examine how Hollywood informs our perception of the resident of the Oval Office. Newsworld, Ch. 15, 8 p.m.
The Border Real-time drama leads the way in the second season of the stand-out drama as three American soldiers seek sanctuary in Canada rather than return to Iraq for a forced tour of duty. CBC, Ch. 6, 9 p.m.
Californication Awk-ward: David Duchovny is a womanizing writer recently reunited with his ex, the mother of his teenage daughter. Do they even allow Showtime in sex rehab? Movie Central 1, Ch. 55, 9 p.m.
Chuck Yup, "menacing" is an apt description of Chuck's (Zachary Levi's) latest threat (Michael Clarke Duncan), but that behemoth is just a warm-up for the really dangerous mission: asking out Sarah (Yvonne Strahovski). City, Ch. 8, and NBC, Ch. 16, 9 p.m.
Little Britain USA You either love, love, love the Brit sketch-comedy series with creators Matt Lucas and David Walliams playing a variety of addled characters, or you just don't get it. The same holds true for the Americanized version. Movie Central 1, Ch. 55, 9:30 p.m.
Curb Your Enthusiasm Can't wait to see the parental advisories on this one, as the adventures of Larry David and his potty-mouthed friends air uncut from the beginning. City, Ch. 8, 10 p.m.
Tue Sept 30
Paris Hilton's My New BFF Better you than me, bub. Over 10 episodes, the vapid one pits 18 of her potential friends against one another in subjects such as "girl politics." Star!, Ch. 54, and MTV Canada, Ch. 102, 8 p.m.
The F Word Amateurs put their skills to the test in chef Gordon Ramsay's kitchen, sending out three-course dinners to diners who'll only pay if they deem the food worthy. Food, Ch. 25, 7 p.m.
Colin & Justin's Home Heist The cheekiest lads on the telly return for a second season of design intervention in some of the most ghastly interiors to blight the Canadian landscape. HGTV, Ch. 50, 8 p.m.
Dark Tourism Forget the palm trees and white sand: this two-hour program is all about destinations with ties to some of the worst moments of inhumanity and why they're attracting more of the tourist trade. History, Ch. 45, 10 p.m.
Wed Oct 1
Last of the Summer Wine Catch the longest-running show you've never heard of (35 years and counting, in Britain) as its first four seasons are shown in order. Vision, Ch. 106, 6 p.m.
Little Mosque on the Prairie Are there wedding bells in the future for Rayyan (Sitara Hewitt) and JJ (Stephen Lobo)? Find out in the season opener. CBC, Ch. 6, 8 p.m.
So You Think You Can Dance Canada Emanuel Sandhu? Really? Emanuel (the Meltdown) Sandhu is competing in this reality series? See if the undoubtedly talented one makes it into the top 20 as all the finalists compete in the mother of all dance-offs. CTV, Ch. 3, 8 p.m.
Jeremiah Forget all the fuss over Luke Perry's possible return to 90210: catch the squinty-eyed one in this sci-fi series from 2002, in which he plays a "grief-haunted loner" (how very Dylan!) in a post-pandemic world. And if you still need a reason to tune in to the gritty show, Jason Priestly guests in one episode as a man with God delusions (how very Brandon!). One, Ch. 129, 9 p.m.
America's Got Talent Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we're free of this dreck at last. NBC, Ch. 16, 10 p.m.
P.O.V.: In the Family Filmmaker Joanna Rudnick documents her struggle after being diagnosed with the "breast-cancer gene" at the age of 27. I've only seen five minutes of this doc, and it's more than enough to get me to tune in to see the rest. PBS, Ch. 14, 11 p.m.
Thur Oct 2
Karaoke Star It's like Ducky's on a great night (but with a much smaller bar tab) as the finalists compete live from Toronto for the grand prize of $10,000. CMT, Ch. 11, 6 p.m.
Supernatural X-Files alert! Mitch Pileggi guests as granddad Winchester when Dean (Jensen Ackles) time travels back to simpler days. Although, this is the Winchesters, so nothing is ever really simple. CW, Ch. 37, 7 p.m.
Jamie's Kitchen Australia Jamie Oliver oversees at-risk youths who are put through their culinary paces, training to work in the celebrity chef's latest venture in Melbourne. Food, Ch. 25, 8 p.m.
Home to Flip In tonight's premiere episode, Peter Fallico buys the fixer-upper with heaps of potential--and with three kitchens, no less--that he'll transform over the course of this new series. HGTV, Ch. 50, 8 p.m.
Meerkat Manor Just how much tragedy can one burrow take, anyway? The Whiskers clan finds out in tonight's episode. Animal Planet, Ch. 134, 10:30 p.m.
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American Debates: Forget McCain vs. Obama; the slugfest everyone is talking about is the Sarah Palin-Joe Biden dust-up. We're in for a bumpy ride, folks! All American networks, presidential, Friday, 7 p.m.; vice-presidential, Thursday, 7 p.m.
Canadian Debates: The gits who scheduled this one deserve a quick kick to the heinie for putting it up against the U.S. vice-presidential debate. Thank goodness for (taxpayer-funded) reruns. Thursday, all Canadian networks, 7 p.m., rerunning on Newsworld, Ch. 15, 10 p.m.
Dragon's Den: One of Calgary's most visible movers and shakers brings his deep pockets to the CBC reality series for its third season. W. Brett Wilson, philanthropst and chairman of FirstEnergy Capital Corp., joins Calgarian Arlene Dickinson and her fellow panelists in deciding which entrepreneurs are worthy of financial backing. Monday, CBC, Ch. 6, 8 p.m.
Private Practice: Okay, time to implement some tough love on the second season of this Grey's Anatomy spinoff: Addison, you have three episodes to get your act together, missy, or I'm cutting off the TiVo love. Wednesday, CTV, Ch. 3, and ABC, Ch. 5, 7 p.m.
Life: A show so good, so offbeat, so hungry for viewers, it's on twice a week! In a move to bring more eyeballs to the police dramedy--Damien Lewis stars as a wrongly convicted, recently freed fresh-fruit-loving detective on the LAPD--the networks are airing it on Mondays and Fridays for the first six episodes of its second season. Monday, Global, Ch. 7, 9 p.m., and NBC, Ch. 16, 11 p.m.
Brothers and Sisters: Crack open a bottle of vino, as TV's booziest and likely most dysfunctional family kick off season three. Welcome back Walkers--how we've missed you! Sunday, Global, Ch. 7, 8 p.m., and ABC, Ch. 5, 11:01 p.m.
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Pay Per View/Video on Demand
by Ruth Myles
New This Week
Felon Regular Joe (Stephen Dorff) trying to adapt to prison life is mentored by sage old-timer (Val Kilmer). It is a hoot, though, to see Harold Perrineau turn his Oz role on its head by playing the resident bad-ass guard. Friday: Bell ExpressVu PPV, Telus VOD.
Hollie Hobbie Fabulous Fashion Show It's out with the checks and flowered fabrics, in with the knee boots and tunics for Holly and her friends. Friday: Bell ExpressVu PPV.
The Band's Visit When an Egyptian police orchestra is mistakenly dropped off in an Israeli town, the female owner of the village's café takes them in for the night. Saturday: Telus VOD.
Smart People Quelle horror: Ellen Page plays a Young Republican! She's but one of the broken characters in this family drama that plays out with help from Dennis Quaid, Thomas Hayden Church and Sarah Jessica Parker. Saturday: Bell ExpressVu PPV, Shaw PPV, Star Choice PPV.
Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? Not at my house: I looked. Good thing filmmaker Morgan Spurlock didn't waste time stopping by, instead jetting off to the Middle East and more in search of the world's most wanted man. Saturday: Shaw PPV, Star Choice PPV.
Meet Bill The dream of escaping a ho-hum existence is a noble one, but not noble enough to save this drama starring Aaron Eckhart, Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Banks from a critical savaging. Thursday: Bell ExpressVu PPV, Shaw VOD.
Next Avengers Iron Man takes in the children of deceased superheroes (Storm, Captain America, et al.) in this animated stand-alone tale. Thursday: Bell ExpressVu PPV, Shaw VOD.
Bait Shop can you hear the banjo pickin' from there? Bill Engvall and Billy Ray Cyrus star in this comedy that involves a denouement depending on a bass-fishing tournament. Thursday: Shaw VOD.
Irina Palm Marianne Faithfull is Maggie, a grandmother who takes a job lending a hand in a sex club to pay for her sick grandson's treatment. Thursday: Bell ExpressVu PPV.
Silent Light This Mennonite love triangle set in Mexico features director Carlos Reygadas' uncompromising (and quietly dazzling) esthetic. Thursday: Bell ExpressVu PPV.
Ring of Honor Wrestling: New Horizons Claudio Castagnoli takes on champ Nigel McGuinness. Friday: Bell ExpressVu.
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by Ruth Myles
New on DVD This Week
Forgetting Sarah Marshall: Jason Segel has perfected the puppy-dog look: adoring, yet just waiting for the kick that he knows is coming. And since the actor (Freaks and Geeks, How I Met Your Mother) wrote the screenplay for the Judd Apatow-produced comedy, that puppy dog gets full run of the yard. When Peter (Segel) heads to a tropical resort to get over his breakup, who does he run into but his ex (Kristen Bell) and her new rock-star boyfriend (Russell Brand)?
Finding Amanda: Who better to find a troubled young lady (Brittany Snow) working as a hooker in Vegas than her alcoholic, drug-addicted uncle (Matthew Broderick), who also has a gambling problem?
Taxi to the Dark Side: From the man who brought you Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room comes this scathing indictment of the U.S. military's use of torture, starting with the death of an innocent Afghani taxi driver and moving up the ladder to the highest office in the land.
This Beautiful City: Aaron Poole and Caroline Cave--who won ACTRA Awards of Excellence for their work--star in this made-in-Toronto drama about the intersecting lives of yuppies and druggies in the innercity.
Bigger Stronger Faster*: It's the asterisk that gives away the subject of this doc. Christopher Bell examines the use of performance-enhancing drugs in sports, spurred on by his own two brothers' use of steroids.
An Autumn Afternoon: Yasujiro Ozu's final film, about the intricacies of a father-grown-daughter relationship in Japan, receives the Criterion treatment.
Buried Alive: Tobin Bell (Saw) co-stars in this horror flick about a bunch of college kids terrorized by an evil spirit. Directed by Robert Kurtzman.
Russell Peters: Red, White and Brown: The Canadian brings his genial humour to Madison Square Gardens in this concert video.
Possession: Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani star in this bizarre horror-ish film from 1981 in which she is the unsatisfied wife, he the controlling husband.
Beaufort: For 18 years, Israel was in possession of Beaufort Castle in Lebanon, but in this film based on Ron Leshem's novel, the forces are preparing to pull up stakes and abandon their base.
The Vanguard: Max (Ray Bullock Jr.) battles to survive in an oil-free future terrorized by primitive people created by "The Corporation," which also made some genetically altered humans while they were at it.
A Few Kilos of Dates: for a Funeral Iran has its own New Wave movement. Who knew? This black-and-white film from Saman Salour focuses on two employees of a gas station in the middle of nowhere.
TV on DVD
Adam-12: Season Two; Banacek: The Complete Series; Beauty and the Beast: The Complete Series; B.L. Stryker: The Complete Series; Edward the King; Lewis Black's Root of All Evil Uncensored; My Name is Earl: Season Three; Numbers: Seasons 1 - 4; Numbers: Season 3; My Three Sons: Season One, Vol. 1; Sports Night: The Complete Series 10th Anniversary Edition.
Now Showing on TV
The World's Fastest Indian: Anthony Hopkins is at his charming winningest as a New Zealander oddball obsessed with a need for speed that sees him travel to the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah with his vintage Indian motorcycle. Friday, APTN, Ch. 105, 7 p.m.
Howling II: Your Sister is a Werewolf And your mamma's a creature from the Black Lagoon. Friday, Space, Ch. 46, 9:05 p.m.
100 Films and a Funeral: Cinephiles should block off the time to take in Michael McNamara's retrospective on PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, the company behind such hits as Trainspotting and The Usual Suspects. Friday, documentary, Ch. 124, 10 p.m.
The Maltese Falcon: Last week, we watched How Green Was My Valley, which took the Best Picture Oscar in 1942. Here is one of the nine other films it beat to win the title. Saturday, TCM, Ch. 42, 4 p.m.
Metal: A Headbanger's Journey: Canuck Sam Dann takes us on a rockin' anthropological study of heavy metal: what it is, how it got here and who bangs their head to it. Saturday, City, Ch. 8, 9 p.m.
Aladdin: This rollicking animated flick from Robin Williams' pre-annoying phase is still a hoot. Sunday, CBC, Ch. 6, 5 p.m.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: If a movie makes this much money, you just can't entirely ignore it. Sunday, CBC, Ch. 6, 7 p.m.
Ghost World: While Scarlett Johansson went on from this indie treat to work with filmmakers such as Brian De Palma and Woody Allen, Thora Birch is currently shooting Cavegirl, about a, well, prehistoric cavegirl. Sunday, Teletoon, Ch. 38, 11 p.m.
West Side Story: Best movie ever or total fashion statement? Monday, TCM, Ch. 42, 10 p.m.
The Royal Tenenbaums: Best movie ever or total fashion statement? Perhaps both? Tuesday, CBC, Ch. 6, 1 a.m.
The Right Stuff: Sure, you know this out-of-this-world Oscar-winning flick stars Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris and Dennis Quaid, but who the heck is the twang-filled narrator? Why, none other than Levon Helm of The Band. Wednesday, IFC, Ch. 126, 9 p.m.
In the Valley of Elah: Tommy Lee Jones delivers a master class in acting--you'll be floored by the scene in the bathroom where he's looking at his craggy visage in the mirror--as a father investigating the death of his soldier son. Thursday, Movie Central 1, Ch. 55, 9 p.m.
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Savage Grace: Is this even the same woman who starred in the second Jurassic Park flick? Julianne Moore rules the screen as Barbara Daly, a failed actress who marries well, very well, when she lands Brooks Baekeland (Stephen Dillane). Her twisted true story unfolds in six chapters, starting with the birth of her son, Tony, (Eddie Redmayne) in 1946 and culminating in tragedy--or fitting justice?--in 1972.