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Saturday's TV Highlights and Weekend Talk: 'Doctor Who'

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


SERIES

Unforgettable When a powerful CEO is murdered at an elite prep school, Carrie and Al (Poppy Montgomery, Dylan Walsh) go back to school in this new episode. Wrenn Schmidt and Mike Doyle guest star. 8 p.m. CBS

Cedar Cove Olivia (Andie MacDowell) clashes with a new ADA (Cindy Busby), who sees Luke's (Jesse Hutch) assault case as her ticket out of to the big time. Julia Benson also guest stars in this new episode.8 p.m. Hallmark

Reckless Lee Anne's (Georgina Haig) case against the Charleston Police Department has been simmering, and Roy (Cam Gigandet) makes a move to put an end to it in this new episode. Shawn Hatosy and Anna Wood also star, with guest stars David Keith, Kelly Rutherford and Susan Walters. 9 p.m. CBS

Doctor Who A Dalek fleet surrounds a lone rebel ship, and only the Doctor (Peter...

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TV Picks: 'Party Down,' Funny or Die video selection, 'Manhattan'

"Party Down" (Hulu). This comedy about a less than merry band of caterers, which went for two seasons on Starz in 2009 and 2010, was created by "Veronica Mars" mastermind Rob Thomas with "Mars" cohorts Dan Ethridge and John Enhom and actor Paul Rudd, who appeared in the pilot but was a movie star by the time the series came around. Even so the cast reads like some retrospective supergroup whose album you can't believe you've never heard (unless you did): Adam Scott (in for Rudd), recent Rolling Stone cover girl Lizzy Caplan, Ken Marino, Jane Lynch (who left near the end of the first season for "Glee" but returned for what turned out to be the series' finale), Martin Starr, Megan Mullally and Ryan Hansen (now going from the axed "Bad Teacher" to the new "Bad Judge"), but with appearances also from cool kids Ken Jeong, Joey Lauren Adams, Kristen Bell, June Diane Raphael, and various cool kids like Jim Piddock, Paul Scheer, Thomas Lennon, J.K. Simmons and Rachael Harris among others. (My...

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Jon Hamm mines Russian lit in darkly comic 'Young Doctor's Notebook'

In the Ovation series "A Young Doctor's Notebook," Jon Hamm and Daniel Radcliffe star as young and old versions of the same character, an unnamed physician assigned to a tiny hospital in a remote village in revolutionary Russia. Think "Northern Exposure" meets "Dr. Zhivago."

Adapted from a collection of semiautobiographical stories by Mikhail Bulgakov, it's a surprisingly low-profile, offbeat project for two actors known for iconic roles, but there are plenty of reasons to watch other than the chance to see Harry Potter and Don Draper on screen together. 

Though it's a period piece with a literary pedigree, as was "Mad Men," the darkly comic and surreal "A Young Doctor's Notebook" is also in keeping with the quirky material Hamm has gravitated toward outside of that groundbreaking AMC series — shows including "Archer," "Childrens Hospital" and the IFC comedy "The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret," with which it shares a producer and several writers. 

Sporting an impressive...

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TV This Week Aug. 31 - Sept 6: 'Houdini' on History

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 31 - Sept. 6, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


 

SUNDAY  

"Jay Leno's Garage: The Ultimate Car Week" finds the former "Tonight Show" host in Pebble Beach for the annual Concours d'Elegance. Leno likes cars? Who knew? 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. CNBC

See if Britain's MI6 espionage agency really sends its agents out in Aston Martins equipped with missiles and ejector seats in the special "Secrets of Her Majesty's Secret Service." 8 p.m. KOCE

The Muscular Dystrophy Assn. has no Ice Bucket Challenge, just the "2014 MDA Show of Strength Telethon" with performances by American Authors, Aloe Blacc and Jason Derulo. 9 p.m. ABC

"Masterpiece Mystery!" will leave you "Breathless" with this three-part tale about a smooth-talking surgeon (Jack Davenport) in early 1960s London. Zoe Boyle and Catherine Steadman also star. 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. KOCE; next Sunday, 9 p.m.

...

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Friday Highlights: 'American Masters: Dorothea Lange' on PBS

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 24 - 30, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


 

SERIES

American Masters This new episode, "Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning" profiles the American photographer. Lange's granddaughter, Emmy winner Dyanna Taylor, serves as the program's producer, director, writer and narrator. 9 p.m. KOCE

The Almighty Johnsons The goddesses (Michelle Langstone, Rachel Nash, Eve Gordon) may have found the lost Frigg in the form of a goth-singing butcher (Brooke Williams), but they keep their discovery a secret from Agnetha (Alison Bruce) in this new episode. 11 p.m. Syfy

SPECIALS

George Strait: The Cowboy Rides Away This new special features interviews with Strait and highlights from his final concert in Dallas along with performances from Jason Aldean, Kenny Chesney, Eric Church, Sheryl Crow, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride....

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TV Picks: 'Houdini,' 'Breathless,' 'Doctor Who'

Oscar-winner Adrien Brody is the obvious draw for History's four-hour, two-part bio-pic "Houdini," which attempts to show the man behind the great-escape legend. That it winds up spending most of its time showcasing all the escapes, relying almost entirely on a voiceover to fill in the "man behind" bits, is no fault of Brody or, indeed, screenwriter Nicholas Meyer ("The Seven-Percent Solution," "The Human Stain.") As interesting as Houdini's obvious flirtation with death might be, the psychology, for once, pales in comparison with its physical manifestation.

In other words, the tricks were amazing! And this film shows us how he did many of them! That not all of the escapades featured are historically documented, well, History, which should perhaps change its name a third time to "History," has been smudging the lines of scholarship for a while now, especially since it got into the docudrama business.

Further blurring the accuracy issue is the fact that Meyer is working from the 1976...

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Is Tony Soprano dead? David Chase responds to debate that won't die

It's been seven years since "The Sopranos" came to an end with the fate of its protagonist, Tony Soprano, left intentionally, if maddeningly, open to interpretation. 

Despite the passage of time, creator David Chase has been unable to escape the question of what "really" happened to Tony, played by the late James Gandolfini, after that abrupt cut-to-black. To borrow some lyrics from Journey, some fans just won't stop believing that hidden somewhere in those tense minutes at a New Jersey diner is the truth about the crime boss' destiny. 

The debate has once again flared up online, thanks to a story published by the website Vox on Wednesday with the attention-getting headline, "Did Tony die at the end of 'The Sopranos'? David Chase finally answers the question he wants fans to stop asking."

In what amounts to a lengthy critical essay disguised as a scoop, writer Martha P. Nochimson looks far and wide for insight into what remains perhaps the most confounding finale in television history....

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Zach Galifianakis carries 'Baskets' comedy to FX

Zach Galifianakis, who often plays characters who could be considered basket cases in such films as "The Hangover" and "Due Date," has a new show called "Baskets" -- and he's carrying it to FX.

The comedy will star the comedian, who co-created the show with Louis C.K. ("Louie") and Jonathan Krisel ("Portlandia"). The trio also wrote the pilot and are executive producers, with Krisel acting as show runner.

"Baskets" revolves around a Bakersfield man who dares to follow his dream of becoming a professional clown. But after an unsuccessful enrollment at a prestigious clowning school in Paris, the only job he can get is with the local rodeo.

FX has ordered 10 episodes of the series, which will begin production next year with a planned premiere in 2016.

Twitter: @GeBraxton

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Thursday's TV Highlights: 'Rush' on USA

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 24 - 30, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


SERIES

Great Performances Violinist Itzhak Perlman and cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot perform liturgical and traditional works in arrangements for chamber orchestra and klezmer settings in this new episode. 9 p.m. KOCE

MythBusters What's the most efficient way to board an airplane? 9 p.m. Discovery

Project Runway In this new episode, designers create unconventional wedding dresses. 9 p.m. Lifetime

Rush Rush (Tom Ellis) tries a hallucinogenic drug that drives him to a personal epiphany in this new episode. Larenz Tate and Sarah Habel also star with guest stars Laurie Fortier and Colin Cunningham. 9 p.m. USA

Welcome to Sweden Bruce (Greg Poehler) returns to New York to help Amy Poehler (herself) with her financial problems, 9 p.m. NBC. Then, in the season finale at 9:30 he's stuck in New York and gets in a...

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Chelsea Handler signs off from 'Chelsea Lately' on E!

In one of the most underhyped farewells in recent memory, Chelsea Handler signed off from "Chelsea Lately" Tuesday night after seven years. 

The finale on E! was sparsely promoted ahead of time by the network and just so happened to arrive on a day when Emmys coverage dominated entertainment news. 

But Handler, who will launch a new talk show on Netflix sometime in 2016, made the most of her under-the-radar finale. Three of her besties, Jennifer Aniston, Sandra Bullock and Mary McCormack, stopped by to stage a loving quasi-intervention for their vodka-swilling friend. 

Aniston accused Handler of "stealing" her hairstyle and yoga instructor and questioned her hygiene practices. "There's a reason your stage is so far from the audience," she quipped, while McCormack joked that, "Never once have you let your job get in the way of your drinking problem."

When it was Bullock's turn to roast, she pretended to have mixed up her letter for Handler with one for infamous prankster George Clooney....

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Wednesday's TV Highlights: 'Motive' on ABC

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes

Click here to download TV listings for the week of Aug. 24 - 30, 2014 in PDF format

This week's TV Movies


 

SERIES

So You Think You Can Dance Figure skater Tara Lipinski returns to the judges' panel along with Jesse Tyler Ferguson as the top four perform before next week's season finale. Jason Mraz also performs in this new episode. 8 p.m. Fox

Young

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Emmys 2014: Little awards love for big 'Game of Thrones'

Monday night was very good for "Breaking Bad" at the Emmy Awards. Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul and the series itself all won top awards. But all that Walter White love meant the poor, put-upon citizens of Westeros went back to the kingdom relatively empty-handed.

Despite becoming a massive international hit -- it's the most pirated TV show in the world -- "Game of Thrones" took home just four technical Emmys out of the show's 19 total nominations.

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FOR THE RECORD

An earlier version of this post stated that "Game of Thrones" received 11 Emmy nominations. "Thrones" received 19 nominations.

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After winning one back in 2011, Peter Dinklage has come and gone every year without a repeat victory. And he remains the only member of the cast to be recognized by the TV academy.

EMMYS 2014: Full coverage | Top winners/nominees | Show highlights | Red carpet arrivals | Show recap | Quotes from the stars | Best and worst | Winners room | Complete list

The HBO series,...

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