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Wednesday's TV Highlights: 'My Wild Affair' on PBS

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 20 - 26, 2014 in PDF format This week's TV Movies -------------------- SERIES So You Think You Can Dance Misty Copeland serves as a guest judge and Lucy Hale performs in this new episode. 8 p.m. Fox My Wild Affair The new episode "The Ape Who Went to College" documents the case of Chantek, an orangutan who was treated just like a human youngster at an American university during the 1970s and 1980s. 8 p.m. KOCE. The reproductive habits of orangutans in nature are revealed surveyed in a new episode of "Sex in the Wild." 10 p.m. KOCE Extant John (Goran Visnjic) can sense that something is amiss with Molly (Halle Berry), but she won't tell him what it is, in this new episode. Pierce Gagnon also stars. 9 p.m. CBS Bring It! In the season premiere, dance coach Dianna "Miss D" Williams begins building a new team with annual tryouts, where even veteran dancers must prove they still have...

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TCA 2014: Ken Burns digs up unseen footage for 'The Roosevelts'

Ken Burns is used to telling stories that have been told before. That comes with the territory when you work on documentaries covering momentous points in history, including the Civil War, World War II and the Prohibition era. But for his new seven-part, 14-hour documentary "The Roosevelts: An Intimate History," Burns and his longtime collaborator Geoffrey C. Ward have managed to find new material on Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt that many people have never seen. "We had finished our film, it was long done and mastered, and we discovered four seconds of film through the University of Pennsylvania. At great expense, we cut that back into the film," Burns told the press at a discussion on Tuesday, PBS' day at the TCA summer press tour. The footage provides a very rare glimpse of the polio-stricken FDR near the end of his life, struggling to disembark from a train in Bismarck, N.D. Though FDR's condition was not a secret, news crews at the time were regularly asked to turn off...

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Season 5 of 'Downton Abbey' will begin airing in the U.S. on Jan. 4

"Downton Abbey" is coming back in January — and the chief of PBS is warming up by hurling a few crumpets at TV rivals. Season 5 of the British drawing-room drama will premiere in America on Jan. 4, the public broadcaster announced Tuesday at the TV press tour in Beverly Hills. PBS President and Chief Executive Paula Kerger defended, as she has in the past, the decision to run "Downton" months after it has aired in Britain, which has meant that many U.S. fans uncover spoilers online before getting a chance to watch the episodes. This has led to much criticism of PBS, but Kerger remains undaunted. "January works well," Kerger said, because the weather has turned cold across much of the country and people have more time to watch. The fact that "Downton's" audience grew by 16% for the most recent season, she added, verified the strategy. Meanwhile, the usually circumspect Kerger took a few whacks at cable networks, which she says have abandoned their original mission and are chasing...

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'Fargo' executive producers talk Season 2

Winter is coming to 1979. One of the bigger announcements to come out of FX's session Monday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills was the renewal of critically acclaimed, multiple-Emmy nominated "Fargo" for a second season. And the drama's executive producers Noah Hawley and Warren Littlefield wasted little time in breaking their silence about what's ahead, appearing before reporters to cap off the network's day of show panels. So what can we tell you? The second season will tell the story of Sioux Falls circa 1979--and there will be some traveling over the 10-episode second outing. "If you were paying attention in Season One, you know we made a lot of references to Sioux Falls and that was deliberate; that wasn’t an accident,” Hawley said. “So, what this next 10-hour movie is going to be is the story of Sioux Falls. The movie will take place in 1979 … with the story set mostly in Luverne, Minn., in Fargo and, of course, in Sioux Falls as well.” The focus will...

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TCA 2014: 'Sons of Anarchy' finale is still up in the air

As FX's outlaw biker soap opera, "Sons of Anarchy," gets ready to come to the end of the road, creator Kurt Sutter surely knows how it will all end, correct? Um, not so fast. "It could all change. I'm a week and a half behind on Episode 7," Sutter said. He said that, although he usually has a rough blueprint each season, being flexible usually results in better seasons. And even though this is the seventh and final season, he's approaching the evolution of the season the same way. Although he's headed in a specific direction, "the way I'm getting there could change." The final season of "Sons of Anarchy," which is the highest-rated series on FX, begins Sept. 9 with an extended episode lasting 1 hour, 45 minutes. Even with its acclaim and popularity, the series has not been able to score a marquee Emmy nomination, and none of the cast has been nominated. But the show's star, Charlie Hunnam, said he couldn't care less. "It doesn't matter!" Hunnam proclaimed, attachng a bit of raw...

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TCA 2014: Where is 'The Strain' going? Look to Corey Stoll's wig

FX's new vampire series "The Strain" has just begun its first season, but co-creator Guillermo Del Toro was not shy about discussing where the story would lead in future episodes during his appearance on a very packed panel at the Television Critics Assn. press tour on Monday. The Mexican director of "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Pacific Rim" joined his co-creator Chuck Hogan and show runner Carlton Cuse on stage with 10 members of their cast. And while there was much discussion about Del Toro's memorabilia-packed houses, it was an innocent question about leading man Corey Stoll's wig on the show that revealed a lot about where things are going. In the series, Stoll plays Ephraim Goodweather, the head of a CDC team tasked with investigating a plane full of dead bodies on the runway at JFK airport. What we soon learn is that the bodies are actually infected with a vampiric breed of worms that quickly spreads to the living populace. Stoll is a familar face to fans of his run on the Netflix...

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Tuesday's TV Highlights: 'Face Off' on Syfy

Customized TV Listings are available here: www.latimes.com/tvtimes Click here to download TV listings for the week of July 20 - 26, 2014 in PDF format This week's TV Movies -------------------- SERIES Food Fighters Adam Richman is the host of this new competition that pits amateur cooks against professional chefs. 8 p.m. NBC History Detectives Special Investigations The fate of Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa, who vanished almost 40 years ago, has been one of the great modern mysteries. This series' finale, "Who Killed Jimmy Hoffa?," puts the show's investigators on the trail via FBI files that recently were declassified. 9 p.m. KOCE The Real Housewives of New York City Sonja confronts Harry and LuAnn about their alleged night together in the season finale of the unscripted series. 9 p.m. Bravo Face Off Sixteen new contestants aren't officially on the show until they survive one final audition in the season premiere of the unscripted series. 9 p.m. Syfy Rizzoli

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'Houdini' miniseries starring Adrien Brody to air Sept. 1-2 on History

Oscar winner Adrien Brody will play illusionist Harry Houdini in a two-part miniseries set to air on History on Sept. 1 and 2. "Houdini" will chart the rise of the world-famous performer, who got his start performing with his brother on Coney Island in the 1890s and became a headline act around the globe before dying in Detroit after an unexpected series of abdominal punches from a fan. Kristen Connolly will play Houdini's wife, Bess, and Evan Jones will play Jim Collins, Houdini's assistant. The film will also look at Houdini's friendship with Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle. Uli Edel, whose movie "The Baader Meinhof Complex," was nominated for an Oscar in the foreign-language film category, directed the miniseries from a script by Nicholas Meyer, who once wrote his own Sherlock Holmes pastiche, "The Seven-Per-Cent Solution." For those who can't wait to see Brody's interpretation, here's Ken Marino as Houdini and Alfred Molina as Arthur Conan Doyle in a scene from the first...

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John Oliver swipes 'Sesame Street' format to explain prison problem

John Oliver spent the second half of his show on Sunday discussing the woeful state of America's prisons, which have seen a ballooning population even while states are moving to privatize them to save money. How bad has the incarceration problem gotten in America? Longtime children's TV staple "Sesame Street" recently featured a puppet whose father had been sent to jail. "Sesame Street" has long been a place to tackle the basics of childhood life, like numbers, the alphabet, sharing and even some hard topics such as death of a loved one. But prisons? While the real "Sesame Street" kept it positive, dealing only with the effect that having a parent in prison has on a young boy and the protection and friendship the other puppets offer him, Oliver had grimmer ground to cover. And he decided to use some puppets of his own. To see Oliver's own version of "Sesame Street," covering the problems of prison, including the preponderance of mental illness and rape behind bars, you'll need to sit...

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TCA 2014: FX chief says 'Fargo' can work without a big star

John Landgraf, CEO of FX Networks, has often talked about the similarities between the FX drama "Fargo" and HBO's gritty "True Detective." Both were limited series, both were acclaimed projects featuring major film stars and both were universally acclaimed. But Landgraf said there was a key difference between the two hits. He feels that "True Detective" is largely built on having the anchor of a marquee cast, while the writing and feel of "Fargo" is the real star and that future installments don't need a major actor or actress to succeed. "True Detective" has to prove it's more than just a star vehicle," Landgraf said during a session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour. "["True Detective" creator] Nic Pizzolatto has to prove that he can write something really great. The writing and story of 'Fargo' is the star. It can be done with a cast of unknowns." HBO's "True Detective" starred Matthew McConaughay and Woody Harrelson. Speculation has continued to swirl around who will be...

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Postponed: Chat with 'So You Think You Can Dance' host Cat Deeley

"So You Think You Can Dance" host Cat Deeley recently won her fourth consecutive Emmy nomination for reality show host, and we know at least one fellow nominee who's rooting for her to win. We're guessing he's not the only one, either. Deeley will be dropping by The Times studio to talk about the show and the Emmys, and we'll probably ask her about throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game not long ago too. (Fastball? Curve? Did she get any advice from Clayton Kershaw?) ------------ FOR THE RECORD The chat with Cat Deeley, originally scheduled for Tuesday at 2:45 p.m. PDT, has been postponed. ------------ As for the Emmys, Deeley recently told The Times that her show, which received seven nominations this year (that makes it 42 for its run), has its core fans — as well as a group of people completely unaware of its presence on the schedule. "I always say our show is completely polarizing," Deeley says. "You either have people who have no idea that we even exist or people that are...

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Queen's Guard performs the 'Game of Thrones' theme

Is Queen Elizabeth II trying to tell her subjects something?  On July 15, the Queen's Guard outside Buckingham Palace performed a very unusual song during the regular changing of the guard. It wasn't "God Save the Queen" or "Rule, Britannia" but the theme to HBO's "Game of Thrones." The theme song, composed by Ramin Djawadi, has become a recent favorite to cover in different styles, including old-time jazz and hard rock. But this is different -- this is the contingent of British soldiers charged with guarding the queen while she's at home. In Westeros-terms, they're the White Cloaks. During a recent state visit to Ireland, the queen paid a visit to King's Landing, or at least the interior sets used to film the throne room and other locations for the HBO series. She was greeted next to the Iron Throne itself by several members of the show's cast, and though she eyed the throne, she declined to sit in it. But maybe that trip got the wheels spinning.  So will the United Kingdom become the...

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