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Archive for Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A night of dogs: comic, pampered and rescued

February 16, 2010

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For the second straight night, dogs provide viewing alternatives to Winter Olympics action. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (7 p.m., USA) concludes after three hours of competition with the announcement of the best in show.

Viewers who can’t take this too seriously can turn to director Christopher Guest’s 2000 “mockumentary” “Best in Show” (8:40 p.m., Encore), a sendup of the high-strung subculture of competitive breeding and exhibition.

“Independent Lens” (9 p.m., PBS, check local listings) presents “Mine,” an emotionally wrenching film about efforts to rescue dogs left behind during Hurricane Katrina and reunite them with individuals and families who had lost virtually everything else.

Equal parts heartache and uplift, the film makes the case that one good thing to emerge from Katrina was the recognition that pets have to be seen as part of any large evacuation effort.

Countless Katrina refugees, who would never have dreamed of abandoning their pets, were forced to do so by regulations that kept animals out of emergency shelters. And many believed they would be gone for a day or two only to return weeks later, filled with dread and guilt about leaving their best friends behind.

• Ellen DeGeneres joined the permanent ranks of “American Idol” (7 p.m., Fox) judges. And not a moment too soon. Her low-key arrival was a welcome distraction from the “Hollywood Week” process, which has all the glamour of a USDA meat inspection.

For all of the hubbub and speculation about her fitting in with the judges, DeGeneres seemed to get right down to business. She seemed like a new kid in class, more interested in not messing up than winning any popularity contests. In doing so, she immediately puts herself on an equal footing with Simon Cowell. And we all know he’s halfway out the door.

Tonight’s other highlights

• Winter Olympics highlights include men’s hockey (4 p.m., CNBC) and figure skating (7 p.m., NBC).

• “Nova” (7 p.m., PBS, check local listings) follows a photographer’s efforts to document melting glaciers and vanishing ice sheets.

• New evidence emerges about Callen’s shooting on “NCIS: Los Angeles” (8 p.m., CBS).

• As if we weren’t confused enough about multiple incarnations of characters in parallel dimensions, the title of tonight’s “Lost” (8 p.m., ABC) is “The Substitute.” And where on the island did the long-missing Claire get that bad perm?

• Alicia juggles an arson case and Peter’s trial on “The Good Wife” (9 p.m., CBS).

• Dying for a baby on “The Forgotten” (9 p.m., ABC).

• “16 and Pregnant” (9 p.m., MTV) enters its second season.

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