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Published: Sunday, 3/20/2011

Around the remote: Top television picks for the week

BY CHUCK BARNEY
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

DON'T MISS:

DANCING WITH THE STARS -- Break out the sequins and spandex. Television's glittery cheese-fest is back for another ballroom blitz. But after a controversial season that featured the daughter of a certain polarizing political figure, can the show match that level of buzz? Putting their best foot forward will be a fresh cast of marginal celebrities that includes, Kirstie Alley, Sugar Ray Leonard, Hines Ward, Ralph Macchio, and Wendy Williams. 8 p.m. Monday, ABC, WTVG-TV, Channel 13.

OTHER BETS:

SUNDAY NIGHT: On Secret Millionaire, motivational speaker James Malinchak will need all the motivation he can muster in order to live for a week on just $44 in Gary, Ind. The former steel town has been hit hard by the economic meltdown. 8 p.m., ABC.

SUNDAY  NIGHT: It's a big ending for Big Love. In the series finale, Bill (Bill Paxton) worries about planning for his family's future just in case he lands in jail. 9 p.m., HBO.

SUNDAY NIGHT: Don't blush, but the talk on The Real Housewives of Orange County turns racy Sunday night. After Alexis, Gretchen, and Peggy spend a day shopping, they spill some bedroom secrets over dinner. 10 p.m., Bravo.

MONDAY: On How I Met Your Mother, Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) finally meets his father and, as it turns out, he looks a lot like John Lithgow. 8 p.m., CBS, WTOL-TV, Channel 11.

MONDAY: Triangle: Remembering the Fire is a documentary recalling a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York that killed 146 employees. It helped bring about safer conditions in the workplace. 9 p.m., HBO.

TUESDAY: Tom Bergeron and Cynthia McFadden are your hosts for Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time. It's a special that reveals the results of an online poll featuring categories like best action film, best chick flick, greatest quotes, best screen kiss, and more. 9 p.m., ABC.

WEDNESDAY: Our vote for the funniest kid on television goes to Atticus Shaffer, who plays Brick on The Middle. In Wednesday night's episode, the little guy starts a neighborhood information stand, charging $1 per inquiry. 8 p.m., ABC.

THURSDAY: As Steve Carell's stint on The Office winds down, we're expecting some major story developments. One comes Thursday night when Michael finally asks Holly (Amy Ryan) to marry him. 9 p.m., NBC, WNWO-TV, Channel 24.

THURSDAY: Let the celebration begin. Season 3 of Jersey Shore mercifully comes to an end Thursday night. But the joy will be short-lived as Snooki and the gang are scheduled to return soon for a season that opens in Italy. 10 p.m., MTV.

FRIDAY: In The Suite Life Movie, Zack and Cody Martin (Dylan and Cole Sprouse) participate in a research project that studies twins. Unfortunately, the project puts their lives in danger. 8 p.m., Disney Channel.

SATURDAY: Norm MacDonald: Me Doing Stand-Up is a new one-hour special that has the subversive comedian letting loose and riffing on everything from shameful sex and serial killers to cheese sandwiches. 11:30 p.m., Comedy Central.



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