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Published: Sunday, 6/10/2012

Around the remote: Television picks for this week

BY CHUCK BARNEY
CONTRA COSTA TIMES

DON'T MISS:

TRUE BLOOD -- After a 12-year run on Law & Order: SVU, Christopher Meloni grows a pair of fangs. In Season 5 of the supernatural sensation, he plays Roman, the charismatic, 500-year-old leader of the Vampire Authority, who craves a peaceful coexistence between humans and bloodsuckers. Unfortunately, his fractious community includes a lot of rebels who want to go back to the dark ages and use humans for late-night snacks. Clearly, they must be put down. 9 p.m. Sunday, HBO.

OTHER BETS:

TODAY: Neil Patrick Harris returns to host The 66th Annual Tony Awards, the gala that celebrates Broadway's best. Looking to collect lots of shiny trophies is the musical Once, which leads all shows with 11 nominations. 8 p.m., CBS.

TODAY: Breathtaking photography is featured throughout Untamed Americas, a documentary series that focuses on nature's daily battles for survival. Narrated by Josh Brolin, the program takes viewers on an incredible journey across North, Central, and South America. 9 p.m., National Geographic.

TODAY: Betty got fat. Roger got high. Pete got his butt kicked. And those were just a few of the strange occurrences that happened this year on Mad Men, which wraps up a very offbeat Season 5 tonight. 10 p.m., AMC.

MONDAY: Sutton Foster stars in Bunheads, a new drama series from Amy Sherman-Palladino (Gilmore Girls). She plays a fading Las Vegas show girl who winds up in a sleepy beach town and struggles to adapt to life as an instructor at a dance studio. 9 p.m., ABC Family.

MONDAY: Hollywood Heights follows the journey of a teen girl (Brittany Underwood) whose life changes drastically when she becomes a star and falls in love with her pop-music idol (Cody Longo). 9 p.m., Nickelodeon.

TUESDAY: David Morrissey plays the title character in Thorne, a new adaptation of Mark Billingham's crime fiction series. In the opening episode, Inspector Tom Thorne tries to track down a ruthless predator while confronting nightmares from his own past. 9 p.m., Encore.

WEDNESDAY: J.R., Bobby, and Sue Ellen Ewing (Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray) may be older now, but some things never change: In a lively Dallas reboot, battles for power and love still go on at Southfork Ranch, even as a new generation assumes control. 9 p.m., TNT.

THURSDAY: 41 is a new documentary that offers "a rare, intimate glimpse" of the life of George H.W. Bush, our 41st president. Bush shares anecdotes from his childhood, family, service in World War II, and political career. 9 p.m., HBO.

THURSDAY: We Were Here, a poignant installment of the Independent Lens series, looks at how San Francisco responded to AIDS when it arrived in 1981. Though the disease devastated a community, it also brought people together in inspiring ways. 10 p.m., PBS.

FRIDAY: We expect gasps to emanate from living rooms all over America during Megastunts: Highwire Over Niagara Falls -- Live! It's a special offering coverage of daredevil Nik Wallenda's attempt to walk a tightrope across the falls -- a feat that had been banned for more than a century. 9 p.m., ABC.

SATURDAY: Blue Lagoon: The Awakening is a partial remake of the 1980 big-screen flick. Mismatched high school students (Indiana Evans and Brenton Thwaites) form a bond while stranded on a tropical island. 8 p.m., Lifetime.



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