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TUNING IN: Finding Shows Where You Don't Expect Them
March 30, 2011  | By Diane Werts
 

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Photography on The Weather Channel? Miniseries on Reelz Channel? Coal miners on Spike TV?

And where the heck is The Dog Whisperer?

Shows keep showing up in places you wouldn't necessarily think they'd be airing. As more cable channels seek to broaden their appeal, they're reaching outside their (and our) comfort zones. And smaller channels are seeking to break through the clutter. You need to be a speed-reader these days to get through enough program listings to find whatever nuggets might be hidden on Channel 372.

Of course, you could just consult TVWW where we find the cool stuff for you.

Here's a look at some surprising things showing up someplace or other in the coming week (March 30-April 4):

Coal (Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET, Spike) - This 10-episode series takes us into a West Virginia small-business mine as the latest male-aimed crowdpleaser from producer Thom Beers (Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, etc.). It's a fascinating look inside yet another profession most of us know next-to-nothing about, with grizzled guys facing down all kinds of demons.

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From the Edge With Peter Lik (Thursday at 8 p.m. ET, Weather) - The Aussie landscape photographer crosses the United States, tacking the elements weekly in search of awesome vistas in inaccessible places.

An Idiot Abroad (April Fool's marathon Friday 3-11 p.m. ET, Science) - You've heard plenty at TVWW about this Ricky Gervais-produced show, but have you thought about the channel that's airing it here in the States? That's Science Channel, otherwise the home of black holes, giant squid, industrial manufacturing, meteorites, and even punkin chunkin. But those pumpkin catapults do involve some scientific engineering of computation and construction. And Idiot is basically a travelogue comedy.

The Kennedys (begins Sunday 8-10 p.m. ET, Reelz) - This big-name miniseries docudrama was originally made for History channel, which after seeing the finished product decided it was too hot a political potato to hold onto. So now stars Greg Kinnear, Katie Holmes and Barry Pepper are premiering on this little-seen showbiz channel known mostly for movie trailers, Leonard Maltin and Ally McBeal reruns. the-kennedys-reelz-miniseries.jpgClick here for complete airtimes of the 8-episode production.

Taking on Tyson (Sunday 8 p.m. ET, Animal Planet) - There's a good reason the controversial ex-boxer is on this channel. He's into pigeon racing, which the uninitiated should know is quite the popular pastime in the urban environs of Brooklyn where Tyson was raised. His love and care for these maligned street birds is real and touching, as you'll see in these concluding episodes of a surprisingly satisfying series.

The Dog Whisperer (starting Monday, weeknights at 8 and 11 ET, NatGeo Wild) - Cesar Millan's popular canine training chronicle moves its prime-time airings to this newer animal-oriented channel, an offshoot of its former home, the National Geographic Channel.

 
 
 
 
 
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