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Best shows on TV this week

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By Chuck Barney
Contra Costa Times
“Spies of Mississippi” is the latest documentary from “Independent Lens.” It tells the story of the Mississippi Sovereignty Commission, a secret intelligence agency created by the state government in the 1950s to repel desegregation, using a network of both black and white informants to infiltrate civil rights groups. 10:30 p.m., KCTS.
For one special episode, “Pretty Little Liars” is plunged into the world of a 1940s black-and-white noir film, complete with period costumes. Why? Because a frazzled, pill-popping Spencer (Troian Bellisario) loses touch with her own reality and wakes up in a new / old one. 8 p.m., ABC Family.
Let’s hear it for the mutts! For the first time ever, the storied “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show” is allowing mixed-breed canines to compete in a new agility event, which is fine with us because we like rooting for the underdog. 8 p.m., USA.
More contestants are forced to face the music on “American Idol” as the Hollywood rounds continue. On Thursday, we’ll find out who the semifinalists are. 8 p.m., Fox.
Forget the hoity-toity wine choices. Tonight, the contestants on “The Taste” are challenged to create dishes that pair well with a nice, frosty glass of beer. 8 p.m., ABC.
Painful memories of dodgeball are dredged up on “King of the Nerds.” But no worries: Tonight’s showdown features teams composed solely of robots. 10 p.m., TBS.
Are you getting tired yet of staring at the cheery mug of Bob Costas? The Winter Olympics continue as one of the games’ high profile sports — men’s figure skating — looks to crown a champion. 8 p.m., NBC.
The new pirate drama, “Black Sails,” continues to shiver our timbers with an episode that brings disaster to members of the Walrus crew.
That’s fine, but when does Jack Sparrow show up? 9 p.m., Starz.

Story tags » Television

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