Best shows on TV this week

Tonight

“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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.

Friday

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.

Saturday

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.

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The ‘Whimsical Woman’ shares what she learns on the trail

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For Texas BBQ, look for the school bus at the reptile museum

This husband-and-wife team has been serving up brisket and more for a decade in Monroe.

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The slaw of bell pepper, cabbage and carrot holds up well overnight in the refrigerator.

Raising grandkids can feel like the second time around

The responsiblities of serving as a parent can compete with the joys of being a grandparent.

Commentary: Community Transit to keep up with regional growth

Snohomish County’s bus system prepares for more people — including more older residents.

Almost everyone has questions about Social Secuirty

The most frequent guestion about retirement benefits: ‘When can I start receiving them?’

Tech Talk: Help! Junk mail is flooding my inbox

Even when you ‘unsubscribe,’ some web companies keep sending unwanted emails.

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