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The ticket: Television

Macall B. Polay


Boardwalk Empire 9 p.m., HBO

Creator Terence Winters is trying a different approach for the show’s fourth season. The scenes are longer, and there are a number of significant new characters. The best: Jeffrey Wright as a black mobster who refuses to be submissive to the white people in his business. He brings with him a great story line, finally, for Michael K. Williams as Chalky White. (Pictured: Steve Buscemi.)


POV 10 p.m., Channel 2

The PBS series profiles some of the players in the over-80 World Veterans Table Tennis Championships in China. Yup, that’s “Ping Pong,” as the episode is called. One of the participants is a 100-year-old woman from Australia. Oh how I wish the name of this Ozzy was Harriet, but it’s Dorothy.


Frontline 9:30 p.m., Channel 2

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The great documentary series looks at assisted suicide, the not-so-secret secret. In “The Suicide Plan,” filmmakers Miri Navasky and Karen O’Connor talk to people who are choosing to end their lives, the activists who help others die, and the officials and activists who are trying to stop the practice.


The Bridge 10 p.m., FX

I like a lot about this drama set on the border of Juarez and El Paso, including the title sequence. Cable has really ushered the art of opening credits back into vogue, from “The Sopranos” and “Six Feet Under” to “Dexter” and “Homeland.” The “Bridge” opener is brief but haunting, with images of border towns and, finally, a mass grave, dissolving in heat. Ryan Bingham sings his rootsy song “Until I’m One With You” with a voice that sounds rusted and pained. Love it.


Owner’s Manual 10:30 p.m., AMC

On each episode of this show, reality personalities Marcus Hunt and Ed Sanders tackle some new piece of machinery or technology. Hunt reads the instruction manual, Sanders doesn’t. Who does better? Who cares. AMC has put together some spectacular dramas, but its reality slate is pretty meh.


Hello Ross 10 p.m., E!

Ross Mathews has been on talk shows from “The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — as Ross the Intern — to “Chelsea Lately.” He has also put in time on E!’s red carpet shows. Now the openly gay comic has a talk show of his own, with an interactive element so audience members can ask the guests questions.


Lifeboat 8 p.m., TCM

A little tension in a lifeboat during World War II after good will fades into desperation and dehydration and accusation, anyone? This 1944 Alfred Hitchcock movie is based on a story by John Steinbeck, and it is set entirely in the boat. But that doesn’t stop the director from his trademark cameo, in a newspaper ad.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.
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