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The ticket: Television


Mr. Selfridge 9 p.m., PBS

Season 2 begins with the store’s fifth anniversary. Harry Selfridge and his wife, Rose, are estranged, but she returns from America to celebrate. So all of this is just lovely, except for one thing: Jeremy Piven returns in the lead role. He has the range of a circus barker.


How I Met Your Mother 8 p.m., CBS

The series finale is upon us, and it’s an hour. It’s been a long time a-comin’ — maybe three or four seasons longer than necessary — but I’m still going to miss this baby.


The Mindy Project 9 and 9:30 p.m., Fox

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This show has been on leave for a few months, and I’m glad it’s back. Mindy Kaling brings a lot of great twisted energy to an otherwise conventional sitcom. In the first episode, Danny and Mindy deal with fallout from their kiss. The first time I realized the show’s long game was to make them a couple, I rolled my eyes. They seem so mismatched. But with each season, their pairing makes more sense.


Doll & Em 10 and 10:30 p.m., HBO

The final two episodes of this six-parter premiere tonight. The whole thing has been somewhat predictable, as Doll becomes her actress friend Em’s assistant, slowly makes her life hell, and dabbles in an “All About Eve” subplot. But there are pleasures to be had in the performances by Dolly Wells and Emily Mortimer, as well as the “Episodes”-like satire of Hollywood.


Vikings 10 p.m., History

This series, currently in the middle of Season 2, doesn’t have a lot of buzz, but who cares? There’s so much that’s good here. Creator Michael Hirst doesn’t strain to translate the characters and their brutal, superstitious lives for contemporary audiences. These Vikings are spiritual people, and yet they are pillagers.


Showdown of the Unbeatables 9 p.m., National Geographic

A new series that tests top-of-the-line inventions against each other during extreme challenges. In the first hour, a giant jackhammer goes up against a safe lined with cement and steel. Team safe.


The Trials of Cate McCALL 8 p.m., Lifetime

This Kate Beckinsale vehicle never made it to American theaters. Beckinsale plays a former hotshot lawyer now in recovery and estranged from her daughter. Nick Nolte, James Cromwell, and Clancy Brown costar.

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