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Around the remote: Chuck Barney's picks for Sept. 6-12

Contra Costa Times

DON'T MISS: "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" The post-David Letterman era begins as Colbert, the former Comedy Central goofball, makes his high-profile transition. And he can finally be himself as he leaves behind the pompous pundit character he played for nearly a decade. Colbert's opening night guests are George Clooney and GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush. 11:35 p.m. Tuesday, CBS.

Other bets

SUNDAY: "Arthur & George" is a three-part "Masterpiece Mystery!" adaptation of the Julian Barnes' novel, starring Martin Clunes as famed author Arthur Conan Doyle. In the opener, he's asked to clear a man convicted of animal mutilation. 8 p.m., PBS.

MONDAY: Need your Cookie fix? "Empire," the smash hit hip-hop drama, gets the Labor Day marathon treatment as Season 1 unfolds in all its over-the-top fabulousness. Noon, FX.

MONDAY: In 1990, Ken Burns changed the face of historical documentaries and captivated America with "The Civil War." To mark its 25th anniversary, the film remastered for high-definition will air over five consecutive nights. 9 p.m., PBS.

TUESDAY: "Cake Boss" launches its seventh season with a two-hour installment. The first mission for the folks at Carlo's Bake Shop? Make a special cake for Oscar-winners Common and John Legend. 8 p.m., TLC.

WEDNESDAY: The final five jokesters face off on "Last Comic Standing," but only the funniest one will walk away with the crown and a TV show development deal. 10 p.m., NBC.

WEDNESDAY: "You're the Worst," one of last year's best comedies, returns for Season 2 as our caustic lovebirds Jimmy (Chris Geere) and Gretchen (Aya Cash) try to keep their relationship alive while living together. Our prediction? Disaster. 10:30 p.m., FXX.

THURSDAY: Craig Ferguson may not be a late-night TV fixture anymore, but he's still making people laugh. In the stand-up special "Craig Ferguson: Just Being Honest," he offers hilarious insights on, among other things, religion, sex, drugs and prostate exams. 10 p.m., Epix.

FRIDAY: You would think that zombies are enough of a threat. But as "Z Nation" returns for Season 2, our characters find themselves coping with the fallout from the nuclear weapons that were launched in last year's finale. 10 p.m., Syfy.

SATURDAY: "Johnny Cash: American Rebel" is a new documentary that celebrates the life and artistry of the Man in Black on the 12th anniversary of his death. The film features interviews with his family, friends and admirers, including Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Merle Haggard and John Mellencamp. 9 p.m., CMT.

SATURDAY: Last March, comedian Will Ferrell visited five Arizona spring training ballparks in one day and played in parts of games with 10 different major league teams, including the A's and Giants. The amusing results are captured in "Ferrell Takes the Field," a special dedicated to the fight against cancer. 10 p.m., HBO.


(Email Chuck Barney at cbarney@bayareanewsgroup.com.)


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