Tuned In: 'Mentalist' may finally unveil Red John


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On tonight's episode of CBS's "The Mentalist," viewers may be treated to the possible revelation of Red John, and on Monday a local crime will be profiled on cable's Investigation Discovery.

'The Mentalist'

Plenty of viewers have complained about the ongoing story of Patrick Jane (Simon Baker) and his almost-got-him-but-no-he-got-away quest for Red John, who murdered Jane's wife and daughter. Finally, maybe, the CBS drama "The Mentalist" will wrap up that 51/2 years (and counting) plot with this week's episode at 10 tonight (or later if there's a football overrun, so set your DVRs to record longer than the program length).

Last Sunday's episode revealed Red John to be Jane's CBI boss Gale Bertram but because there have been Red John red herrings before, viewers will have to tune in tonight to see if that sticks.

In a teleconference with reporters last week, Mr. Baker, who previously starred in the Pittsburgh-set CBS drama "The Guardian," said it has been a challenge to bounce back and forth between procedural stories and the ongoing Red John arc, so he's gratified by tonight's game-changing episode.

"I'm always for going for it and pushing it a bit more," he said. "I like the idea of taking risks. ... Sometimes it's frustrating for me as an actor that we're not going anywhere, we're not moving forward. With this, we're definitely going somewhere. The stakes are high, and it gives me something to do that I can really sink my teeth into."

Read a post Monday in the Tuned In Journal blog (http://communityvoices.post-gazette.com/arts-entertainment-living/tuned-in) about what the events of tonight's episode mean for the future of "The Mentalist."

Tanya Kach on ID

"ID Films" profiles the case of Tanya Kach in "The Secret Upstairs" (10 p.m. Monday, Investigation Discovery), retelling the story of the woman who was missing for a decade and found in a McKeesport home in 2006. She said she was held captive by her former middle school security guard, Thomas Hose.

The one-hour program includes new interviews with Ms. Kach, her father and others, some of whom don't believe she was held against her will and accuse her of spinning the truth to her advantage. But the film opens and closes with Ms. Kach defending herself.

"Put yourself in that position," she says at the film's outset. "If you have someone threatening your life or the life of your family, tell me what you would do. You would obey that person. A lot of people said they would have jumped out the window or, 'I would have screamed,' I would have done this or that. You weren't in my shoes, you weren't there."

For folks who followed the story on local TV news and in print reports, there's not a lot of new information presented in "The Secret Upstairs," which also flubs one bit of identification when the film's narrator says, "Thomas Hose's attorney, Jim Ecker, is known in the Philadelphia area for taking on high-profile cases." Pittsburgh, Philadelphia -- they're both in Pennsylvania, so close enough, right?

Holiday programming

We have a preview of some of the special Thanksgiving week programs in today's TV Week. Additional special programming includes:

"Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood: Snowflake Day" (11 a.m. Monday, WQED-TV): A holiday-themed version of the familiar opening theme song kicks off this special episode of the PBS animated series. The episode's theme: Everyone is different and special, just like a snowflake.

"Swampsgiving" (10 p.m. Tuesday, History): A special edition of "Swamp People" takes viewers into the swamp during the off-season.

"Great Performances: Barbra Streisand: Back to Brooklyn" (9 p.m. Friday, WQED): Ms. Streisand returns to her hometown for a concert.

"My Macy's Holiday Parade" (9 a.m. Saturday, WPXI): The 33rd annual parade features "Days of Our Lives" star Eric Martsolf (aka Brady Black) as grand marshal. There also will be guest appearances by Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., the season six winner of NBC's "America's Got Talent," actor Phil McKeon ("Alice"), and the King family from Great American Country's "Farm Kings." The parade will re-air at 6 p.m. the same day on PCNC.

For a list of Christmas programming, see Friday's Magazine for the Post-Gazette's annual holiday programming listings.

Another cable rebrand

Encore will rebrand some of its channels in December. Encore Drama becomes Encore Black on Dec. 23 and will showcase African-American-starring programs, including reruns of "What's Happening!!," "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Amen."

Encore Classic will replace Encore Love on Dec. 2 with 1980s series, including "Murphy Brown," "Magnum, P.I." and "Night Court."

A new channel, Encore Espanol, will launch on Dec. 2.

Comcast adds Revolt, moves WE

Revolt, the new music and music news channel from Sean "Diddy" Combs, launched last week on Comcast (Channel 138 on traditional Comcast systems and Channel 145 on former Adelphia systems).

In addition, Comcast moved WE to the more widely available digital starter tier on Channel 117/836HD on traditional systems and Channel 140/836HD on former Adelphia systems.


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