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Six Picks: Recommendations from the Monitor staff

Henning Mankell's latest thriller, gripping 'Poldark' drama on DVD, comedy all week on CMT, and more.

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A week of laughs

CMT may be MTV's home for country music, but it wants to be a hot comedy showcase, too. Tune in for its "Big New Comedy Week," which kicks off March 8 and stars some of the nation's top comics, including Melissa Peterman, Bill Engvall, Larry the Cable Guy (at right), and Jim Gaffigan. CMT will also showcase the finalists in an ongoing online-comedy competition, the winners of which will perform at the 2010 Aspen Rooftop Comedy Festival in June.

Best of British drama

One of the most successful British television mini-series, "Poldark," arrives on DVD March 2. A 1977 "Masterpiece Theatre" hit, dubbed the British "Gone With the Wind," this four-disc, 16-episode set is the story of Ross Poldark in the wake of the American Revolution as he returns to a homestead racked by family intrigue and the political turmoil of a Britain on the cusp of the Industrial Revolution.

A new Mankell thriller

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