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Tubegazing

Amateur astronomers practice 'Seeing in the Dark,' 'K-Ville' sees New Orleans through policemen's eyes

Seeing in the Dark

(PBS; Sept. 19, 8 p.m.): This charming love letter to the backyard astronomer in all of us, broadcast in HDTV, is well-known science writer Timothy Ferris's way of inviting us all to the party. He makes a compelling case that amateur stargazers have contributed invaluable data to the ongoing body of celestial knowledge. The photos of stars are elegant, and the show offers a glimpse of the legions of amateurs around the globe who've been inventing their own crazy telescopes for centuries. Grade: A

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K-Ville

(Fox; Sept. 17, 9 p.m.): Fox's penchant for ripping its new dramas from the headlines can have mixed results – this new cop series is filmed in New Orleans, giving it at times too much topicality for its own good. It's essentially a show about mismatched detective partners struggling to do meaningful work in a city still on its knees. The question is whether it will actually help raise awareness of the city's ongoing needs amid all the gunfire. Grade: B