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TV Notes: All is right with ‘Mad Men’

Don’t miss

“Mad Men” – “What is wrong with you people?” a bewildered woman asks during the two-hour Season 5 opener of this drama. “You’re all so cynical. You don’t smile. You smirk.” She’s referring to the hustlers and con artists who populate Don Draper’s (Jon Hamm) 1960s-era ad agency, and, of course, she’s right, but that’s exactly how we prefer them. Finally back after a brutally long 17-month hiatus, these characters are now wondering what the future holds as they struggle to adapt to the changes brought on by the cultural upheaval of their times. Then again, some things never change: “Mad Men” is still as sleek and seductive as ever. 9 p.m. Sunday, AMC.

Other bets

SUNDAY: What was supposed to be a season finale sadly has become a series finale for “Luck.” The plug was pulled on Dustin Hoffman’s first-year racetrack drama after three horses died on the set, prompting outrage among animal-rights activists. 9 p.m., HBO.

SUNDAY: In the new reality series, “Leave It to Niecy,” the focus is not only actor-comedian Niecy Nash, but on her new husband, Jay, their three boisterous children, and her very opinionated mother, who try to live in harmony under one roof. 10 p.m., TLC.

MONDAY: The moody sci-fi prison mystery, “Alcatraz,” slams the cell doors shut on its first season with a two-hour finale that promises more answers, more secrets and a pedal-to-the-metal car chase through the streets of San Francisco. 8 p.m., Fox.

MONDAY: Fresh off her Golden Globe-nominated performance in “The Descendants,” Shailene Woodley returns for a new season of “The Secret Life of the American Teenager.” Her character, Amy, now has a ring on her finger, but will she really go through with the wedding? 8 p.m., ABC Family.

TUESDAY: On the less “adorkable,” but always funny “New Girl,” Jess (Zooey Deschanel) hits the town with her new boyfriend (Dermot Mulroney). Still, we keep wondering when she and Nick (Jake M. Johnson) are going to admit they have a thing for one another. 9 p.m., Fox.

TUESDAY: In the latest edition of “Frontline,” correspondent Lowell Bergman chronicles the shocking accounts of bribery, blackmail and phone hacking that have rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media dynasty. He also explores the battle over the future of News Corporation and Murdoch’s family fortune. 9 p.m., KSPS; 10 p.m., KCDT.

WEDNESDAY: The gripping crime drama, “Whitechapel” returns. After apprehending a blood thirsty Jack the Ripper clone, Detective Inspector Joseph Chandler (Rupert Penry-Jones) and his partners turn their attention to new challenges in the darkest recesses of London. 10 p.m., BBC America.

THURSDAY: And you thought you were done with the “Jersey Shore” gang for a while. Think again. Tonight brings “The Pauly D Project,” a spinoff series that has spiky-haired Paul “Pauly D” DelVecchio taking center stage for 12 episodes. 10:30 p.m., MTV.

THURSDAY: “You’re Looking at Me Like I Live Here and I Don’t” is a compelling new installment of the “Independent Lens” series. The film immerses viewers in the daily experiences of Lee Gorewitz, a woman with Alzheimer’s, who lives with charismatic vitality in a Danville, Calif., care unit. 10 p.m., PBS.

FRIDAY: Guest-star alert: Lee Majors, aka the Six Million Dollar Man, drops in on “CSI: NY.” He plays a retired detective who investigated an unsolved 1950s murder case that has some eerie similarities to a current one. 9 p.m., CBS.

SATURDAY: Break out the green slime. It’s time for “Kids’ Choice Awards 2012,” the event that honors youthful favorites in all realms of pop culture, including sports. Will Smith hosts the show, which features a performance by One Direction. 8 p.m., Nickelodeon.

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