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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Features

Hallmark offers Jules Verne classic

Kevin McDonough United Feature Syndicate

Fans who can’t wait for the season opener of “Lost” would do well to sample “Mysterious Island” (8 p.m. tonight, Hallmark), the latest adaptation of Jules Verne’s novel, a work that surely influenced hundreds of monster movies since its publication in 1876.

Kyle MacLachlan stars as a Union officer who leads a daring escape from a Confederate prisoner-of-war camp involving a newfangled hot-air balloon. His airborne party, including a slave (Omar Gooding, “Barbershop”), an unrepentant Rebel and several fetching females, gets blown way, way off course. And you thought that plot twist started with “The Wizard of Oz.”

Produced by Robert Halmi Jr. and Larry Levinson, “Island” is stuffed to the gills with special effects involving giant critters with an appetite for uninvited guests. Patrick Stewart stars as the secretive Capt. Nemo, a mad scientist who creates an underground lair to survive the ravages of mosquitoes on steroids, towering mantises and rats the size of Buicks.

CMT spends six hours counting down the “100 Greatest Duets” (5 p.m. tonight, CMT). The first four hours will account for the top 88 numbers, followed by a concert performance of the top 12 songs.

Highlights include “American Idol” winner Carrie Underwood and a performance of “Islands in the Stream” by Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers. This marks the first time in nearly two decades that they have warbled that song together.

“King of the Hill” (7:30 p.m. Sunday, Fox) enters its 10th season.

One of the small treasures of prime-time television, “King” was the very first show to find comedy in the so-called “red state vs. blue state” cultural divide. It was also the first, and perhaps only, comedy to show the effects of a Wal-Mart economy on a small town, and it features Peggy Hill, one of the feistiest female characters on episodic television. And she’s a Boggle champ to boot.

In tonight’s season opener, Hank realizes that his friends consider him “uptight.” Tom Petty guest-stars as Lucky, a gentleman with an eye for Luanne.

Speaking of pop-culture gems set in Texas, “Making Dazed” (10 p.m. Sunday, AMC) looks back at the production of the 1993 coming-of-age indie comedy “Dazed and Confused.” Directed by Richard Linklater (“School of Rock,” “Before Sunset”), the film was a kind of “American Graffiti” for the bicentennial, following a group of Texan teens over 24 hours after the last day of school in 1976.

Working with casting director Don Phillips (“Fast Times at Ridgemont High”), Linklater assembled a group of young, undiscovered talent, including Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, Adam Goldberg and Jason London, all of whom would go on to find fame in big movies, independent features and television.

Ellen DeGeneres hosts “The 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards” (8 p.m., CBS). News anchors Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather and the late Peter Jennings will receive a special salute.

Tonight’s highlights

Florida hosts Tennessee in college football action (5 p.m., CBS).

Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, Liv Tyler, Billy Bob Thornton and Steve Buscemi star in the loud 1998 blow-‘em-up “Armageddon” (8 p.m., ABC).

Cheap rent and six bodies on “Law & Order” (10 p.m., NBC).

“Cooking Clubs” (10 p.m., Food Network) documents a new trend in culinary discovery and social networking.

Sunday’s highlights

Scheduled on “60 Minutes” (7 p.m., CBS): Rickey Williams returns to the NFL; chaste teens; bringing order to Baghdad.

An all-star cast and obscene budget couldn’t prevent “Pearl Harbor” (7 p.m., ABC) from becoming the critical pinata of 2001. One wag dubbed it “Bore-a, Bore-a, Bore-a.”

Elijah Wood stars in the 2002 fantasy sequel “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (7 p.m., WB).

Junk food gets the boot on “That’s So Raven” (7:30 p.m., Disney).

You don’t have to be rich to watch the new investing advice series “High Net Worth” (8 p.m., CNBC), but you might need more than a piggy bank. Host Tyler Mathisen aims to educate viewers on how to get the most out of their current assets.

Lost in space on “The West Wing” (8 p.m., NBC).

New neighbors on “The Simpsons” (8 p.m., Fox).

Atia celebrates as Caesar’s grip on the capital grows stronger on “Rome” (9 p.m., HBO).

Henry Winkler guest-stars on “Crossing Jordan” (10 p.m., NBC).

Conversation turns to great inventions on “Barbershop” (10 p.m., Showtime).

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