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Arts and Entertainment

TV Junkie: The Series Finale of 'The Shield'

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The finale of one of the best programs to ever hit the tube happens tonight at 10:00pm on FX. "The Shield" has been a pioneering show from the beginning - by pushing the limits, it paved the way for every other gritty show on cable that network TV has yet to successfully emulate. "The Shield" has never been a "police-procedural" show, it has never been repetitive or cookie-cutter, you will never see "Robot Chicken" do an all-chicken/all-clucking version of "The Shield" the way they did "Law & Order" (although Michael Chiklis did appear on an episode of "Robot Chicken" as Vic Mackey).

The only reason why there's been a "Damages", "Mad Men", "Nip/Tuck", "Breaking Bad", etc. on TV is because of "The Shield". "The Shield" brought Glenn Close to TV and thus started the stream of other film actors to turn to television (Holly Hunter, Tim Roth, etc.). "The Shield" proved that you could have challenging, character-driven TV on basic cable and it's improved both basic cable as well as premium cable, which has had to protect what was formerly its calling card.

"The Shield" inspires extremes in viewers: some people hate the show, some people hate the characters (they all have flaws), some people hate specific actors in the show (Michael Chiklis is a frequent target), but there are many more that have loved and appreciated each and every aspect of this show and the fine performances it has presented over these seven amazing seasons. Thank you Shawn Ryan and company, we will miss The Barn and this gang of misfits.

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The TV Junkie Plan: "House", "Frontline", "The Shield", Ferguson.

8:00pm House FOX - A man desperate for a diagnosis takes House, Thirteen and a number of patients hostage in Cuddy's office.

8:00pm Dancing with the Stars ABC - Season Finale.

9:00pm Frontline PBS/KCET - Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez claims a revolution is turning his country into an anti-capitalist beacon for the world.

9:00pm Dirty Jobs Discovery - Harvesting hops for beer; animal hides are turned into paper.

10:00pm The Shield FX - Series Finale!

10:00pm The Real Housewives of Orange County Bravo - Season Premiere

10:00pm Coolio's Rules Oxygen - Season Finale.

12:35am The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson CBS - Actor Tony Curtis; actress Megalyn Echikunwoke.

12:35am Late Night With Conan O'Brien NBC - Musician Kanye West; actor Seth MacFarlane; Kanye West performs.