Weekend pay TV
Saturday, November 24
Going Green: Secrets in the Ice, CNN, 8pm
AN INTERESTING documentary in which CNN reporter Fred Pleitgen travels to Greenland with a scientific expedition gathering data on the accelerating melt of the Greenland ice sheet. The sheet covers an area more than twice the size of Texas in ice up to four kilometres deep, but is losing an estimated 400 billion tonnes of ice each year. The scientific expedition has two strands - an aerial survey using ice-penetrating radar to establish the depth of the ice in different areas, and a drilling operation to extract ice cores that serve as an archive of the earth's climate over tens of thousands of years. Neither produces good news. Pleitgen, however, finds that many among Greenland's population of 56,000 see economic opportunity in the retreating ice. More land will be available for farming and, as Pleitgen sees at an experimental farm, crops such as strawberries will become viable. Mining companies are also keen to exploit reserves of coal, oil and gas to which the ice has until now stubbornly denied them access.
An Officer and a Murderer, Universal, 8.30pm
IT'S Gary Cole's many comedic roles that have made him such a familiar face, but he has some decent dramatic chops as well. In this telemovie he's suitably creepy as real-life Canadian Air Force officer and sex killer Russell Williams. The detectives on his trail are Dead Like Me's Laura Harris and Rossif Sutherland, son of Donald.
Heston's Feasts, LifeStyle Food, 7.30pm
Heston Blumenthal hits his chemistry lab of a kitchen to whip up a 1980s-themed feast for his celebrity pals.
The Sarah Silverman Program, Comedy, 11.30pm
Oh-so-wrong comedy co-starring Brian Posehn and Steve Agee.
Memphis Beat, 13th Street, 7.30pm
Jason Lee plays a rock'n'roll detective in this decent mystery series.
Sunday, November 25
Unlikely Animal Friends, Nat Geo Wild, 7.30pm
HOW this gorgeous series has failed to become a bona fide pop-culture phenomenon is absolutely beyond me. After all, our species is helplessly addicted to cutesy animal photos with humorous captions. We should be equally defenceless against the onslaught of adorability that is the sight of an orphaned badger cub playing ambush games with fox kits, or that of a young Labrador and an orphaned cheetah racing around together as though they don't have a care in the world. Tonight's episode is a best-of compilation, and going in I didn't think there would be anything cooler than the migrating polar bears who stop off for annual play dates with Eskimo dogs in Canada. Then comes the dog and dolphin that spend hours playing together in the chilly waters off the Irish coast - as underwater footage shows, the dolphin gets its kicks sneaking up on the dog and blowing great spouts of bubbles underneath it. The script, inevitably, tends to over-anthropomorphise the animals, but it's great family viewing.
Shark Wranglers, A&E, 5.30pm
THE shark researchers from Nat Geo's Shark Men have jumped ships and are now on A&E. They're still doing the same job, though - affixing trackers to great white sharks the hard way. They have to catch the sharks, drag them onto a lift and raise them right out of the water so they can bolt the trackers through their fins.
Robbie Williams: Take the Crown, Max, 10.30am, 8.30pm
Robbie Williams in concert at London's O2 Arena this weekend.
Secret Meat Business, LifeStyle Food, 7.30pm
Adrian Richardson makes a Scandinavian stew with chocolate-drizzled candied bacon for dessert.
Top Gear: 50 Years of Bond Cars, BBC Knowledge, 7.30pm