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Weekend To-Do List: Unsolved Mysteries Edition

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161441__bleakhouse_l-If you move the Miss America Pageant from Atlantic City to Las Vegas, from September to January, and from network TV to basic cable, and you hire as an emcee a guy best known for playing a plumber, is it still the Miss America Pageant? James Denton hosts. (CMT, Saturday, 8 p.m.)

-Did Dennis Miller become more earnest and less funny when he became conservative, or is that just liberal sour grapes talking? See for yourself on Smirky McSmirkster’s new HBO stand-up special, Dennis Miller: All In (Saturday, 10 p.m.)

-Is Gillian Anderson (left) really a time-traveler from the 19th century? After her triumph a few years ago in The House of Mirth, Scully travels back even further to star in Dickens’ Bleak House, in which she looks eerily perfect for the role of Lady Dedlock, a porcelain-skinned woman of mystery. (PBS, Sunday, 9 p.m.)

-What’s in the 15 minutes Terrence Malick cut from The New World between its Oscar-qualifying run last month and its nationwide release today? Is his epic tale of Pocahontas and John Smith substantially different? Is it better? The reclusive director is remaining characteristically silent about the changes, but EW’s Lisa Schwarzbaum prefers the newer, leaner version.

-Nirvana aside, was the Seattle scene of 15-20 years ago really all that and a bag of coffee beans? EW’s David Browne says it was, at least as documented on the anthology CD Sleepless in Seattle: The Birth of Grunge.

-Speaking of Nirvana, what was it like to be Kurt Cobain’s mother-in-law, not to mention Courtney Love’s mom and novelist Paula Fox’s daughter? Find out by reading Linda Carroll’s memoir Her Mother’s Daughter.

-The best thing about the new Black Eyed Peas video for ”Like That” is its cool guest stars, but does appearing in a Black Eyed Peas video rob them of their cool? Watch it here.

-Lots of questions about the fine but confusing political thriller The Constant Gardener, now out on DVD: How did Rachel Weisz parlay a performance in which her character is killed in the movie’s first few minutes into a Golden Globe trophy? And who, exactly, did her in? And when Ralph Fiennes finally puts it all together, why does he just sit there and… well, you should just see it and figure it out for yourself.

Originally posted January 20 2006 — 9:55 PM EST

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