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Screen Gems: TV the week of July 29

Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal (9 p.m. Monday, HBO) -- Nevada rolled out the welcome Heidif mat for the Mafia goombahs who invented Las Vegas and the busted-luck gamblers who made it pay; for the mad Strangelovian scientists who needed a place to test-fire their nukes; even for all those space aliens who annually abduct countless innocent Americans and fly them to Area 51 to be buggered with random anal probes. But Heidi Fleiss, the Hollywood madam? Heaven forfend! This sad, funny and scandalous documentary follows the efforts of Fleiss -- busted in 1993 for running a high-priced ring of Tinseltown hookers -- to set up a legal bordello in the dusty, tumbleweed-strewn town of Crystal, Nev. Watch the petty meanness and jealousy of the town's citizens for a while, and soon you'll be rooting for the resumption of atomic testing.

Explorer: Finding Anastasia (10 p.m. Tuesday, National Geographic Channel) -- It was one of the 20th century's enduring legends: that somehow Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Russian Czar Nicolas II, escaped the Bolshevik assassins who murdered the rest of her family. And following the collapse of the Soviet Union, a serious investigation could finally get underway. This documentary recounts the discovery of two long-hidden graves and what modern DNA technology told us about their occupants.

Black In America (9 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, CNN) -- These two episodes -- The Black Woman & Family on Wednesday and The Black Man on Thursday -- complete CNN's four-part look at the status of black Americans 40 years after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. CNN reporter Soledad O'Brien talked to everybody from lefty economist Julianne Malveaux to God-wants-you-to-be-rich evangelist T.D. Jakes in assembling these reports.

Penn & Teller Bull----! (10 p.m. Thursday, Showtime) -- Two weeks ago, Penn & Teller trashed the space program as useless and idiotic. Last week, they went after dolphins, labeling them cold-blooded killers. (The fish, not the football team, which everybody knows is harmless.) So what sacred cows are left? I know! The environment! Learn why green is the ugliest color.


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