The Week’s guide to what’s worth watching

The best programs on TV this week

The 135th Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show

Six new breeds join the venerable competition this year: the Boykin spaniel, the bluetick and redbone coonhounds, the Cane Corso, the Leonberger, and the Icelandic sheepdog. David Frei and Mary Carillo host the two-night event live from New York City’s Madison Square Garden. Monday and Tuesday, Feb. 14 and 15, at 8 p.m., USA (9 p.m.–11 p.m. portion of Monday’s show on CNBC)


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Not just a profile of the 40th president, this engrossing documentary is also an inquiry into his enigmatic personality, adroitly blending clips from his acting career with archival footage to show how his screen and political personas merged. The film benefits greatly from the perspectives of Reagan’s son Ron; other interviewees include official biographer Edmund Morris and a number of key Reagan advisors. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 2:30 p.m., HBO

The Battle for Marjah

One year ago, U.S. Marines launched the largest offensive in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban nearly a decade ago: an effort to clear insurgents from the Taliban stronghold of Marjah. British journalist Ben Anderson, who embedded with U.S forces for two months, offers a soldier’s-eye view of a dangerous campaign that is a key test of the U.S. strategy of training Afghan forces by fighting alongside them. Thursday, Feb. 17, at 9 p.m., HBO

Pictures Don’t Lie

Photographer Ernest Withers captured some of the most iconic images of black Americans’ struggle for civil rights. But three years after his 2007 death, evidence surfaced that he’d been paid by the FBI to inform on civil-rights leaders. Soledad O’Brien investigates the allegations, which are being disputed by Withers’s children as they strive to open a museum of their father’s work. Sunday, Feb. 20, at 8 p.m., CNN

Secret Service Files

This two-night documentary follows agents of the U.S. Secret Service as they raid a counterfeiting operation in Bogotá, Colombia; pursue a thief raiding New York City ATMs with fake credit cards; conduct a sting operation in Miami; and prepare security for the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly. Sunday and Monday, Feb. 20 and 21, at 8 p.m., National Geographic Channel

Other highlights


It’s man versus machine as top-earning champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter square off against Watson, an IBM computing system, for a $1 million jackpot. Monday–Wednesday, Feb. 14–16; check local listings

NOVA scienceNOW: Where Did We Come From?

Topics include new research into the chemical building blocks of life, insights into human evolution yielded by head lice, and an injection that could erase painful memories. Wednesday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m., PBS; check local listings

Gold Rush: Alaska

In the season finale of this docu-series, the miners make a last-ditch effort to strike it rich as winter sets in. Friday, Feb. 18, at 10 p.m., Discovery

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