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TV highlights June 29-July 5 

NEW "BLADE": With Kirk Jones.
  • NEW "BLADE": With Kirk Jones.

THE DEAD ZONE
9 p.m. Sunday, July 2
USA Network (Comcast Ch. 26)

n In the last couple of years, one of the television shows this reviewer can’t quite stop watching is the USA series “The Dead Zone.” Though there were a couple of flat episodes in the last season, it’s still a compelling and thought-provoking TV, with a sense of humor to boot. Based on the Stephen King novel of the same name, “The Dead Zone” is the story of Johnny Smith (former brat packer Anthony Michael Hall). After waking from a years-long coma following a car accident, Smith finds that he can see the future from a touch — leading to an ongoing back story in which he tries to stop an up-and-coming politician from going on to win the presidency and starting a nuclear war. With new episodes coming all this summer, it’s sure to be an interesting ride.

KOKOYAKYU:
HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL
9 p.m. Tuesday, July 4
AETN (Comcast Ch. 3,
Broadcast Ch. 2)
n While Japanese culture might seem about as similar to American life as that of Mars, there are still some things that translate between the two worlds. The value of a good pair of jeans, for example, and watching a chef make a tiny volcano out of an eggshell and a pile of rice. When it comes to bridging the gap, however, nothing links us with our Japanese friends quite like baseball. Embraced with gusto in Japan, the baseball bug bites early, resulting in an annual high school baseball tournament called “koshien.” Much anticipated throughout the year, the August tournament is always met with World Cup-style enthusiasm, with the games televised live and fans following their favorite teams and players with near-rabid fervor. Here, documentary crews follow the fortunes of two teams in their bid for the 2003 High School championship.

BLADE: THE SERIES
9 p.m. Wednesday, July 5
Spike TV (Comcast Ch. 63)

n When it comes to blockbusters, Hollywood seems fixated on the superhero movie. This has led to a couple of summers now when it seems that anything with a spandex jumpsuit and a pulse has made its way to the big screen, not to mention a number of memorable duds. At the dawn of the trend, however, the movie industry discovered one of the more memorable superheroes ever put to film: Blade. Starring Wesley Snipes as a half-vampire assassin on the trail of bloodsuckers with delusions of world-conquest, the original (there have been three to date) is still a gem of the genre. Here, the sword-slinging, kung-fu-fighting hero (one of the few black comic book headliners out there) tries to make the leap to the small screen. Starring newcomer Kirk Jones in the title role, it’s a long-shot for success, but one that may pay off for fans. Given the depth of the movie character, it’s at least worth a look.

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