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Off the Wall: 'The Wire' and fired-up fashions

Off the Wall is always wired.

FIREHOUSE FASHION Contestants on "HGTV Design Star" (Sunday at 10 p.m., HGTV) find themselves inside fire simulators hotter than 700 degrees, trying to get a feel for the New York City firefighters whose stations they're renovating. Full episodes, recaps at

RE-'WIRE' HBO's acclaimed novel-for-TV "The Wire" (Sunday at 9 p.m., DirecTV's The 101) gets a complete encore via satellite, richly charting the evolution of a once-great city - Baltimore - through the characters who populate its police, politics, waterfront and other urban infrastructures. More at

INSTANT EATERY Want to open a restaurant? Can you do it in a day? That's the idea behind "24 Hour Restaurant Battle" (preview Sunday at 10 p.m., premiere Wednesday at 10 p.m., Food Network). Chef Scott Conant of NYC's Scarpetta hosts competing duos asked to conceive, design and open their own eatery in 24 hours. Video at

DON'T JUST SIT THERE "Glee," "American Idol" and "Whale Wars" are among the TV show nominees at the good-news "Do Something Awards" (Monday at 9 p.m., VH1), also honoring movie stars, athletes, comedians, charities and cities working toward social change. "Glee" star Jane Lynch hosts. Nominees at

'DEGRASSI' NOVELA The long-running teen series "Degrassi" (Monday 9-11 p.m., TeenNick) revamps its format to tell a serialized story weeknights for six weeks after tonight's TV movie kickoff. The season runs Mondays to Thursdays at 9 p.m. through Aug. 26. More on the big innovation at

LUCKY OR UNLUCKY? We all dream about winning the lottery. But the documentary "Lucky" (Monday at 9 p.m., HBO) visits victors who insist, "Winning the lottery is like throwing Miracle Gro on your character defects." Preview at

ROUNDBALL RULES As basketball goes around the globe, so go American music, fashion and more. Chuck D narrates "Crossover: A Worldwide Basketball Odyssey" (Monday at 8 p.m., Documentary Channel), which travels across America, Europe, Asia and Africa, blending poetry, music and imagery to reflect how the sport is bringing world cultures together. Preview at ?v=R0wi_OF_tMk.

CELEBS BELOW THE SURFACE Some shows try to dig deeper than the usual glitz. "Life After" (Monday at 9 p.m., TV One) starts a new season of life-changing stories with Janet Hubert dishing on Will Smith. "Merle Haggard: Learning to Live With Myself" (Wednesday 9-10:30 p.m., PBS/13) is a new "American Masters" portrait of the country music legend. Extras at

DOCUSERIES FIXES Watch high school cliques and cliches break down in "If You Really Knew Me" (Tuesday at 11 p.m., MTV), as "Rescue 911" producer Arnold Shapiro weekly challenges students at different schools to change the status quo. "Confessions: Animal Hoarding" (Wednesday at 9 p.m., Animal Planet) tries to get inside the psychology that compels people to acquire uncontrollable numbers of pets. School video at _knew_me/series.jhtml.

REAL VS. REEL See what daily life is actually like among India's urban poor in "The Real Slumdogs" (Wednesday at 8 p.m., NatGeo). But first, watch the Oscar-winning drama version in "Slumdog Millionaire" (Wednesday at 2:30 p.m., HBO Signature). Real-life info at

STARZ WANTS STARS So the premium channel has canceled its cool, little Hollywood comedy "Party Down," the better to throw its bucks behind epic offerings like the eight-hour "event" series "The Pillars of the Earth" (July 23 at 10 p.m.- midnight, Starz). Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell and Donald Sutherland star for producers Ridley and Tony Scott, based on Ken Follett's fantasy novel. Video at


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