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Critic's corner

HBO's ''Six Feet Under" begins its final season, tonight at 9, with all the depression, madness, hostility, and tragedy we've come to expect from the Fisher family. Things can always get worse for this clan, and they do, they do. Claire is serious with Billy, who not so long ago was a violent psychopath. Ruth is chained to George, who is seriously mentally ill. And Nate and Brenda are locked into their own bad luck on the eve of their wedding. As always, the scripts are smart, the acting is superb, and the production values are sublime. ''Six Feet Under" has been an enduring example of quality TV. But still, saying goodbye to these doomed people at the end of the season may be a bit of a relief.

MATTHEW GILBERT

''The Early Show" at 7 a.m. on Channels 4 and 12. Actors Jon Cryer and Angus T. Jones (''Two and a Half Men"); makeovers. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Good Morning America" at 7 a.m. on Channels 5, 6, and 9. Chef Wolfgang Puck; authors Judy Steinberg and Raechel Donahue (''The Ropes") (Closed-captioned)

''Today" at 7 a.m. on Channels 7 and 10; 10 a.m. on Channel 7. Actors Cedric the Entertainer and Mike Epps (''The Honeymooners"); Today's Kitchen; authors James Patterson, Walter Mosely, and David Baldacci talk about writing children's books. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''News" at 7 a.m. on WPIX. Krishnan, Muller. (Closed-captioned)

''Life Today" at 8:30 a.m. on Channel 68. With James Robison. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''The Larry Elder Show" at 9 a.m. on Channel 4; 1:35 a.m. on Channel 6. Larry talks to parents about their different discipline techniques. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''The Jane Pauley Show" at 9 a.m. on Channels 5 and 9. Journalist Tom Brokaw. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Live With Regis and Kelly" at 9 a.m. on Channel 7; 10 a.m. on Channel 10. Guest cohost Ryan Seacrest; actress Glenn Close (''The Shield"); Ciara performs; the newly crowned Miss Universe. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Jerry Springer" at 9 a.m. on Channel 56. A woman learns her new boyfriend is cheating with her sister; a woman tells her husband she is cheating with his friend. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''The Tony Danza Show" at 10 a.m. on Channel 6; 1:05 a.m. on Channel 5. Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson; actress Reiko Aylesworth (''24"); chef Lidia Bastianich; Andrea Bocelli performs.

''Montel Williams" at 10 a.m. on Channel 12; 3 p.m. on Channel 25. A program called Face to Face helps victims of abuse erase their physical scars. (Closed-captioned)

''Maury" at 10 a.m. on Channel 56 and WPIX. Guests use paternity tests to confirm the fathers of their children. (Part 1 of 2) (Closed-captioned)

''The View" at 11 a.m. on Channels 5, 6, and 9. Television personalities Connie Chung and Maury Povich; actress Vivica A. Fox (''Missing"); Kem performs. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''The Ellen DeGeneres Show" at 11 a.m. on Channel 7; 3 p.m. on Channel 10 , at 4 p.m. on Channel 50. Actor Charlie Sheen (''Two and a Half Men"); actress Jennifer Coolidge (''Joey"); chef Hazel Smith. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Jerry Springer" at 11 a.m. on Channel 56 and WPIX. A man must choose between his fiancee and his ex-girlfriend; a man likes to wear women's underwear; sibling rivalry. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Pat Croce: Moving In" at noon on Channel 38; 2 p.m. on Channel 50. A boy feels his mother favors his younger sister. (Closed-captioned)

''Charlie Rose" at noon on Channel 44. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Maury" at noon on WPIX; 5 p.m. on Channel 56. A woman finds out that her mother and her boyfriend are in love; a woman tells her boyfriend she has been cheating with his sister; a woman wants her fiance to take a lie-detector test. (Closed-captioned)

''Pat Croce: Moving In" at 12:30 p.m. on Channel 38; 2:30 a.m. on Channel 50. Updates on past shows dealing with gambling compulsions and dysfunctional families. (Closed-captioned)

''Life & Style" at 3 p.m. on Channel 38. How to become a personal assistant to a celebrity; two sisters get makeovers; Melissa Rivers's Hollywood home; recycling old sweaters; protecting holiday packages and wallets. (Closed-captioned)

''Oprah Winfrey" at 4 p.m. on Channels 5, 9, and 10. (Closed-captioned)

''Dr. Phil" at 5 p.m. on Channels 4 and 6.

''New England Business Day" at 6:30 p.m. on NECN.

''The Insider" at 7 p.m. on Channel 4; 7:30 p.m. on Channel 6. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Chronicle" at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 5. Main Streets and Back Roads. Five Islands Harbor, Maine. (Closed-captioned)

''Dr. Phil" at 10 p.m. on Channel 38.

''Charlie Rose" at 11 p.m. on Channel 2. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Tavis Smiley" at 11 p.m. on Channel 44. Maximilian Schell, actor and filmmaker; musician Oscar Brown Jr. performs. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Sports LateNight Wth Chris Collins" at 11 p.m. on NECN.

''Late Show With David Letterman" at 11:35 p.m. on Channels 4 and 12. Actor Cedric the Entertainer; Indianapolis 500 winner Dan Wheldon; the Black Eyed Peas perform. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" at 11:35 p.m. on Channels 7 and 10. Actor Will Ferrell; actor George Lopez; Keith Urban performs. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Tavis Smiley" at midnight on Channel 2. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Jimmy Kimmel Live" at 12:05 a.m. on Channels 5, 6, and 9. Actor Fred Willard; creator/actor Seth MacFarlane and actor Alex Borstein (''Family Guy"). In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson" at 12:35 a.m. on Channels 4 and 12. Actor Jon Cryer; author Garrison Keillor; the Sound of Urchin performs. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

''Late Night With Conan O'Brien" at 12:35 a.m. on Channels 7 and 10. Actress Penelope Cruz; actor Will Arnett; John Doe performs. In stereo. (Closed-captioned)

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