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Best bets: 'Survivor' seeks 'Redemption'

"Survivor" and "Amazing Race" return this week. Plus: Liam Neeson loses his identity in "Unknown'; James Frey's hit sci-fi novel for kids becomes a film.
/ Source: TODAY.com

TV
Wait, didn't "Survivor" just end? It's back, and past-season villains Russell Hantz (who's suspected of leaking show info) and "Boston" Rob Mariano have returned. There's yet another a new twist ... booted contestants go to a place called Redemption Island, where they wait for another eliminated player to show up. Then the two compete in a challenge and the loser goes home. Defeat all comers and you get to return to the game. Pretty sure we saw that in "Gladiator." (Premieres Feb. 16, 8 p.m., CBS.)

The name says it well on "Amazing Race: Unfinished Business." In this latest season of the popular reality show, the 11 teams of two are all returning from a previous version of the show. Returning competitors include Jet and Cord McCoy (the cowboys), Jaime Edmondson and Cara Rosenthal (the former NFL cheerleaders) and Harlem Globetrotters Herb "Flight Time" Lang and Nate "Big Easy" Lofton. (Premieres Feb. 20, 8 p.m., CBS.)

"Criminal Minds" fans, rejoice: The successful crime show now has a spinoff, "Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior." Forest Whitaker stars in the new show — he and his investigation team was introduced earlier on the original show. (Premieres Feb. 16, 10 p.m., CBS.)

The dogs are back! The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will air on Valentine's Day (and the day after), so if you and your true love are animal lovers, you've got some romantic couch snuggling and TV watching in store. This is reality TV at its best — no fighting, no crying, no Kardashians. (Feb. 14-15, 8 p.m., USA Network and CNBC, check local listings.)

Movies
The plot of "Unknown" is chilling: Liam Neeson plays a doctor who awakes after a car accident to find his wife (January Jones) denying she knows him and another man (Aidan Quinn) taking over his identity. How do you prove you are who you think you are? (Opens Feb. 18.)

Based on the popular book by Jobie Hughes and James Frey (yes, THAT James Frey), "I Am Number Four" has been long-awaited by young science-fiction fans. A group of teenagers hiding out in various places on Earth are really aliens, and they're being tracked down by another alien race. Weirdly, each kid has a number, and they can only be killed in numerical order. Sucks to be number one. (Opens Feb. 18.)

DVD
Some Oscar watchers were shocked when the educational documentary "Waiting for Superman" wasn't nominated for best documentary feature. Many loved the film and felt it pointed out shocking and sad truths about America's education system, but others believed it was too biased against teachers' unions and towards charter schools. Decide for yourself. And if you do buy the DVD, look for a sticker on the case indicating that it includes a $25 gift card for you to donate to a local school via DonorsChoose.org. (Out on DVD Feb. 15.)

The Internet and porn, a natural combination. But somebody had to make it technically possible, and "Middle Men" tells one story of how that happened. Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht play two stoner doofuses who hit on the idea and are somehow smart to make it pay off. But Luke Wilson is the real star as the businessman who tries to keep them out of trouble so the money can keep flowing in. Fans of "Real World: London," take note: Jacinda Barrett plays Wilson's wife. (Out on DVD Feb. 15.)

The "Mystery Science Theater 3000" DVDs keep trickling out. Two more arrive this week. "The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies" is about creepy carnies who use acid to turn guests into zombie monsters. You know, exactly the kind of thing you suspect happens at any slightly seedy carnival. And "Beginning of the End" is the one with Peter Graves using radiation to grow giant vegetables, which somehow produce giant locusts who then crawl across a postcard of — er, I mean, attack the city of Chicago. (Out on DVD Feb. 15.)

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper is TODAYshow.com's movies editor.