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Best bets: ‘Parks and Recreation’ premieres

Show was originally supposed to be a spinoff of "The Office," and is expected to have that same tone. Also new this week: "The Hannah Montana Movie" and "Doubt" on DVD.
/ Source: msnbc.com

TVAmy Poehler's new show, "Parks and Recreation," was originally supposed to be a spinoff of NBC hit "The Office," but now the show stands alone. It's still shot in the same faux-documentary style, with "Office" alum Rashida Jones in the cast, and fans are hoping for more of that straightforward, non-laugh-track humor, just transported outside of Dunder-Mifflin Paper. (Premieres April 9, 8:30 p.m., NBC.)

Fifth season of the often-brutal, always engrossing "Rescue Me" returns this week. The writer's strike delayed the show's return, but now fans are promised 22 uninterrupted weeks of new episodes. Michael J. Fox joins the cast. (Season premiere April 7, 10 p.m., FX.)

Movies Did you like “Paul Blart: Mall Cop” but wish that it had been a bit darker and R-rated? Well, the new Seth Rogen-starring black comedy, “Observe and Report” is for you. Rogen plays a bipolar mall security guard who is determined to catch a flasher who’s been tormenting the mall — by any means necessary. (Opens April 10)

Do you have a tween in your life? Or perhaps you’re a closet Miley Cyrus fan — no need to be ashamed. Just for you, Cyrus offers up her latest flick, “The Hannah Montana Movie,” the big-screen version of her crazy successful Disney Channel series. Will this be as big as “High School Musical 3,” or go down in flames like the Jonas Brothers concert film? It’s in your hands.

DVD
"Doubt"
received five Oscar nominations, four for its lead actors (including Meryl Streep) and one for playwright John Patrick Shanley's script. Numerous film critics named the movie to their top-ten films of 2008 lists. Set at a Catholic grade school in 1964, the film is thought-provoking and intelligent. Roger Ebert says, "it causes us to start thinking with the first shot, and we never stop." (Out on DVD April 7.)

Music Just back from a successful stint at South by Southwest, The Thermals release their latest album, “Now We Can See.” David Carr of the New York Times wrote of their SXSW performance that the Portland trio “demonstrated that elemental three-piece rock, accompanied by proper conviction, can approach majesty, or at least bliss under a metal roof.” (On sale April 7)

Rascal Flatts returns with their sixth album, “Unstoppable.” Lead singer Gary Levox said of the new album, “Songs like ‘Why,’ which deals with a very important and sensitive topic, put me in a place vocally where I've never been. Overall, these were songs I could pour all of myself into.” (On sale April 7)