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Best bets: ‘Top Model’ lets shorter women in

"America's Next Top Model" is letting women 5'7" and under compete this season, Plus: Season one of "Fringe" comes to DVD; crime meets cold in "Whiteout."
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"America's Next Top Model"
has occasionally included a plus-size contestant (although the modeling world's "plus-size" is most people's "normal"). But women below the typical modeling heights have been shut out, until now. Season 13 focuses on women 5'7" and under. Never fear, the shorties are equally as big on drama as their taller sisters. (Season premiere 8 p.m. Sept. 9, CW.)

It was 40 years ago that Charles Manson and his "family" terrified Los Angeles and the nation, murdering pregnant Sharon Tate and numerous others. The History Channel is premiering a two-hour special, "Manson," in which Linda Kasabian, who stood guard as Tate was slaughtered, speaks about the murders for the first time in 20 years. (Sept. 7, 9 p.m., History Channel.)

DVD"Fringe" hasn't received the critical attention of some other sci-fi shows, but its loyal audience is growing, and it's been renewed for a second season, beginning Sept. 17. Get caught up before that date with the first-season box set. The show focuses on an FBI agent, a scientist just out of a mental institution, and his jack-of-all-trades son (Joshua Jackson of "Dawson's Creek" fame) as they investigate aspects of fringe science. How can a show created by J.J. Abrams of "Lost," Alias," and "Felicity" fame go wrong?  (First season out on DVD Sept. 8)

"The Office" also returns on Sept. 17, and its sixth season will presumably confirm the season-ending cliffhanger that seemed to make it pretty clear that Pam was pregnant. If you need to catch up on the events that led up to that big news, including Pam, Michael and Ryan leaving Dunder Mifflin to open the Michael Scott Paper Company, pick up the fifth-season box set. (Fifth season out on DVD Sept. 8)

Tim Burton and Timur Bekmambetov (“Night Watch”) are the two producers behind the imaginative animated adventure “9.” Set in a post-apocalyptic world in which all the humans have disappeared, it’s up to a small band of “stitch punks” to fight off the fearsome machines that rule the planet. Think of it as “The Terminator” meets “The Nightmare Before Christmas.” (Opens Sept. 9)

Kate Beckinsale stars as a U.S. marshal tracking a killer in Antarctica in “Whiteout.” Only one problem; she has only three days before Antarctic winter begins and everyone is plunged into darkness. As we watch our own days get shorter, at least we can take comfort in the fact that we won’t face the life-threatening temps that Beckinsale’s character does. (Opens Sept. 9)

Music Need something to noodle-dance to? Jam band Phish returns with “Joy,” their first new album in five years. caught an early listen and wrote that the record “has successfully captured the energy and spirit that has made the quartet one of the top touring acts of all time.” (On sale Sept. 8)

Inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s 1967 and 1968 albums with Brigitte Bardot, Scarlett Johansson and Pete Yorn teamed up to create “Break Up.” Yorn told USA Today that Johansson recorded her contributions to the album in just two afternoon sessions. Johansson described the album to Parade magazine as “two people vocalizing their relationship through duets.” (On sale Sept. 8)