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Chris Hicks: Burns' 'War' available Tuesday

Lots of new-to-DVD television programs will be in stores on Tuesday, led by Ken Burns' mammoth retelling of World War II.

Best bets

"The War" (PBS/Paramount, 2007, six discs, $129.99). Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's 15-hour documentary on World War II (still airing on PBS tonight and Tuesday) comes to stores in a box set with bonus material you didn't see in the TV version. And, of course, it's unexpurgated, so the naughty words that were deleted in the early-evening showings are here.

A stirring, gripping and at times terrifying recounting of familiar events, done in the Burns style we've come to equate with the best documentaries.

Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes, audio commentary, featurettes, photo gallery, text biographies, educational resources

"Shark: Season One" (Fox, 2006-07, six discs, $59.98). Most compelling series can thank their writers, but this one can thank its charismatic, firebrand star, James Woods, who grabs the audience and won't let go (and also gets the best lines). He's a ruthless, unethical defense attorney who's had enough of defending criminals and switches over to the L.A. district attorney's office. (The pilot was directed by Spike Lee.)

Extras: Widescreen, 22 episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurette, bloopers

"The Inspector Lynley Mysteries 5" (WGBH, 2006, four discs, $39.95). In its fifth season of feature-length mysteries, this British series about an upper-class police inspector (Nathaniel Parker) and his female working-class partner (Sharon Small) just gets better.

Extras: Widescreen, four episodes

Series

"Jericho: The First Season" (CBS/Paramount, 2006-07, six discs, $54.99). Sci-fi end-of-the-world thriller from the old school, with a good ensemble cast led by Skeet Ulrich and Gerald McRaney.

Extras: Widescreen, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, featurettes

"How I Met Your Mother: Season Two" (Fox, 2006-2007, three discs, $39.98). Funny, occasionally raunchy, ensemble sitcom, with wisecracking Neil Patrick Harris stealing the show.

Extras: Widescreen, 22 episodes, audio commentaries, featurette, bloopers

"Criminal Minds: The Second Season" (CBS/Paramount, 2006-07, six discs, $64.99). Mandy Patinkin's final season on this gruesome police procedural about tracking serial killers. (Joe Mantegna will replace him for the third season.)

Extras: Widescreen, 23 episodes, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers

"Little People, Big World: Season 1" (TLC/Genius, 2007, three discs, $27.95). Enjoyable reality series that dashes stereotypes, about little people Matt and Amy Roloff, and their children, three average-height kids and one little-person son.

Extras: Full frame, 20 episodes, two "lost" episodes

"I Love New York: The Complete Unrated First Season" (VH1/Paramount, 2007, three discs, $39.99). VH1 reality-show spinoff of "Flavor of Love," focusing on Tiffany Pollard.

Extras: Full frame, 10 episodes

"The Sarah Silverman Program: Season One" (Comedy Central/Paramount, 2007, $19.99). Foul-mouthed Silverman performs raunchy, scatalogical skits for your viewing pleasure.

Extras: Full frame, six episodes, deleted scenes, audio commentary, karaoke sing-along

Concert show

"Last of the Breed" (A&E, 2007, 24.95). Energetic concert film for fans of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price. Songs include "On the Road Again," "Crazy," "Okie From Muskogee," "Route 66," "Whiskey River" and many more — 35 in all.

Extras: Widecreen

"Broadway's Best at Pops" (WGBH, 2005, $19.95). This PBS special gathers clips from 35 years of "Evening at Pops," with Broadway stars doing their thing, from Ethel Merman and Ray Bolger to Bernadette Peters and Gregory Hines. Our own Keith Lockhart is also here, in his role as conductor of the Boston Pops.

Extras: Full frame, extended performances, featurettes

Documentary

"Magnificent Voyage of Christopher Columbus" (WGBH, 2006, $19.95). Columbus' first voyage is the focus of this look at his encounter with natives of the Bahamas and Cuba.

Extras: Widescreen

Kids shows

"Tom and Jerry Spotlight Collection, Vol. 3" (Warner, 1947-58, two discs, 35 cartoons, featurettes, $26.99)

"Wonder Pets! Save the Reindeer" (Nick Jr./Paramount, 2007, $16.99)

"Betsy Bubblegum's Journey Through Yummi-Land" (Lionsgate, 2007, $14.98)

"Strawberry Shortcake: Let's Dance" (Fox, 2007, $14.98; with dance mat)

Specialty DVD

"Yoga for the Rest of Us: Back Care Basics" (WGBH, 2007, $19.95)


E-mail: hicks@desnews.com