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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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(Courtesy photo) The Ewing family gathers for J.R.'s funeral on "Dallas."
Monday on Utah TV: "Defiance" debuts on Syfy; J.R.'s killer revealed on "Dallas"

Syfy's newest Great Programming Hope is Defiance, which premieres tonight at 7, 9 and 11 p.m. on the channel formerly known as Sci Fi.

It's OK. It looks great. It might turn out to be a pretty good series ... or it might not.

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The premise is interesting. In 2016, Earth is invaded by aliens. A whole bunch of different races from a dying solar system show up and want our planet, so there's a big war. Human don't lose, but we certainly don't win. And we all end up sharing the planet.

This is not an outer-space show, because Syfy eschews those. (Weird.) Instead, it's a futuristic Western set in a town called Defiance - built on the ruins of St. Louis - where humans and various aliens co-exist in an uneasy peace.

Again, looks great. The writing is so-so. The two-hour pilot is decent.

This could go either way.

Over on Dallas (7 and 8 p.m.; 9 and 10 p.m., TNT), we're going to find out who killed J.R. In the season finale. And we may find out if Pamela Barnes Ewing Ewing (she married Bobby twice) is still alive.

The other cliffhanger is whether the show will be renewed for a third season. There's reason for optimism and reason to despair - we haven't heard yet from TNT, which threw a wrench into the ratings when it moved Season 2 from a summer launch to a January launch.

The show really found itself in Season 2. It's loads of fun. So here's hoping there's a Season 3.

Elsewhere on TV ...

NBA (6 p.m. ROOT): Utah Jazz at Minnesota Timberwolves

How I Met Your Mother (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): The Captain wants Lily to move to Rome.

Dancing with the Stars (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): The remaining contestants perform.

The Voice (7 p.m., Ch. 5): The battle rounds begin.

Bones (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): A stock broker who moonlights as a stripper is murdered.

Oh Sit! (7 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): This extreme version of musical chairs returns.

Rules of Engagement (7:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Russell's new girlfriend looks a lot like Timmy.

90210 (8 p.m., CW/Ch. 30): Naomi plans a launch party for Author X.

The Following (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Roderick makes a shocking decision that impacts Joey.

NewNowNext Awards 2013 (8 p.m., Logo): Aisha Tyler hosts.

Mike & Molly (8:30 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Molly and Peggy clash as they try to plan Mike's birthday party.

Hawaii Five-0 (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): McGarrett tells the story of his last mission in North Korea.

Castle (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): There are giant footprints at the site of a murder.

Revolution (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Rachel tries to turn the power back on.

The Secret Life of the American Teenager (9 p.m., ABC Family): Jack agrees to see a therapist.

Bates Motel (11 p.m., A&E): Emma and Norman make a big discovery.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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