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Where to be and what to watch…

Monday, Feb. 5

A fearsome band of “callous murderers, infamous gangsters and heartless predators” is about. No, it's not the cable upfronts, but the world premiere of Surviving Alcatraz on National Geographic at 10 p.m. ET. And if your job is starting to feel a bit like, well, an inescapable prison, consider an occupation that lets you wear jeans and T-shirts, where you get to make your co-workers laugh all day (Yes, we know—you do that anyway). Mediabistro eases the career transition with Writing Comedy For TV. Alan Cross, who writes for Saturday Night Live, teaches the finer points of crafting monologues and shading comic characters. It's at MB headquarters in New York. Speaking of comic characters, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip features a very special guest: Natalie Cole hits the Strip at 10 on NBC.

Tuesday, Feb. 6

It's the P2P Media Summit at the Princeton Club in New York, with keynotes from the top file-sharing and social-networking mavens. Panels include “The Post-MGM v. Grokster World—New Rules for P2P,” with Fritz Attaway, executive VP/general counsel at the Motion Picture Association of America. And it being Black History Month (see p. 14), Nova premieres “Forgotten Genius,” a two-hour special on scientist Percy Julian, who broke the color barrier in American science. Look for Ruben Santiago-Hudson as Julian on PBS at 8.

Wednesday, Feb. 7

Not to be confused with the P2P Media Summit, Media Summit New York kicks off. Panels include “Television 2.0: Cable, Telco, Satellite, Broadband & Mobile Redefine the Future of Entertainment and Communications,” featuring Albert Cheng, executive VP of digital at Disney-ABC. IAC CEO Barry Diller keynotes at the McGraw-Hill Building in Manhattan. And CTAM is also dishing out industry wisdom at its 2007 Research Conference: Cable Inside, Outside and Beyond the Box at the Renaissance Vinoy Resort in St. Petersburg, Fla. The panel “Maximizing the Box: Extending the Usage, Value and Profitability of Cable” features Elyse Bell, director of market research at HBO.

Thursday, Feb. 8

Bigwigs abound! In Florida, Lifetime CEO Betty Cohen runs the CTAM seminar “Unlocking the Box.” In New York, News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch does the keynote at Media Summit. A few blocks away, at the Museum of Television and Radio, Sony CEO Sir Howard Stringer is celebrated for his contributions to media, technology and entertainment. Further uptown, Columbia University hosts “Media Reform: Is It Good for Journalism?” FCC commish Michael Copps shares the stage with Walter Cronkite and former Time Inc. Editor in Chief Norman Pearlstine. On a far frothier note, Disney ABC Kids Networks holds its upfront presentation at the Hudson Theatre in Manhattan. Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus sings syrupy pop songs.

Friday, Feb. 9

Down at CTAM, CBS News Director of Surveys Kathleen Frankovic oversees the lunch panel “Keeping the Box Unlocked.” And here's a box that maybe should've stayed locked: MTV2 unveils its animation block Sic' Emation: Crank Yankers at 10, followed by the season six premiere of Celebrity Deathmatch at 10:30. Tobey Maguire takes on Jake Gyllenhaal in the latter. If you thought Brokeback Mountain jokes were so 2005, you're so wrong.