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What to Watch on Monday: Ken Burns traces biography of cancer

Filmmaker Ken Burns (right) with Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of “The Emperor of all Maladies.”
Filmmaker Ken Burns (right) with Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of “The Emperor of all Maladies.” Stephanie Berger Photography / PBS

Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies (9 p.m., UNC-TV) – The first episode in a new 3-part documentary series from Ken Burns that traces the “biography” of cancer based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning book by Siddartha Mukherjee. In the 2-hour opener, Sidney Farber introduces the modern era of chemotherapy in the 1940s. It also looks at the case of a 14-month-old girl with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Subsequent episodes air on Tuesday and Wednesday. Below, watch a special “Cancer: A Conversation” with Burns and Mukerjee, hosted by Katie Couric.

Also on tonight . . .

2 Broke Girls (8 p.m., CBS) – Caroline and Max take second jobs at a chic restaurant in order to earn more money to help pay off their loan.

The Big Picture with Kal Penn (9 p.m., National Geographic) – The premiere of this new docuseries hosted by Kal Penn, which explores different issues each week, opens with a look at how our lives are shaped by crime. Included: a look at a small town making big money for drug dealers; a Colorado economy benefiting from incarceration; and gangs in Washington, D.C., competing for territory.

The Following (9 p.m., Fox) – Ryan and Mike track their target to a small town to confirm he isn’t seeking protection.

Bates Motel (9 p.m., A&E) – Emma and Norman spend a day away from the motel, while Romera looks into two strange deaths in White Pine Bay.

Better Call Saul (10 p.m., AMC) – Chuck wants Jimmy to accept a harsh truth. Also, Mike’s ability to complete a job is questioned, thereby threatening a deal.

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