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What's black, white, and read all over?

Olivia, of course. The porcine diva returns in fine form in a July 4 adventure, Olivia Forms a Band, now in bookstores. To add some spark to the fireworks, Olivia creates a one-pig band. When her mom explains that a band needs more than one person, Olivia replies, "This morning you told me I sounded like five people!" Creator Ian Falconer adds photos and touches of color to the series' minimalist palette, but Olivia's essential nature is unchanged. Thank goodness for that!

Meerkat mafia

Forget "The Sopranos" - TV's most riveting drama about a mob family is Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet (Fridays, 8:30 p.m. ET). In a 13-part documentary that could have been scripted by Mario Puzo, a clan of cute meerkats, ruled by a steely matriarch, deals with double-crossing betrayals, illicit love affairs, and turf wars on the edge of the Kalahari Desert.

Home improvement

Peer in on a major house renovation without getting spackle on your slacks. The blog at charts the 2002 purchase of an Italianate Victorian fixer-upper in Alameda, Calif. - complete with hot-pink staircase and front door - to its current state, with the landscaping starting to go in. Owners Ayes and Noel plan to put out the welcome mat in 2012. Till then, drop by for a virtual hello.

Can't beat that with a stick

If there's one bad thing about Dove Ice Cream Bars - those creamy vanilla treats covered in rich, dark chocolate - it's that the stick takes up valuable ice cream space. Dove remedies this with its new tubs. There are nine flavors - "Give In to Mint," "Toffee Caramel Moment," to name two - filled with chocolate bits and covered in a thick chocolate shell. Some things don't have a negative side.

Scene the ending?

Don't bolt for the exits when the credits start to roll at the end of a summer movie. Some of this season's biggest blockbusters - Over the Hedge, X-Men: The Last Stand, and Cars - include terrific hidden scenes that will make you glad that you stuck around for the names of the Best Boy and Gaffer.

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