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BY CLIF GARBODEN

THURSDAY 9

8:00 (64) Baseball. American League championship game #2 — the Boston Red Sox vs. the New York Yankees in Yankee Stadium.

9:00 (2) Frontline: Truth, War, and Consequences. Why is Iraq a mess? You know why. But if your want some reinforcement for your belief in the obvious fact that our government is a shambles — policywise and otherwise — Frontline details the spate of spats among agencies that lured us into war. To be repeated tonight at 1 a.m. (Until 10:30 p.m.)

10:00 (44) The Blues: Godfathers and Sons. Repeated from last week. A chronicle of the production (by Chess Records heir Marshall Chess and Chuck D) of an album featuring traditional blues people and contemporary hip-hoppers. The project barely pans out — the collaboration (reunited Electric Mud sidemen and Chicago-to-NYC rapper [Like Water for Chocolate] Common) ends up being shallow and derivative and hardly the birth of a fused genre. The best they can manage is to turn Common into a low-key blues/jazz singer. But that aside, the Chess history is fascinating, and the other performances in the film are fantastic. Directed by Marc Levin and featuring music from Koko Taylor, Magic Slim, Otis Rush, Ike Turner, and Sam Lay. (Until midnight.)

2:00 a.m. (44) Soundstage. Featuring music from Peter Cetera and Amy Grant. To be repeated on Saturday at midnight. (Until 3 a.m.)

FRIDAY 10

8:00 (64) Baseball. National League Championship Game #3.

10:00 (44) The Blues: Red, White, and Blues. Repeated from last week. This is director Mike (Leaving Las Vegas) Figgis’s contribution to this series — a look at white Brit rockers re-importing the blues to America. Featuring Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, and Tom Jones. (Until midnight.)

12:30 a.m. (2) Masterpiece Theatre’s American Collection: Our Town. Repeated from last week. Paul Newman manages the stage in this Westport County Playhouse production of Thornton Wilder’s down-home tale of small-pond life in Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. (Until 2:30 a.m.)

SATURDAY 11

Noon (6) Football. Miami versus Florida State.

3:30 (6) Football. Penn State versus Purdue, or Oklahoma versus Texas, or Oregon versus Arizona State.

3:30 (12) Football. Florida versus LSU.

4:00 (64) Baseball. American League Championship Game #3.

5:00 (44) El Senador. The story of New Mexican Democrat Dennis Chávez, who served as the nation’s first Hispanic senator — from 1935 to 1962. (Until 6 p.m.)

7:30 (64) Baseball. National League Championship Game #4.

8:00 (6) Toy Story (movie). John Lasseter’s 1995 animated-toy yarn about the true meaning of being a plaything never panders to anybody’s notion of kid’s humor. With the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, and Annie Potts. The equally accomplished sequel will air next week. (Until 10 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Buena Vista Social Club. Ry Cooder visits Cuba and hooks up with a collection of elderly musicians whose careers were revived and internationalized by this Oscar-nominated Wim Wenders film. (Until 11 p.m.)

10:00 (44) The Blues: Piano Blues. Hosted by closet pianist Clint Eastwood and featuring examples of keyboard blues work from Pinetop Perkins, Jay McShann, Dave Brubeck, and the incomparable Marcia Ball. (Until 11:30 p.m.)

11:00 (2) In the Life. A new season begins for this monthly magazine-format show devoted to gay/lesbian/etc. issues. Even the ITL Web site (www.inthelifetv.org) doesn’t list details for this opener. (Until midnight.)

Midnight (2) Austin City Limits. Featuring music from Los Lobos and Ratdog with Bob Weir. (Until 1 a.m.)

SUNDAY 12

12:30 (6) Soccer. Women’s World Cup final match.

1:00 (25) Football. The Pats versus the New York Giants.

4:00 (12) Football. The Buffalo Bills versus the New York Jets.

4:00 and 7:00 (64) Baseball? The "if necessary" National League championship game # 5, followed by American League championship game #4.

8:00 (44) That’s Entertainment 2 (movie). A 1976 sequel anthology of memorable moments from MGM musicals. Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire host. (Until 10:15 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Masterpiece Theatre: Warrior Queen. Xena, Schmena! WGBH introduces us to Boudica, queen of the Iceni Celts of Thetford, GB, who, after suffering betrayal and brutality at the hands of Nero’s Rome, led a rebellion against her nation’s oppressors — one occupying imperialist garrison at a time — in 61 AD. Boudica and her army did pretty well, too, although they were eventually reduced to dressing up in spooky Celtic costumes and taunting the Romans in a tactic that fell somewhere between a Monty Python skit and an Abbie Hoffman street demonstration. In the end (Boudica’s end, at least) the rebels lost, and the red-haired warrior woman killed herself to escape capture. Of course, you don’t see too many Romans ruling England these days, so it all worked out eventually. Former Moll Flanders Alex Kingston (ER’s Dr. Courday — the one who made you wince every time she said "Mahk-Mahk" to Anthony Edwards’s Dr. Greene) stars as the Queen B. Jack Shepherd plays Him, Claudius; Andrew Lee-Potts fiddles around as imperial psycho-nephew Nero; and Michael Feast co-stars as Roman general Suetonius. To be repeated tonight at midnight and 4 a.m., and, on Channel 44, at 1 and 4 a.m. (Until 10:30 p.m.)

9:00 (12) Footsteps (movie). A new TV movie starring Candice Bergen as a suspense novelist menaced at her beach house. (Until 11 p.m.)

10:15 (44) Show Boat (movie). Howard Keel, Ava Gardner, Kathryn Grayson, and Joe E. Brown star in the well-liked (but not by us) 1951 MGM musical from Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein. The trick here is that the (sympathetic) Ava Gardner character is supposed to be half-black. You wouldn’t necessarily know that because the studio, presumably figuring that race-primitive 1951 audiences couldn’t handle the moral ambiguity, danced around and obscured this essential narrative element. (Until midnight.)

MONDAY 13

7:30 (2) Find! The Public Television Office for Overdoing Things has come up with an Antiques Roadshow spinoff featuring familiar AR appraisers Leigh and Leslie Keno (they’re brothers) invading private homes across America to unearth rare and wonderful (and often valuable) treasures. (Until 8 p.m.)

8:00 (64) Baseball. AL championship game # 5 — if necessary.

8:00 (44) Globe Trekker: South of France. Is North Africa, but for this show, trekker Christina Chang stays in Europe and sees cave paintings, Van Gogh’s Arles, wine makers, perfume makers, Monaco, and the Cote d’Azure. To be repeated tonight at 3 a.m. on Channel 2. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (6) Football. The Atlanta Falcons versus the St. Louis Rams.

9:00 (44) Presumed Guilty: Tales of the Public Defenders. An inside look at our justice system from the viewpoint of lawyers who defend those suspects who "do not have or cannot afford an attorney." To be repeated tonight at 4 a.m. on Channel 2. (Until 11 p.m.)

TUESDAY 14

7:30 (2) La Plaza: El Tiante: A Red Sox Story. As Pennant Fever may or may not still be gripping the Hub, La Plaza digs out this profile of exiled Cuban hurler Louis Tiante, a black man who had the "pleasure" of being on the mound in the World Series at Fenway in 1975, as the city seethed with racism over the issue of forced busing. (Until 8 p.m.)

8:00 (2) Nova: Lost Roman Treasure. A look at efforts to dig up and rescue artifacts from the once-thriving ancient Roman city of Zeugma, on the banks of the mighty Euphrates. Like Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott before it, Zeugma (or what’s left of it) is about to be flooded by a reservoir. (Until 9 p.m.)

8:00 (64) Baseball. National League championship game # 6 — if necessary.

9:00 (2) The Strategic Humor Initiative. David "Yes, I’m Still Alive" Frost hosts this pilot for a weekly US/UK/Canada current-events satire ensemble series. This show features Jimmy Tingle and Jimmy Carr. To be repeated tonight at 2 a.m. and, on Channel 44, at 1 and 4 a.m. (Until 9:30 p.m.)

9:00 (44) Indie Select: Pilgrimage into the Past. Another annual collaboration between Indie Select and the Boston Jewish Film Fest brings us Arlington filmmaker Austin de Besche’s 2000 documentary about a Holocaust survivor retracing the death-march he survived at the end of World War 2. (Until 10:20 p.m.)

9:30 (2) Second Hand Stories. A tour of garage sales, thrift stores, and surplus outlets across America. (Until 10 p.m.)

10:00 (2) A Flea Market Documentary. A celebration of everybody’s junk and treasure displayed on collapsible tables. (Until 11 p.m.)

10:20 (44) Independent Lens: Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz. A profile of Brazilian-born conceptual artist, photographer, sculptor, and magician Muniz. To be repeated tonight at 2 and 5 a.m. (Until 11:30 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY 15

4:00 (64) Baseball. American League championship game # 6 — if necessary.

8:00 (2) Masterpiece Theatre: Daniel Deronda. Now we have MT on Wednesday? Hugh Dancy, Romala Garai, and Hugh Bonneville star in a TV adaptation of George Eliot’s last novel. The story covers the friendship and romance between the title character, an English Jew, and his gal-pal Gwendolen, who’s forced to marry a boring alternative. The thrust here, however, is the exploration of 19th-century British Jewry. To be repeated tonight at 12:30 a.m. (Until 11:30 p.m.)

8:00 (64) Baseball. National League championship game # 7 — if necessary.

8:00 (44) Churchill. Ian McKellen narrated this three-hour bio of Winston C. — enlivened (if such a thing is possible) by contributions from Churchill’s historian granddaughter Celia Sandys. (Until 11 p.m.)

THURSDAY 16

7:30 (2) Basic Black: Amistad Revisited. Captain Bill Pinkney (the first African-American to sail solo around the world) is currently skipper of a reproduction of the slave ship that was the scene of an 1839 revolt that ended up establishing US law via the Supreme Court. (Sit through Steven Spielberg’s 4015-hour 1997 movie, Amistad, for more than you need to know.) Basic Black’s Darren Duarte caught up with Pinkney in Boston when the repro-ship hit port. (Until 8 p.m.)

8:00 (64) Baseball. American League championship game # 7 — if necessary.

9:00 (2) Frontline: Chasing the Sleeper Cell. The PBS Office of Vague Publicity is being a bit coy about this one, so we’re not sure exactly which domestic-intelligence operation is being scrutinized. We are told that the title organization has the reputation for being "the most dangerous terrorist cell in America." Whatever the particulars, this Frontline-New York Times combo investigation suggests that perhaps the FBI has its collective head up its collective ass after all. But at least the next time they make you take your shoes off in an airport, you’ll know that more likely suspects are being similarly annoyed to no meaningful end. To be repeated tonight at 2 and 4 a.m. on Channel 44. (Until 10 p.m.)


Issue Date: October 10 - 16, 2003
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