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BY CLIF GARBODEN

THURSDAY 1

7:30 (2) Basic Black: A Reporter’s Notebook. An interview with CBS News’ Byron Pitts. (Until 8 p.m.)

8:00 (2) Conquistadors with Michael Wood: In Search of El Dorado. Historian Michael Woods continues his history of the Spanish invasion of the Americas with a look at the explorers’ relentless quest for gold. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Frontline: Ghosts of Rwanda. A 10th-anniversary show recalling the 1994 genocide atrocities in Rwanda — as horrible as anything that happened in the 20th century (and that’s some stiff competition). To be repeated tonight at 1 and 4 a.m. on Channel 44. (Until 11 p.m.)

FRIDAY 2

1:00 a.m. (2) Globe Trekker: Vienna City Guide. Repeated from last week. Trekker Ian Wright lounges in Freud’s waiting room, visits a former concentration camp with some of its survivors, and hears a little Mozart in Salzburg. (Until 2 a.m.)

2:00 a.m. (2) Rosemary Clooney: Girl Singer. Repeated from last week. The late, great female vocalist profiled through family interviews and 1950s TV clips. (Until 3 a.m.)

SATURDAY 3

3:00 (12) The Ultimate Road to the Final Four. The 2004 NCAA basketball championship so far. (Until 4 p.m.)

4:00 (12) The Final Four Show. Just in case you weren’t excited enough about today’s games. (Until 6 p.m.)

6:00 (12) Basketball. NCAA men’s Final Four play. Georgia Tech versus Oklahoma State, then Duke versus Connecticut.

6:00 (2) Lost Liners. Sunken but not forgotten. The sad and watery tales of Titanic, the Empress of Ireland, the Lusitania, and Britannic. (Until 8 p.m.)

8:00 (2) Great Performances: The College of Comedy with Alan King 3. A third "masters class" in comedy conducted by the venerable King (of comedy) and featuring Bill Maher, Rita Rudner, Larry Gelbart, and Shecky Greene. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Mystery: Murder Rooms: The Dark Origins of Sherlock Holmes. Ian Richardson stars as Dr. Joseph Bell in this atmospheric drama about the youthful Arthur Conan Doyle (Robin Laing) and his encounters as a med student in 1870s Edinburgh with the doctor who inspired the Holmes character. An ugly (hence "dark origins") serial-killer yarn. To be repeated at 1 a.m. (Until 11 p.m.)

11:00 (2) In the Life: The Fundamental Fight. Broadway’s Cherry Jones and David Marshall host an edition of this gay-and-lesbian magazine-format monthly devoted to the morons on the religious right and their relentless fight against gays on TV and in politics. Pesky and hateful as they may be, the anti-gay religious kooks are a doomed species. The greatest thing about the gay-marriage issue, for example, is that same-sex couples are going to wed, after which (we’re betting) the sun won’t refuse to shine and everybody will get used to the idea and accept it. (Until midnight.)

SUNDAY 4

12:30 (6) Basketball. The Sacramento Kings versus the Houston Rockets.

3:30 (12) The Final Two Show. There’s just one game left. See Monday at 9 p.m.

3:30 (6) Basketball. The San Antonio Spurs versus the LA Lakers.

7:00 (6) The Ten Commandments (movie). Snakes and golden idols! Thousands of drowning Egyptians. Sand and manna sandwiches. God’s electric ballpoint. The annual airing of the 1956 Cecil B. DeMille Old Testament epic. Moses, Moses, Moses! (Until 11:45 p.m.)

8:00 (2) Sesame Street Presents: The Street We Live On. Or on which they live. It’s been 35 years since what began as a televised Head Start program went on the air. In those 35 years, our culture has been enriched by Big Bird and Oscar and Bert and Ernie, et al. The time frame has also seen the near-total demise of American education, and it might be time to ask ourselves whether SS is irrelevant in the face of overwhelming ignorance and social neglect or whether it’s been fighting a relatively successful rear-guard action without which America’s children would be worshipping a pig’s skull. (Until 9 p.m.)

8:00 (10) American Dreams. The season finale. This Dick Cark–oriented show about the cultural transition from Kennedy optimism to Vietnam despair could have been so bad, but it’s not. (Until 9 p.m.)

8:00 (44) Victor/Victoria (movie). Blake Edwards’s 1982 musical about a 1930s Parisian cabaret singer (Julie Andrews) who performs as a man. Participating in the gender-confusion that follows are James Garner, Robert Preston, Alex Karras, Lesley Ann Warren, and John Rhys-Davies. (Until 10:15 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Masterpiece Theatre: Daniel Deronda, part one. Hugh Dancy, Romola Garai, and Hugh Bonneville star in screenwriter Andrew Davies’s adaptation of the last (1876) novel of Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot). Gwendolyn Harleth marries badly for money but secretly loves Daniel, who meanwhile rescues a Jewish singer named Mirah from drowning and falls into the underground world of Victorian British Judaism. It was quite the scandalous yarn in its day. To be repeated tonight at 4 a.m., and on Channel 44 at 1 and 4 a.m. (Until 10:30 p.m.)

10:15 (44) The Cotton Club (movie). Gregory Hines, Richard Gere, and Diana Lane highlight Francis Ford Coppola’s 1984 period piece about Harlem jazz and mobsters in the 1930s. Lots of song and dance scenes make this longer but more memorable. (Until 12:25 a.m.)

2:30 a.m. (44) Fiesta in the Sky. The seldom-aired musical version of this hot-air-ballooning documentary, with such timeless numbers as "The March of the Wooden Hot Air Balloons," "The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Hot Air Balloons," "Hot Air Balloons in River City," "Send In the Hot Air Balloons," "The Old Gumbie Hot Air Balloon," and "Why Can’t the English Teach Their Hot Air Balloons How To Speak?" (Until 3 a.m.)

5:30 a.m. (2) Fiesta in the Sky. One hot-air balloon deserves another. (Until 6 a.m.)

MONDAY 5

8:00 (44) Globe Trekker: Washington, DC City Guide. At last, a new season of Globe Trekker episodes. At last, Justine Shapiro returns. In DC, she witnesses a battle re-enactment, "gets captured by the CIA," chats with some pols, ventures into the city’s African-American community, and even tours the burbs. To be repeated on Tuesday at 12:30 a.m. on Channel 2. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) The American Experience: Meltdown at Three Mile Island. In 1979 the nuclear-power plant on Three Mile Island (near Middletown, Pennsylvania) overheated, and suddenly the East Coast became aware that the end of the world was as close as its electric bill. Fortunately, luck and desperate emergency measures prevented the local population from high-level radioactive contamination, and plant designers were thereafter persuaded to take their job a little more seriously. To be repeated tonight at 1 and 5 a.m. (Until 10 p.m.)

9:00 (12) Basketball. The NCAA men’s championship game.

9:00 (44) Frontline: Testing Our Schools. An old show looking at how the scramble for higher standardized-test scores is changing teaching in America. (Until 10 p.m.)

10:00 (2) Nova: Magnetic Storm. Something else to worry about. In 1989, the lights went out over the Northeast thanks to a freak disruption in the Earth’s magnetic field. One for the books. But if this sort of thing keeps happening, we could be bombarded with deadly radioactive rays from outer space — just as in the comic books. This, of course, would cause us all to grow third eyes and live in Quonset huts. To be repeated tonight at 2 a.m. (Until 11 p.m.)

10:00 (44) A Day in the Life. That’s life inside Dorchester’s Jeremiah E. Burke High School as recorded by filmmakers Theodore Bogosian, Eric Stange, Nancy Porter, and Norland Walker. (Until 11 p.m.)

TUESDAY 6

7:30 (2) La Plaza: Bus to the Burbs. Personal stories from Latino students participating in Boston’s Metco program. (Until 8 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Nova: Battle of the X-Planes. If the US is going to continue to put countries with Third World military defenses out of business, we’re going to have to perfect our methods of raining fire from the skies. This show looks inside the shocking competition between aero-industry giants Lockheed Martin and Boeing to awe the government into awarding one or the other the contract to build the next generation of fighter jets. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (44) Misunderstood Minds. A repeated show about dyslexia (even the name of the condition provokes its symptoms) and how five families confronted their children’s learning problems. (Until 10:30 p.m.)

10:30 (44) Ennis’s Gift. Arlington-based filmmaker Joshua Seftel (Breaking the Mold: The Kee Malesky Story) looks at people who’ve overcome learning disabilities — including James Earl Jones, Henry Winkler, Charles Schwab, Danny Glover, Lindsay Wagner, Robert Rauschenberg, and Bruce Jenner. (Ennis is Ennis William Cosby, Bill’s son and a dyslexia survivor until he was gunned down while changing a tire on an LA freeway.) (Until 11:30 p.m.)

WEDNESDAY 7

7:30 (2) The Great American Songbook with Michael Feinstein. Repeated from the recent fundraising barrage. Feinstein recaps the musical highlights of the first half-century of Hollywood movies. Featuring work by George Gershwin, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers. (Until 9:30 p.m.)

8:00 (44) Normal for Us: The Miller Twins. A documentary about quadriplegic twin sisters and their parents. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (44) Frontline: Public Schools Inc. What if schools had to make a profit? A repeat look at Edison Schools, a public-ed privatizing company, and its controversial founder. (Until 10 p.m.)

9:30 (2) Josh Groban in Concert. The guy must be older by now, but he’s always billed as the "21-year-old singing sensation." In this oft-repeated concert, he performs a typical singing-sensation mix of light classics and light pop. Helping the boy are Andrea Corr (of the Corrs) and soul sister Angie Stone. (Until 11:30 p.m.)

10:00 (44) First to Worst. The decline in the quality of public education is reflected in the drastic fall from prominence of the California public schools (which one in eight students in America attend). A look at how it happened — the primary culprits being limits on school taxes and centralized authority. (Until 11 p.m.)

THURSDAY 8

8:00 (2) Conquistadors with Michael Wood: All the World Is Human. A little-known Age of Exploration saga about four conquistadors who, having lost the 396 companions they’d landed with in 1528, ended up stranded in Texas, from where they took an eight-year hike to the Pacific. Along the way, the stragglers came to realize that the greedy genocide that had brought them to the Americas was wrong, and one them, Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, later wrote about his trek and his crisis of conscience. (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Frontline: Diet Wars. Don’t eat that. Or that. A look at America’s $40 billion-a-year diet industry, the structural flaws in the famous USDA food pyramid, and the raging debate between the anti-fattists and the anti-carbists. (Until 10 p.m.)

10:00 (2) Children’s Hospital: Decisions. A repeat airing of a six-part series about life in Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital. (Until 11 p.m.)


Issue Date: April 2 - 8, 2004
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