What to Watch
Monday November 3
Jim Henson’s The Storyteller: The Greek Myths (HBO) ”To have Kermit call me, I must say, was a meeting too good to turn down,” recounts creator Anthony Minghella (director of The English Patient) of his now 10-year-old collaboration with the Muppet master. The Olympian tales — hosted by master thespian Michael Gambon — finally make their U.S. debut tonight with ”Perseus & the Gorgon” (right) and will continue Mondays through November.
Cosby (CBS, TV-G) Debbie Allen, Phylicia Rashad’s real-life sis, guest-stars as Ruth’s stuck-up sister-in-law. Rapper Busta Rhymes also cameos.
Primetime Live (ABC) Correspondent Alex Wallau chews things over with ex-heavyweight champ Mike Tyson.
Everybody Loves Raymond (CBS, TV-G) Debra thinks it would be a good idea for absentee husband Ray to work from home. Wrong.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer (The WB, TV-PG) The magnificently evil Spike sets his sights on Buffy (again) via a visit from her fifth-grade crush.
Ally Mcbeal (Fox, TV-PG) Ally can’t believe the chutzpah of her client’s (guest star Brenda Vaccaro) horny rabbi.
Brooklyn South (CBS, TV-14-LV) Another religious leader plays policeman, as a reverend starts his own investigation into the murder of a poverty-stricken family.
Tuesday November 4
Mad About You (NBC, TV-PG) Mel Brooks returns as Paul’s nutty Uncle Phil. Turns out he’s in a jam with the law over his prodigious collection of coupons.
Lewis & Clark: The Journey Of The Corps Of Discovery (PBS) Lacking a cast as varied and vast as The Civil War or Baseball, L&C requires some expeditionary effort of your own: It’s Ken Burns’ most languorous documentary. But it’s also his most beautiful — how he found the land to illustrate the explorers’ route is a wonder. Voiceovers include Sam Waterston as Thomas Jefferson and Adam Arkin as the endearingly depressed Meriwether Lewis. (Airs through Nov. 5) A- — KT
*Check Local Listings
Newsradio (NBC, TV-PG) Jimmy finds he’s big in Japan when his book of business advice is translated to critical acclaim.
Frasier (NBC, TV-PG) Frasier prods a pregnant Roz into informing the baby’s father of the impending arrival.
NYPD Blue (ABC, TV-14-LS) Angry Andy returns (finally!), when he investigates the rape of a young girl. Simone’s also steamed, as he deals with the desperate acts of a junkie mom.
Wednesday November 5
Spin City (ABC, TV-14) Michael J. Fox’s real-life wife, Tracy Pollan, stars as an ex of Mike’s who’s returned to make good on a romantic promise.
The Nanny (CBS, TV-PG) On a visit to Atlantic City, Maxwell tries to woo guest star Chevy Chase to the Broadway stage, only to find Chevy wooing Fran.
Star Trek: Voyager (UPN, TV-PG) Janeway and crew enter their new time slot with the first episode of a two-parter in which they battle Annorax, a Krenim leader with weaponry that enables him to rewrite history.
Dharma & Greg (ABC, TV-PG-L) An aged Indian man comes to Dharma’s roof to die; she resolves to help him live his final days to the fullest.
The Drew Carey Show (ABC) Holy sweeps shtick! Drew finds out that winning the Batmobile in a fast-food chain’s contest wasn’t so lucky after all.
Ellen (ABC, TV-PG-D) Angie Dickinson shows up as a field nurse who tempts Ellen’s dad at a Civil War reenactment. (Louis Gossett Jr. also guests, as an absurdly strict drill sergeant.) With guest turns this season on Diagnosis Murder and George & Leo, it looks like the ex-Police Woman’s finally getting her props as a TV legend. ”Oh, I hope so,” says Dickinson (right, with DeGeneres and Steven Gilborn). ”It would be nice to be a legend.”
Law & Order (NBC, TV-PG) A murder-robbery at a betting parlor leads Briscoe and Curtis to a right-wing militia group. Their investigation, in turn, winds up endangering McCoy and Ross.
Thursday November 6
The Journey Inside (Sci-Fi Channel, TV-G) Part sci-fi adventure tale, part high-tech instructional, the IMAX film gives kids a microchip’s eye view of computer technology.
Friends (NBC, TV-PG) In ”The One With the Dirty Girl,” Ross dates a coworker (Victoria’s Secret model Rebecca Romijn) who’s as slovenly as she is heavenly.
Promised Land (CBS, TV-PG) Gerald McRaney’s Simon & Simon cohort, Jameson Parker, guest-stars as a doctor who befriends Dinah.
Nothing Sacred (ABC, TV-PG) Ray’s capacity for brotherly love is tested when he takes in his ex-con sibling; sister Maureen has her first go at the pulpit.
Seinfeld (NBC, TV-PG) Jerry’s Peter Pan urges run amok when he becomes enamored of his girlfriend’s toy collection.
Cracker (ABC) Oedipus, schmoedipus. Fitz just can’t believe that a young boy murdered his mom.
Veronica’s Closet (NBC, TV-PG) Domestic discord abounds when Ronnie and Bryce share joint custody of their dog, and her dad has a fling with the housekeeper.
ER (NBC, TV-PG) Sterling character actress Frances Sternhagen shows up as Carter’s wealthy grandmother, whose help Hathaway solicits in funding her free clinic. Speaking of money, budget-conscious Weaver is forced to consider staff layoffs.
48 Hours (CBS) Who needs TV movies when you’ve got the newsmag’s riveting look at the 1993 death of Jane Neumann. After finding her shotgunned body in their Wisconsin home, husband Jim (left, with Jane and son, Jonathon) first reports her death as a murder, then a suicide. Things get really tricky, though, when suspicion turns to him. Awash in circumstantial evidence, the still-uncharged Jim is creepily cagey, but, as correspondent Susan Spencer says, ”If he’s a murderer, he’s the most cooperative murderer I have ever met.” A- — MF
Friday November 7
MTV’S Sports And Music Festival (MTV, TV-PG) Wu-Tang Clan and Reel Big Fish perform at the Austin, Tex., extreme-sports showcase. (Airs through Nov. 8)
Homicide: Life On The Street (NBC, TV-14) Falsone, Lewis, and Stivers investigate the beating of a woman who’s in no condition to offer them any leads, while Pembleton stresses over his pregnant wife’s labor.
Nash Bridges (CBS, TV-14-LV) ”I’ve had a nice long rest. Now it’s over,” says Jan-Michael Vincent (right), back at work after his catastrophic 1996 car accident. Aptly enough, he plays Nash’s long-lost brother, a Vietnam vet who returns with a murky past and a price on his head.
Saturday November 8
The Sports Illustrated For Kids Show (CBS, TV-Y7) Jackie Joyner-Kersee guest-hosts this installment profiling athletes who’ve overcome economic, racial, and physical adversity.
C-16 (ABC, TV-PG-V) Annie’s husband investigate her, fearing her job is too dangerous for their son’s good.
Early Edition (CBS, TV-G) Sort of a good news/bad news situation: A cab driver helps Gary translate an article describing a fire at the Russian consulate. Unfortunately, the helpful hack is conspiring to murder the Russian ambassador.
The Girl In The Photograph (A&E, TV-G) The story of Kim Phuc, the napalm-scorched Vietnamese youth whose 1972 photo made Pulitzer history and changed her life forever.
The Practice (ABC, TV-PG-DV) Bobby resorts to a racially based defense when he defends a man charged with manslaughter.
Profiler (NBC, TV-14) ”Jack creates Sharon in his image. He’s like God to her,” says Traci Lords, who joins the cast of the ”Thrillogy” drama as Sharon Lesher, a young woman who is recruited out of prison by Sam’s nemesis, Jack of All Trades, to be his bloodthirsty Jill. ”She’s not a typical bad guy,” says the sympathetic Lords. ”Sharon is just a product of her environment: She’s this person who’s extremely emotionally abused; too many hard men and too many hard times.” Ahem.
Sunday November 9
The Wonderful World Of Disney: Angels In The Endzone (ABC, TV-G) A sequel to Disney’s 1994 feature, Angels in the Outfield, Endzone stars Christopher Lloyd as a celestial enabler who saves a hapless high school football team.
The Simpsons (Fox, TV-PG) Peewee quarterback Bart turns to gridiron legend Joe Namath for some pointers in an episode that also features an appearance from Hank Hill and family.
King Of The Hill (Fox, TV-PG) A visit to a clothing store for overweight kids leads to a modeling gig for chubby Bobby.
100TH Episode 9-10PM
The X-Files (Fox, TV-PG-V) The series celebrates its centenary and concludes a three-episode arc with an offer from the Cigarette Smoking Man to pull cancer-ridden Scully from death’s door.
Ken Follett’s The Third Twin (CBS) As far as TV movies are concerned, nothing good can come of human cloning. In this case, Larry Hagman proves it, Kelly McGillis learns the hard way, and Jason Gedrick is the man (men?) in the middle. (Concludes Nov. 11)
Into Thin Air: Death On Everest (ABC, TV-PG) Peter Horton (above center) stars in the dramatization of Jon Krakauer’s best-selling memoir, which documented the treacherous and tragic 1996 climb of the Himalayan peak. Asked why someone would risk life and limb in search of such an ethereal goal, the former thirtysomething star offers: ”You see people really fighting for an identity, a sense of self-importance. To somehow raise yourself out of the masses, feel like you have a point to your existence. Which is really extraordinary. I mean, those are basic human needs.” Well, at least he didn’t say, ”Because it’s there.”
Billy Joel: Storytellers (VH1, TV-PG) Capping off a weekend of BJ-related programming is the Long Island bard’s appearance on the singer-songwriter show-and-tell.
Producer Paul Henning hit pay dirt with the corn-fed trio of The Beverly Hillbillies (1962-71), Petticoat Junction (1963-70), and Green Acres (1965-71). The latter two are honored on Hooterville Saturday (Nov. 8, TV Land, 8 p.m.-6 a.m.), but Acres is clearly the wackier treat. The sitcom starred Eddie Albert as Oliver Douglas, an ace attorney who, along with his fashion-victim wife (Eva Gabor), forsakes the rat race for the honest hard work of the family farm, only to find himself flustered and bamboozled by the town’s eccentric rubes. Though surely an acquired taste, this weekend you get to be the judge: hayseed hoo-ha or surrealist gem?