What To Watch
A day-to-day guide to notable programs. Times are Eastern standard and are subject to change.
MONDAY March 26
NOT-SO-SUNNY DAYS 7-8PM* SESAME STREET (PBS, TV-Y) Oscar has a reason to feel grouchy as a hurricane makes its way toward Sesame Street. *CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
7-8PM THE CARPET SLAVES: STOLEN CHILDREN OF INDIA (Cinemax, TV-G) The days of slavery are over, right? Wrong. This docu follows the trail of many of the estimated 300,000 kidnapped and enslaved Indian children.
8-9PM BOSTON PUBLIC (Fox, TV-14-L) Big Brother is watching when security cameras are installed to nab a locker thief.
9-10PM FIRST YEARS (NBC, TV-14) A client is dying… for a big payday. Well, he’s also just plain dying.
10-11PM THE CHRIS ISAAK SHOW (Showtime, TV-MA) Chalk it up to puppy love when Chris agrees to play celebrity dog sitter for Minnie Driver.
GOIN’ SOUTH 8-11PM RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SOUTH PACIFIC (ABC, TV-PG-LSV) Does ABC want to be the new CBS? The home of the ever graying ”Millionaire” and geezer magnet flicks like ”These Old Broads” now offers this hopelessly old fashioned version of the World War II musical. Glenn Close (who also exec-produced) and Harry Connick Jr. (left) are okay, but I may never be able to shake the image of Robert Pastorelli (”Murphy Brown”) in a coconut bra. C+ — Bruce Fretts
TUESDAY March 27
9-11PM SUPERHUMAN BODY: THE FUTURE OF MEDICINE (TLC, TV-PG) Medical marvels are revealed in this look at cutting edge treatment and technology. (Concludes March 28)
10-11PM JUDGING AMY (CBS, TV-PG-L) Amy is distressed to learn her ex-husband is about to get rehitched, while she’s still all by her lonesome. (R)
10-11PM NYPD BLUE (ABC, TV-14-DL) Russell and McDowell play Mr. Potato Head, tracking down body parts to reattach to their owner.
10-11PM* ORGAN FARM (PBS) It sounds like a lame horror flick, but it’s actually a ”Frontline” report on cross species transplants. (Part 1 of 2) *CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
SEASON PREMIERE 11:30PM-12:30AM PLAYING THE FIELD (BBC America, TV-14) Soccer moms will dig watching this British football series with their kids — if they let ’em stay up so late, that is.
HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW 8-9PM BIOGRAPHY: JEFF FOXWORTHY (A&E, TV-G) You might be a redneck if you’re contemplating tuning in to the life story of this Southern fried comic. Or you just might be like us — a sucker for the ”mullet meets mustache” look. Either way, you’re in for some serious ”Hee Haw” humor as A&E chronicles the stand-up artist’s rise from IBM employee to ”the hottest thing in comedy.” In this profile, Foxworthy comes off as both genuinely friendly and ambitious, but pardon us city folk if we’re still at a loss for laughs. C+
WEDNESDAY March 28
8-10PM WAR GAMES (TBS, TV-PG-LV) The bad news: This special on combat readiness scenarios is hosted by Howie Long. The good news: Teri Hatcher is nowhere to be found.
8-9PM ED (NBC, TV-PG) Ed joins forces with the school gym coach — to drive Carol crazy.
9-10PM THE WEST WING (NBC, TV-14) Bartlet shows a disconcerting interest in carving knives, while C.J. has to sentence a turkey to death. (R)
SERIES DEBUT, SIR! 9-10PM BOOT CAMP (Fox, TV-PG-L) Attention! You are hereby ordered to enlist in Fox’s new military training reality series. Do you understand, grunt?!?
SERIES DEBUT 8-9PM MY WIFE AND KIDS (ABC, TV-PG-DL) If Damon Wayans (left) wasn’t in the daddy role, this family sitcom would just be sweet junk. As it is, it’s tart junk: Wayans offers us a strong African-American father who may joke around, but makes it clear he won’t raise any gangstas in his house. But the show’s writing defeats him and his quick witted costar, ”Martin”’s Tisha Campbell-Martin, with its watery punchlines and tired yuks about hip-hop and teen fashion trends. C+ — Ken Tucker
THURSDAY MARCH 29
8-8:30PM FRIENDS (NBC, TV-PG) What’s Chandler doing at a male strip club… besides sampling the scrumptious buffet, of course?
8-10PM WAG THE DOG (Fox, TV-PG-LV) Right place, right time.
9-10PM CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION (CBS, TV-PG-V) It’s RIP for a woman found DOA in a stolen SUV. A-OK?
10-11PM BEHIND THE MUSIC: JOURNEY (VH1, TV-14) The scariest thing about this Journey profile is seeing the band’s new lead singer, who looks and sounds exactly like Steve Perry. Actually, Neal Schon’s early Afro look is pretty scary too. (R)
10-11PM ER (NBC, TV-PG) A class of seventh graders takes sick. Must be a test day.
DOGGING IT 10:30-11PM* STILL LIFE WITH ANIMATED DOGS (PBS, TV-G) Paul Fierlinger chose an unlikely subject — man’s best friend — to explore themes like political and artistic freedom in this series of animated vignettes. Thankfully, it works. With his sketchbook style, the artist reflects on how his mutts have helped him find sanity in hard times, while also making the case that animals are often greater comforts than other human beings could ever hope to be. PETA members, get your remotes ready! A- — Nicholas Fonseca *CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FRIDAY March 30
6:05-8:05PM AMERICAN GRAFFITI (Encore, TV-PG) You gotta like any flick that repeatedly gives props to Wolfman Jack.
7-9PM ENTRAPMENT (HBO, TV-PG-13) Sean Connery proves Michael Douglas isn’t the only geezer bagging Catherine Zeta-Jones.
8-10PM MAN ON THE MOON (Starz!, TV-R) Story’s a bit scrambled, but Jim Carrey shines.
SERIES DEBUT 9-9:30PM INVADER ZIM (Nickelodeon, TV-Y) A paranoid alien thinks he’s been sent to earth to destroy it. Well, bring it on, little green man. Bring it on!
9-10PM THE FUGITIVE (CBS, TV-PG) Doc Kimble fights to save the one armed man’s life. Whaaa?
9-10PM FARSCAPE (Sci Fi, TV-PG) Moya tries to go in through a wormhole out door, colliding with an escaping vessel.
9-10PM THE LONE GUNMEN (Fox, TV-PG-L) Imagine if everything you knew and thought to be real was actually programmed inside you. And no amount of gravity defying kung fu can help.
10-11PM NASH BRIDGES (CBS, TV-PG-V) Robots are taking over the earth! Well, not really, but Nash must stop them from committing a slew of robberies, which is, like, definitely the first step toward world domination.
10-11PM THE OUTER LIMITS (Sci Fi, TV-PG) A man joins a cult with hopes of reaching ”the promised land.”
SERIES DEBUT 8:30-9PM THE FAIRLY ODDPARENTS (Nickelodeon, TV-Y) Created by Butch Hartman, an alum of ”Dexter’s Laboratory” and ”Johnny Bravo,” this new animated series’ aggressive sense of humor seems more suited to one of those Cartoon Network shows than to a Nicktoon. Yet the adventures of 10 year old Timmy Turner and his fairy godparents, Cosmo and Wanda, who help him deal with such childhood traumas as a sadistic babysitter named Vicky (”You can’t spell Vicky without icky,” Wanda notes), are not without their charms. Vivid voice work, including ”Malcolm in the Middle”’s Frankie Muniz as one of Timmy’s pint-size pals, along with parent pleasing miniparodies of everything from sitcoms (”I Love Lucy,” ”Seinfeld”) to sci-fi (”The Matrix,” ”Tron”), makes for Fairly diverting TV. B — Bruce Fretts
SATURDAY March 31
6-7PM LANCE BURTON, MASTER MAGICIAN: ON THE ROAD (Fox Family, TV-PG) This latest Burton special promises ”a phenomenal illusion featuring the former Miss USA Ali Landry.” Cool, but if it’s making a bunch of Doritos disappear, we can handle that one just fine ourselves, thanks.
8-10PM PURPLE RAIN (Encore, TV-R) Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called a Prince musical extravaganza, which features an unbilled cameo from ”Seinfeld”’s puffy shirt.
8-11PM DISCLOSURE (ABC, TV-14) Michael Douglas plays a man who falls victim to unwanted sexual advances. You know, there are too many jokes to make here, so we’re just gonna walk away.
9-10PM AMERICA’S MOST WANTED: AMERICA FIGHTS BACK (Fox, TV-PG-V) A profile on a pair of alleged killers — known only as Hazel Head and Tonya Dice — who seduce truckers, presumably to swipe their Yosemite Sam ”Back Off!” mud flaps.
10-11:45PM THE CROW (Encore, TV-R) If you dig slow motion scenes of a Goth guy walking through alleys in the rain, then this is your flick.
10:30-11PM THE KING OF QUEENS (CBS, TV-PG-L) Doug pimps out his sister so he and his buddies can watch the Super Bowl in high definition. (Hope he’s not a Giants fan.) (R)
11:30PM-1AM SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE (NBC, TV-14) Val Kilmer tries to replicate the laughs he produced in ”At First Sight.” (R)
MAN, THEY PAY US TO WATCH BASKETBALL! 5:30-10:30PM NCAA MEN’S FINAL FOUR (CBS) If you’re at all like us (and pray that you aren’t), then you, my friend, are royally screwed. But how can anyone really be blamed for picking a North Carolina vs. Iowa State final? After all, they were good teams; they had low numbers next to their names. Of course, they’re also long gone, just two of the more noticeable early round victims of bracket busting March Madness. But now we get down to the nitty gritty, when office pool contestants really start to sweat buckets. Speaking of sweat, hosts Greg Gumbel (left) and Clark Kellogg will soak it all in live from Minneapolis, as college basketball’s final four teams become merely two.
SUNDAY April 1
4:30-6PM PISTOL PETE: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF PETE MARAVICH (CBS) The hair. The socks. The crazy, no look, behind the back passes. You don’t have to be a basketball fan to appreciate this engrossing look at one of sports’ all-time most colorful characters.
6-8PM THE ESSENTIALS: CITIZEN KANE (Turner Classic Movies, TV-PG) Rob Reiner hosts this new series showcasing treasures of cinema. Tonight, make way for Charles Foster Kane.
7-11PM BODY STORY (Discovery Channel, TV-PG) Personally, ignorance is bliss for us when it comes to understanding what goes on inside, but for those of you who get off on the ins and outs of human biology, by all means, proceed.
7-9PM FLUBBER (ABC, TV-G) It may bounce around and cause things to fly, but Flubber would get its gelatinous butt kicked any day of the week by the Blob.
SERIES DEBUT 7:30-8PM THE OBLONGS (The WB, TV-PG-DS) This animated comedy about a family living amid toxic waste (and featuring the vocal talents of Will Ferrell) legitimately surprised us — by the fact that we didn’t laugh once.
8-9PM* NATURE: THE PANDA BABY (PBS, TV-G) Some call us big suckers for a panda bear. Others just call us suckers. *CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
8-8:30PM THE SIMPSONS (Fox, TV-PG-V) The Simpsons do Africa, and that can’t be a good thing.
SERIES DEBUT 8-9PM THE INCURABLE COLLECTOR (A&E, TV-G) Host John Larroquette claims to be a collector himself of 20th century first edition books, which, of course, we are, too, if you count ”Where’s Waldo?” and ”Choose Your Own Adventures.”
8-10PM ALMOST HEROES (TBS, TV-14-D) This Chris Farley – Matthew Perry comedy isn’t even almost funny.
9-11PM SEMPER FI (NBC, TV-PG) It was going to be a full fledged series, but then the Peacock thought better of it. So now they’re pawning this story about Marine recruits off as a movie of the week. (Just in case you were looking for a little background.)
9-10PM BEHIND THE MUSIC: SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER (VH1, TV-14) Actually, we’d prefer to go behind the wardrobe selections, if that’s okay.
9-10PM JOAN RIVERS: THE E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY (E!, TV-14-L) You might want to check today’s date on your calendar before watching the unveiling of Joan’s hidden twin sister, Joanna Harriet Riversberg.
9-10PM THE SOPRANOS (HBO, TV-MA) A Bada Bing dancer needs more than bills stuffed in her G-string.
9-10PM THE X-FILES (Fox, TV-PG) The search for Mulder may be over, but Agent Doggett’s not yet done looking for answers.
9-11PM AND NEVER LET HER GO (CBS) It’s a case of a big killing in the Small Wonder when Mark Harmon and Kathryn Morris star in this Delaware set murder miniseries. (Concludes April 4)
9PM-MIDNIGHT HOOSIERS (ESPN Classic) Sappy as hell, but we can’t stop watching, or reaching for that damn Kleenex box.
10-11PM THE PRACTICE (ABC) Helen proves she’ll use any means necessary — legal or not — to get a confession out of a suspect.
10-11:15PM SOLDIERS IN THE ARMY OF GOD (HBO, TV-14) A profile of right wing extremists in the fight over abortion. The choice — to watch — is yours.
11PM-MIDNIGHT* POETIC LICENSE (PBS) A special on teen poets, don’t you just know it/ Making time with their rhymes, up the ladder they will climb/ In a Slam, they will jam if they stick to the plan. (Okay, we promise to never, ever do that again.) *CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
BOATLOAD OF BUNNIES 8-9PM ECO-CHALLENGE: BORNEO (USA, TV-PG) It sounds like something you would catch on late night Skinemax: one man alone in a jungle — with three former Playboy centerfolds. But for ex-Marine Corps Captain Owen West, it was oh so much more. West (the lucky bastard) was the sole male member of Team Playboy Extreme, one of the 76 squads competing in the seventh edition of ”Survivor” guru Mark Burnett’s grueling adventure race. But the former military man claims looks aren’t an issue when you’re hiking, biking, and paddling over 320 miles. ”All the novelty disappears at about hour three,” says West, who led his unit through armies of blood sucking leeches and knee high piles of bat dung. ”No one’s attractive in this race past day one, including Playboy Playmates.” Hey, we’ll be the judge of that. (Concludes April 4)
SERIES DEBUT 10-11:30PM BANDS ON THE RUN (VH1, TV-PG) Touring in a rock band rules… if you have a million bucks and sell a million records. But what about those unsigned acts struggling to draw a few dozen fans as they travel from town to town? In this new reality series, four groups (just three in tonight’s pilot episode) hit the road to compete in drawing the biggest crowds and selling the most merch (that’s music biz talk for merchandise). For Goth gals Harlow (left) and the others, that means promotion is paramount, along with a healthy dose of sabotage. Of course, there’s also plenty of time for sucking face and sucking down brews. After all, it’s only rock & roll, but so far, we sure do like it. B+ <!