8:00 (44) Ken Burns American Stories: The Capital of Baseball. Celebrating the days when New York ruled the diamond. To be repeated tonight at 1:30 a.m. on Channel 2, and on Friday at 1 p.m. on Channel 44, and on Sunday at 5:20 p.m. on Channel 2. (Until 10:30 p.m.)
9:00 (2) Live from Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheimís "Passion." Love gets all twisted up in this semi-staged production of the 2003 work based on the Ettore Scola ﬁlm Passion díamore. With Audra McDonald, Patti Lupone, and Michael Cerveris. To be repeated tonight at 1 a.m. on Channel 44, and at 4 a.m. on Channels 2 and 44, and on Friday at 3:30 p.m. on Channel 44, and then at 1 a.m. on Channel 2, and on Sunday at noon on Channel 44, and on Monday at 4 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 11 p.m.)
8:00 (44) Nova: Wave That Shook the World. Repeated from last week. Everything you need to know about the December tsunami that devastated the Indian Ocean region ó how these waves happen and why this one was so destructive. To be repeated on Saturday at midnight and 3 a.m. on Channel 2. (Until 9 p.m.)
9:00 (44) Krakatoa. Repeated from last week. An in-depth proﬁle of the August 27, 1883, eruption in the Sundra strait between Java and Sumatra and the subsequent tidal waves that changed the worldís weather. (Until 10:30 p.m.)
6:00 (2) Masterpiece Theatreís American Collection: The Ponder Heart. Repeated from last week. This "comedy" about a rich and generous man whose love for a hillbilly gal provokes everything from theft to murder is adapted from the Eudora Welty story and stars Peter MacNicol and JoBeth Williams. (Until 8 p.m.)
6:00 (12) Basketball. The NCAA Final Four, live from St. Louis: Illinois versus Louisville followed by Michigan State versus North Carolina.
8:00 (6) Wonderful World of Disney: Laura Ingalls Wilderís Little House on the Prairie. Hour three of a six-hour Disney production (without Michael Landon) meant to follow the Ingalls familyís adventures in Manifest Destiny as chronicled in the third book of the popular all-American pioneer series, which brings the family to Kansas. Starring Cameron Bancroft and Erin Cottrell as Charles and Caroline, and Kyle Chavarria and Danielle Ryan Chuchran as sisters Laura and Mary. (Until 9 p.m.)
8:00 (44) April in Paris (movie). Harmless 1952 fun with Doris Day as Ethel "Dynamite" Jackson, an American chorus girl who gets an invitation from the State Department to represent the US in Paris; when she arrives, it turns out they meant to invite Ethel Barrymore. Ray Bolger is the US diplomat who made the mistake and tries to correct it. David Butler directed. (Until 9:40 p.m.)
9:40 (44) How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (movie). Why does this adaptation of the Broadway musical turn up so seldom? Robert Morse is hilarious as J. Pierpont Finch, who climbs the ladder of success. With Michele Lee and Rudy Vallee; David Swift directs. From 1967. (Until midnight.)
2:00 a.m. Itís Later Than You Think. The annual one-hour (ahead) adjustment to our clocks returns for an encore presentation of Daylight Saving Time. Starring one fewer hour of much-needed sleep. See www.webexhibits.org/daylightsaving/b.html. (Until October 30 at 2 a.m.)
12:30 (2) Ken Burns American Stories: Shadow Ball. Repeated from last week. This pretty-good edition of Ken Burnsís ultimately tedious baseball documentary covers the Great Depression, the fall of Ruth, the rise of Williams and DiMaggio, and the parallel world of Negro League ball. To be repeated on Sunday at 1 a.m. (Until 3 p.m.)
1:00 (6) Basketball. Regional NBA coverage.
2:00 (44) Metropolitan Opera Presents: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg. Richard Wagnerís mediæval version of American Idol, with more humor and less angst than in some of his other music dramas. James Levine conducts; the all-star cast includes Ben Heppner as Walther, Karita Mattila as Eva, and James Morris as Hans Sachs. Put a tape in the VCR if you donít want to spend a Sunday afternoon watching. (Until 7 p.m.)
3:00 (2) Ken Burns American Stories: The National Pastime. Repeated from last week. The 1941 season (DiMaggio hits in 56 straight; Williams hits .400) and the less exciting World War II years. To be repeated on Monday at 1 a.m. (Until 5:20 p.m.)
3:30 (6) Basketball. The Minnesota Timberwolves versus the Sacramento Kings.
9:00 (2) Mystery!: Malice Aforethought, part one. Ben Miller stars as a country doctor who decides the solution to his marriage problems is murder. With Barbara Flynn and Megan Dodds. To be repeated tonight at 1 a.m. on Channel 44, and at 4 a.m. on Channels 2 and 44, and on Monday at 1 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 10:30 p.m.)
9:00 (44) Independent Lens: Thunder in Guyana/United States of Poetry. First we have a ﬁlm by Susan Wasserman, cousin to the projectís subject, Janet Rosenberg Jagan, the American-born president of Guyana (itís next to Venezuela). Second, we survey the state of the spoken-word arts from coast to coast. (Until 10 p.m.)
10:00 (44) Independent Lens: Let the Church Say Amen. Henry Louis Gates Jr. presents a look at Shaw, a DC poverty pocket not far from the White House where the locals rely on the storefront World Missions for Christ Church to see them through relentless hard times. (Until 11:30 p.m.)
11:30 (44) Austin City Limits. Featuring music from Modest Mouse and Guided by Voices. (Until midnight.)
8:00 (2, 44) Independent Lens: A Touch of Greatness. Yes itís listed for both stations. Most puzzling. Anyway, this is a ﬁlm about schoolteacher Albert Cullum, who broke all the rules of academe back in the 1960s and introduced his 10-year-old students to Shakespeare, Sophocles, and Shaw. Old footage of Cullum in the classroom mixes with follow-up interviews with his former students. (Until 9 p.m.)
9:00 (2) American Experience: Mary Pickford. Laura Linney narrates this award-winning bio of Americaís Sweetheart from the silent-movie era. Pickford was an international sensation and a focal point of Hollywood gossip (thanks to her affair with Douglas Fairbanks), but her fame deﬂated into hard times in the end. To be repeated tonight at 1 a.m. on Channel 44, and at 4 a.m. on Channels 2 and 44, and on Tuesday at 2 p.m. on Channel 44, and on Wednesday at 1 a.m. on Channel 2, and on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 10:30 p.m.)
9:00 (12) Basketball. March madness ends in April with the NCAA Division I ﬁnal, live from St. Louis.
9:00 (44) Closing the Achievement Gap. A look inside Amistad Academy in Connecticut, where academic standards for the disadvantaged have been raised to the levels enjoyed by white suburban schools. (Until 10 p.m.)
10:00 (44) The Way We See It: Youth Speak Out on Education. A documentary by student ﬁlmmakers about what makes schools and classes and teachers worthwhile. (Until 11 p.m.)
8:00 (2) Nova: The Great Escape. The true story behind the 1963 Steve McQueen movie of the same name reunites the WW2 Allied airpeople who planned an elaborate escape from Stalag Luft III, at Sagan in present-day Poland. Plus, Nova brings in an archæologist to locate the one escape tunnel the Germans never found. To be repeated tonight at 1 a.m. on Channel 44, and at 4 a.m. on Channel 2, and at 5 a.m. back on Channel 44, and on Wednesday at 1 p.m. on Channel 44, and on Thursday at 3 a.m. on Channel 2. (Until 9 p.m.)
8:00 (44) Globe Trekker: Southern Italy. In Rome, Trekker Justine Shapiro visits the Colosseum and Vatican City, then travels south to the ﬁshing village of Terracina, where she and the townspeople take part in the festival of the Madonna del Carmine, and the village of Bonito, where she consults Uncle Vincent, a man reputed for performing miracles despite being a corpse found in the remains of a church more than 100 years ago. Then itís on to Naples for authentic Neapolitan pizza and Pompeii to see the frescoes, and after that the remote village of Galiciano, where sheís treated to a rendition of the tarantella, which it used to be thought is what you did after being bitten by a tarantula. To be repeated on Wednesday at 3 p.m. (Until 9 p.m.)
10:00 (2) Misunderstood Minds. How to separate the truly lazy and stupid from the kids with learning disabilities. Following five families as they work with experts to determine why their kids canít learn. (Until 11:30 p.m.)
3:00 a.m. (44) Independent Lens: Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove. A study of George Clinton and the "redemptive power of funk." (Until 4 a.m.)
9:00 (2) Great Performances: The Little Prince. This is the adaptation of the Antoine de Saint-Exupéry classic that Boston Lyric Opera presented at the Shubert Theatre last month, with music by Oscar-winning (for the Gwyneth Paltrow Emma) composer Rachel Portman. This English production stars Teddy Tahu Rhodes as the Pilot, 11-year-old Joseph McManners in the title role, and 15-year-old Mairéad Carlin as the Rose. David Charles Abell leads the BBC Concert Orchestra. To be repeated tonight at 1 a.m. on Channel 44, and at 4 a.m. on Channels 2 and 44. (Until 10:30 p.m.)
9:00 (2) Basic Black: Beyond Black and White: Race in the Public Schools. The Heraldís Howard Manly hosts a one-hour forum on the threat of resegregation, multi-lingual education, the school-assignment system, and more. Participants include Harvardís Charles Ogletree and Boston schools super Thomas Payzant. (Until 10 p.m.)
The 525th line. Fade Away and Radiate Dept. We have no memory of what was being advertised ó perhaps the institution of Major League Baseball itself; perhaps a credit-card ripoff; some novelty meat product for all we know ó but we remember the oft-repeated ad from the various 2004 baseball-season ﬁnales. A shot of a front row of grandstand seats repopulated by successive generations of a family. The clothing changed, the hairstyles changed, and though it always ended up confusing us when we tried, you got the idea that you could actually follow the individual family members from tothood to senility. It was a warm-and-fuzzy send-up for baseball as part of our cultural legacy. Okay, it clearly sold us nothing, but it was a neat concept for an ad. Goodbye baseball. Enter a copy-cat ad for DirectTV (a wireless/satellite digital-TV delivery service) tracking one manís life-with-television odyssey from I Love Lucy through Dick Van Dyke on prom night and on and on through the stations of life to the present, when we see "gramps" hobble in and sit down hesitantly in front of what is presumably the new generation of television. Again, a neat idea, but ultimately disturbing. The point? As baby-boomers fade into old age, their culture and the technology that delivered it are being upgraded and replaced. But weíre not getting the warm fuzzies from this, and neither are we feeling much enthusiasm for the brave new world whose selling point seems to be that it will outlive us. "Some of you are going to die soon; time to get a new television." The whole spot is so cheerless. Even as a kid, our Every-TV-Man is sullen and unhappy. He shows a spark of enthusiasm when his kids are born, but for the most part heís resigned and resentful. The symptoms of clinical depression all but blossom by the end as the proto-media-wanderer nears deathís door. Pity the guy. What a tragedy of quiet desperation his existence has been ó an empty, spiritually hollow life in front of the low-deﬁnition tube.
Look, some sort of digital TV is the next big thing. Integrating television with the Internet is both inevitable and good. Buy into it. But take it from someone who watched I Love Lucy in prime-time: you can wait a lifetime, but the programming isnít going to get much better.
Issue Date: April 1 - 7, 2005
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