Providence's Alternative Source!

by Clif Garboden


8:30 (2) Bill Cosby: Mr. Sapolsky, with Love. Cosby does his old school-days material in a special designed to honor educators. To be repeated on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. (Until 10 p.m.)

10:00 (2) Mwah! The Best of the Dinah Shore Show. Repeated from last week. Dinah ruled TV with her weekly variety show from 1957 through 1963. This special features landmark musical numbers (Shore and Ella Fitzgerald, for example) plus interviews with the Chevy lady's friends and family. To be repeated on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 11:30 p.m.)


9:00 (2) Now with Bill Moyers. Unless overtaken by events, this week's edition will include an interview with Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, on the issue of the Bushies' scheme to move Head Start, the 38-year-old federal early-childhood education program, out of the jurisdiction of Health and Human Services and under the control of the Department of Education. Find out how this seemingly harmless adjustment will further serve the GOP's mission to deprive poor people of equal opportunity. And if you don't have time to watch Now now, you can catch it on New Hampshire Public Television at 6 p.m. on Sundays. Bill has a nice Web site at (Until 10 p.m.)

9:30 (44) As Time Goes By: You Must Remember This. The series wrap-up. A clip show with Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer as Jean and Lionel recalling highlights from past episodes. (Until 11 p.m.)


11:30 a.m. (2) Lawrence Welk: God Bless America. Repeated from last week. As we teeter on the brink of war, our ostensibly liberal public-broadcasting arm offers us a look back at the heyday of the most mindless and dysfunctional brand of patriotism. Make that title "God Bless White America with Constipated Musical Taste." (Until 2 p.m.)

2:00 (12) Basketball. Kentucky versus Florida followed (at around 4 p.m.) by Notre Dame versus Gerogetown.

2:00 (6) Basketball. Wake Forest versus North Carolina picked up in progress after Seton Hall-Providence, and followed (at about 3:30 p.m.) by Texas versus Oklahoma.

4:30 (44) J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of the Rings. Repeated from last week. A new Tolkien special that mixes interviews with the author and the members of his scholarly following with a tour of Middle Earth through illustrations and computer animation. To be repeated on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 6:30 p.m.)

5:30 (2) He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley. The King of Rock does the King of Kings. Sander Vanocur (ancient-of-days TV newscaster) narrates this special on Presley's musical walks with God. Elvis often broke into church music in the middle of rehearsals; some of that was caught on film and will be incorporated here. In all, this show gives us 35 godly tunes. To be repeated on Sunday at 8 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 7 p.m.)

7:00 (2) The Great American Songbook Hosted by Michael Feinstein. Actually, they mean the GASB according to Hollywood. A recap of the first half-century of original music for movies, featuring melodies by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Harold Arlen, Fats Waller, and more. To be repeated on Wednesday at 7 p.m. (Until 9 p.m.)

8:00 (6) Con Air (movie). Nicolas Cage stars as an ex-con who while making his way home from jail gets waylaid by a band of prisoners (led by loony John Malkovich) who hijack the airplane he's on. With John Cusack, Steve Buscemi, and Ving Rhames. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Judy Garland: The Concert Years. Twenty-five concert hits from Judy -- assisted by guest stars Donald O'Connor, Tony Bennett, Ethel Merman, Barbra Streisand, and Liza Minnelli. (Until 11 p.m.)

1:00 a.m. (44) Austin City Limits. Featuring music from Lee Ann Womack and Clay Davidson. (Until 2 a.m.)


Noon (12) Basketball. Pitt versus Villanova, followed (at around 2 p.m.) by Minnesota versus Illinois or Kansas versus Missouri, followed (at 4 p.m. or so) by Duke versus North Carolina.

12:30 (2) American Soundtrack: Rhythm, Love, and Soul. Repeated from last week. Another big oldies show from Pittsburgh, featuring Aretha Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Jerry Butler, Lou Rawls, Mary Wilson, and more. (Until 3:30 p.m.)

1:00 (6) Basketball. The Washington Wizards versus the New York Knicks.

3:30 (6) Basketball. The Philadelphia 76ers versus the Los Angeles Lakers.

3:30 (44) J.R.R. Tolkien: Master of the Rings. Repeated from Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

5:30 (2) The American Tenors. Repeated from last week. Tenor Month continues on WGBH with this concert featuring Nathan Granner, Daniel Montenegro, and Mauricio O'Reilly singing everything from "Luck Be a Lady" to "Amazing Grace" (if you can imagine such a spectrum). And just to ensure that the pledges pour in, all three performers will be in the Channel 2 studios for intermission chat. (Until 7:30 p.m.)

7:30 (2) Bill Cosby: Mr. Sapolsky, with Love. Repeated from Thursday at 8:30 p.m.

8:00 (44) He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley. Repeated from Saturday at 5:30 p.m.

8:30 (64) Oliver Breen. A new comedy that holds little promise. Sort of a Wonder Years motif, but it's difficult to tell whether the goal is comedy or nostalgia. The setting is the adventures of the Breen family in the early 1960s. Oliver's a klutz; his dad's a dentist; and Oliver has a crush on that tall blonde classmate who seems to haunt all childhood recollections written by screenwriters from Queens or Brooklyn (Queens in this case). (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Great Performances: Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel: Music Under the Stars. Repeated from last week. The American soprano teams up with the Welsh bass-baritone for a selection of Broadway tunes (from Ragtime, Sweeney Todd, The Music Man, and The King and I) performed in North Wales. To be repeated on Tuesday at 9 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (12) Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (movie). Holy eclecticism! Sort of a kitchen-sink Batman tribute. Adam West and Burt Ward (B-man & Robin from the late-'60s TV series) star as themselves in a movie about trying to recover a stolen Batmobile. But it's actually an excuse to dramatize the behind-the-scenes making of the series and throw in some old clips and screen tests. Featuring Julie Newmar and Frank Gorshin. Fans will forgive the confusing premise. (Until 11 p.m.)


7:00 (2) Sinatra: The Classic Duets. Clips from Frankie's 1957-'60 TV show have the Old Chairman of the Blue Eyes (or whatever) raising his pre-croaking voice in song with Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis Presley, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Frank Zappa, Sammy Nixon Davis Jr., Dinah Shore, and Dean Martin. Just kidding about Frank Zappa. Were you paying attention? (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Bud Greenspan's Kings of the Ring. Filmmaker Greenspan profiles boxing's greatest, from Jack Johnson to the Greatest. (Until 11 p.m.)


7:00 (2) An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends. Belafonte does his all-time hits ("The Banana Boat Song," "Jamaica Farewell") and more with help from a international pick-up band fielded from Brazil, Senegal, Puerto Rico, South Africa, Zaire, and Cameroon. To be repeated on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. on Channel 44. (Until 9 p.m.)

7:30 (44) Mwah! The Best of the Dinah Shore Show. Repeated from Thursday at 10 p.m.

8:00 (10) Let's Make a Deal. Until The Gong Show, this manic "game" show was considered the tackiest thing on television. Of course, these days it looks downright intellectual compared with Hey, I'm a Celebrity, Get Me a Millionaire and the like. Nevertheless, our darkest hour of TV programming is the ideal time to recall this turkey to life. Somebody named Billy Bush hosts where Monty Hall once humiliated himself and his contestants. For those of you who missed the initial (1963-'68) incarnation of LMAD, here's how it works. Contestants are selected from the audience. To attract attention, audience members come dressed up as kangaroos and train-station lavatories. The chosen few get to trade stuff -- small kitchen appliances for money or a car or a bag of air. And the trick is that they trade blind, lady-or-the-tiger fashion, for prizes hidden behind doors and curtains. There's no point to it except to explore the limits of human greed and costume making. Is Billy the forgotten Bush brother? (Until 9 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Roy Orbison and Friends: A Black and White Night. Look at us: we're typing a description of the Roy Orbison concert for the 50th time. If you haven't seen it, watch. It's great. (Until 11 p.m.)

9:00 (44) Great Performances: Renée Fleming and Bryn Terfel: Music Under the Stars. Repeated from Sunday at 9 p.m.


7:00 (2) The Great American Songbook Hosted by Michael Feinstein. Repeated from Saturday at 7 p.m.

7:30 (44) An Evening with Harry Belafonte and Friends. Repeated from Tuesday at 7 p.m.

9:00 (2) Moody Blues: Live at the Royal Albert Hall. The Moody Blues weren't much more than pretentious when they were young. How big a following could they still have? (Until 11 p.m.)

9:30 (44) Carreras, Domingo, and Pavarotti in Concert. The concert from Rome that started the tenor craze. José, Plácido, and Luciano: together again exactly as you remember them. (Until 11:30 p.m.)


8:00 (64) The 34th NAACP Image Awards. And in prime time, no less. At least Fox does this right. Of course, Foxer Cedric the Entertainer is this year's host. Spike Lee gets the Hall of Fame nod; presenters include Halle Berry, Ice Cube, and Denzel Washington. (Until 10 p.m.)

9:00 (2) Bee Gees: One Night Only. We've heard that promise before, and here we are listing this 1997 Bee Gees concert from Vegas again. When will it end for real? And what are these people singing about? Did there used to be some special illicit drug that helped audiences make sense out of "Cowman, milk your cow/Keep away from the dark skies/Who knows what the weather may bring/Could be snow when the white dove sings/That could be a million years/And that's a long long time." Roll over, Coleridge, and tell Ferlinghetti the news. (Until 11 p.m.)

The 525th line. Fred Rogers, TV's original boy from the 'hood, died on February 27. We want to point out that Mr. Rogers was the only person like him ever on TV. He was in no way a performer; he cared about helping kids grow up without fears or prejudice. We can't imagine anyone sticking to such a limited -- though clearly satisfying -- career path these days. Neither, when television's modern attempts to "speak to" children end up being geeks like Barney speaking down to children, can we imagine any PBS station giving Rogers the chance to do the shows he did. He knew something that most TV execs would like to ignore: yes, children can be seduced and trapped by commercialism, but crass pandering isn't the only thing they'll accept. Thanks to Fred Rogers for that lesson. Here's hoping somebody over the age of six learned it.

Clif Garboden can be reached at cgarboden[a]

Issue Date: March 7 - 13, 2003

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