PrimeTime Live (ABC, 10-11 p.m., E.T.): Despite its name, the weekly news magazine is offering a taped interview with Manuel Noriega - the first long one given by the ex-Panamanian dictator since he surrendered to United States officials on Jan. 3, 1990. The interview was conducted by Diane Sawyer May 19 inside Miami's Metropolitan Correctional Center. Among other revelations, Noriega tells how he felt when he was handcuffed and led away ("consumed by wrath. The unfairness of the big against the little.. .. No danger, regardless of its size, justifies the killing of the civilian population.").
The Story of Lady Bird Johnson (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Areas of "special interest" to America's first ladies often lose their visibility once the next president takes over. In the case of Lady Bird Johnson - as shown in this broad and detailed portrait - that didn't happen. Her focus was on conservation and on what has been called "beautification" - a pursuit far more basic and useful than suggested by that somewhat Victorian term. As a result of her work during Lyndon Johnson's presidency (1963-69), Mrs. Joh nson had a lasting impact on the physical appearance of public areas. She has also been an effective businesswoman. It's been said she could read a balance sheet the way many people read the comics. And she remains - at age 80 - an important figure in conservation.
Her other achievements - such as helping launch the Head Start program - are also explored, but the program goes beyond this to examine the woman herself. Built around a sometimes frank interview with Mrs. Johnson, the documentary traces her life from girlhood in a little Texas town to the time she met and married the charismatic politician who later became president. As first lady, she prevailed on her husband to shun a second elective term, and when he sprang the historic announcement on the country (" I will not seek, and I will not accept" the nomination) the words he used were apparently hers.
Please check local listings for these programs, especially on PBS.