BOSTON — TV highlights for the week of Feb. 23-March 1. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available (see explanation box below).
SUNDAY - 2/23
Schindler's List (NBC, 7:30-11 p.m.): Steven Spielberg's seven-time Academy Award-winning epic is shown commercial-free and with few cuts. Filmed in black and white, it is based on the life of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a businessman who saved more than 1,000 Jews from the Nazi death camps. Ralph Fiennes gives a terrifying performance as the camp commandant, and Ben Kingsley is wonderful as Schindler's conscience, the Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. Realistic depictions of Nazi brutality make it the first broadcast offering to rate a TV-M.
Roots (History Channel, 8-10 p.m.): Long before he was Geordi La Forge in "Star Trek: the Next Generation," LeVar Burton made his mark as Kunta Kinte in this 1977 epic miniseries - the most-watched dramatic show in TV history. Based on the novel by Alex Haley, the slavery saga airs over six consecutive nights, with commentary by Burton and the program's other stars.
Volcano: Fire on the Mountain (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): Surprise! It's another movie about Hollywood's disaster du jour: an erupting volcano. Sitting on top of this small-screen geyser is a sleepy ski resort in California whose inhabitants are played by mostly unfamiliar actors. The plot is thin, but at least the dialogue is better than that in NBC's recent disaster-offering, "Asteroid." (TV-PG)
Night Sins (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): A sociopath plays games with a boy's life in this creepy two-part mystery based on Tami Hoag's novel. Harry Hamlin and Valerie Bertinelli star as a small-town sheriff and an investigator who fall in love (or at least into bed) while trying to solve the mystery. The acting is solid, the writing good (barring a few too many plot twists), and the suspense unrelenting, but the violence can be disconcertingly brutal. Part 2 airs Tuesday. (TV-14)
MONDAY - 2/24
Murphy Brown (CBS, 9-9:30 p.m.): When Walter Cronkite guest stars as himself, Murphy (Candice Bergen) goes all-out to get the scoop on what the broadcast journalism legend really thinks about her. (TV-PG)
Late Show With David Letterman Video Special III (CBS, 10-11 p.m.): Catch the feisty Mr. Letterman in prime time with this collection of celebrity interviews and more from his late-night talk show. (TV-PG)
TUESDAY - 2/25
Frontline (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): In 1984, North Carolina college student Jennifer Thompson was raped in her home. She thought she was able to identify her attacker, first from photos and then in a lineup, and he was sentenced to life in prison. However, 11 years later, new DNA tests proved Ronald Cotton was innocent - making him one of more than 300 convicted rapists freed due to the new tests. This documentary offers a balanced, dispassionate look at eyewitness testimony and the accuracy of memory.
WEDNESDAY - 2/26
39th Annual Grammy Awards (CBS, 8-11 p.m.): Tracy Chapman, Eric Clapton, and Bonnie Raitt are some of this year's nominees. Giving the veterans some competition are Celine Dion, Smashing Pumpkins, and Sheryl Crow. Ellen DeGeneres ("Ellen") hosts the Madison Square Garden party. (TV-PG)
THURSDAY - 2/27
NAACP Image Awards (Fox, 8-10 p.m.): Arsenio Hall and Patti LaBelle host the 28th annual tribute to African-Americans in film, music, literature, and TV.
Suddenly Susan (NBC, 8:30- 9 p.m.): After a brief hiatus, this so-so sitcom returns at a new time. This week, Susan (Brooke Shields) and Vicki (Kathy Griffin) are guests on "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" when they write a parody book. (TV-PG)
PICK OF THE WEEK
Sunday, Feb. 23 7:30-11 p.m.
The following categories apply to programs designed for children:
TV-Y All Children
TV-Y7 Directed to Older Children
The following categories apply to programs designed for the entire audience:
TV-G General Audience
TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested
TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned
TV-M Mature Audience Only
Sports and news programs are not rated.
- Provided by the Motion Picture Association of America