What's On

By , Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor

PICK OF THE WEEK

I Am Your Child

Monday, April 28, 8-9 p.m. (ABC)

Recommended: Default

TV highlights for the week of April 27-May 3. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available (see explanation box below).

SUNDAY - 4/27

Figure Skating (ABC, 4-6 p.m.): Professional skaters compete against US Olympic hopefuls at the Greensboro (N.C.) Coliseum. Among those hitting the ice are Michelle Kwan, Tara Lipinski, and Viktor Petrenko.

The Shining (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): This three-part miniseries was adapted for TV by Stephen King from his book. He restores elements of the novel that Stanley Kubrick changed in the 1980 film, ultimately doing a much better job of telling the story (he also has four extra hours to do it in). While King's nuancing is good, the Kubrick version had more imaginative cinematography and acting. And despite King's desire for his to be "the scariest thing that's ever been on American television," it ends up just being the goriest. Jack Nicholson is replaced by Steven Weber ("Wings") as the unstable Jack Torrance, who loses his mind in a haunted Colorado hotel. All three parts are creepy, with the third the most violent as alcoholic Torrance attacks his wife (Rebecca De Mornay) and clairvoyant son (Courtland Mead) with a croquet mallet. (TV-14)

A Match Made in Heaven (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Oscar-winner Olympia Dukakis is a pleasure to watch. But a TV movie is hardly the place to see her at her best, and especially not this one. This formulaic offering starts off fine, with the vivacious Helen Rossi (Dukakis) searching for the perfect wife for her playboy eldest son (John Stamos, "Full House"). But it quickly loses its charm when the intended (Kelly Rowan) is found. Predictably, the two face problems before they finally get together, the most significant being that Helen develops a terminal illness. Also starring Della Reese ("Touched by an Angel"). (TV-PG)

MONDAY- 4/28

I Am Your Child (ABC, 8-9 p.m.): This TV special could also be titled "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Rob Reiner assembles an impressive group, including host Tom Hanks, Rosie O'Donnell, retired Gen. Colin Powell, Billy Crystal, and Robin Williams, to discuss the importance of early development in raising a child. Also on hand to talk about child-rearing: President and Mrs. Clinton. (TV-PG)

Boston Common (NBC, 8:30-9 p.m.): In the season finale, Boyd (Anthony Clark) gets the boot from his sister (Hedy Burress) when she asks him to find his own apartment and he ends up camping out at buddy Tasha's (Tasha Smith). (TV-PG)

The American Experience (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Nineteenth-century newspaperwoman Nellie Bly pioneered the "stunt journalism" that catapulted female journalists onto the front page with her famous expos of a women's insane asylum. To get the story, Bly pretended to be insane and spent 10 days locked up as an inmate. The first half of this documentary, narrated by David Ogden Stiers, is both entertaining and informative. Unfortunately, while Bly's most famous stunt - breaking the record of Jules Verne's fictional hero in "Around the World in Eighty Days" - was undoubtedly exciting, tracing her route on a map doesn't make for compelling TV.

TUESDAY - 4/29

The Mask (Fox, 8-10 p.m.): Jim Carrey's rubber-faced contortions were taken to new heights, courtesy of some impressive special effects, in this 1994 movie about a bank clerk who becomes a superhero when he puts on a mysterious mask. (TV-PG)

Frasier (NBC, 9-10 p.m.): Another Crane has relationship troubles as dad Martin (John Mahoney) and latest love Sherry (Marsha Mason) call it quits, throwing Frasier's (Kelsey Grammer) own love life into a tizzy. (TV-PG)

WEDNESDAY - 4/30

The Nanny (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): Diva of divas Bette Midler stars as herself when she hosts a charity auction where Fran Fine (Fran Drescher) auctions her services in order to meet her idol. (TV-PG)

Coach (ABC, 8:30-9 p.m.): After eight years, this comedy about the antics of football coach Hayden Fox (Craig T. Nelson) is coming to an end. The last three episodes find Hayden and wife (Shelley Fabares) deciding whether he should stay in Orlando, Fla., or move to another team. (TV-G)

Ellen (ABC, 9-10 p.m.): A sweeps period is under way, and among the network offerings aimed at grabbing ratings is this much-hyped, controversial episode. Ellen (Ellen DeGeneres) meets a gay woman (Laura Dern) and comes to terms with her own sexuality. Other guest stars include Oprah Winfrey, Oscar-winner Billy Bob Thornton, and singers k.d. lang and Melissa Etheridge. Although gay characters are featured in other TV shows, this marks the first time one is the lead. (TV-14)

THURSDAY - 5/1

Martin (Fox, 9-10 p.m.): Martin (Martin Lawrence) and Gina (Tisha Campbell) hit the road in this series finale, leaving Detroit for dream jobs in sunny California. A farewell roast for Martin provides ample opportunity for clips and celebrity cameos, including Lou Rawls, George Clinton, and basketball star Lisa Leslie. (TV-PG)

TV-Y All Children

TV-Y7 Directed to Older Children

TV-G General Audience

TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested

TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned

TV-M Mature Audience Only

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