BySkip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Royal Opera House
Thursday, May 8, 10-11 p.m.
TV highlights for the week of May 4-10. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available (see explanation box below).
SUNDAY - 5/4
Forrest Gump (ABC, 8-11 p.m.): This pop-culture satire brought home six Oscars, including one for Tom Hanks's portrayal of a sweet, mentally impaired man who finds himself smack dab in the middle of every major event of the last 30 years. (TV-PG)
Robin Cook's 'Invasion' (NBC, 9-11 p.m.): Based on the bestseller, this sweeps-month schlock stars Luke Perry and Rebecca Gayheart (Mr. and Mrs. Dylan McKay from "Beverly Hills 90210") and some neat-o special effects. The plot, however, could use some digital enhancement: Boy and Girl get engaged. Boy gets stung by alien disguised as a rock. Boy, and a sizable chunk of the world's population, get turned into giant bugs. Girl spends rest of movie searching for an antidote. The moral of the story? Don't pick up shiny rocks. The miniseries concludes Monday. (TV-14)
Intimate Portrait (Lifetime, 10-11 p.m.): For anyone who likes celebrity interviews, this Sunday series is worth a look. Usually well-done, it offers candid discussions with its subjects. In the spotlight this week is entertainer Carol Burnett. (TV-G)
MONDAY - 5/5
Married ... With Children (Fox, 9-10 p.m.): TV will be safer for channel surfers everywhere when Fox finally pulls the plug on prime time's most dysfunctional family. The crass comedy's finale marks the last program from Fox's original season 10 years ago. (TV-14)
TUESDAY - 5/6
Rugrats (Nickelodeon, 8-8:30 p.m.): In this animated special, drawn from a toddler's point of view, Tommy Pickles, Angelica, and the twins hunt for Mother's Day presents. Chuckie finds something more precious: mementos of his mother. (TV-Y)
Mrs. Doubtfire (Fox, 8-10:30 p.m.): In this 1993 film, Robin Williams plays a divorced dad who disguises himself as a British housekeeper in order to spend more time with his kids. Williams's performance is enhanced by an eclectic soundtrack and Oscar-winning makeup. (TV-G)
Home Improvement (ABC, 9-9:30 p.m.): Watch out for flying tools! "Tool Time" goes 3-D as part of ABC's sweeps gimmick. Other shows joining in the stunt include "Coach," "Spin City," and "Family Matters," so viewers will be dodging footballs, cannonballs, and Urkel all week. (TV-G)
Caroline in the City (NBC, 9:30-10 p.m.): Caroline (Lea Thompson) takes a road trip to Los Angeles to promote her book on "The Tonight Show." Jay Leno guest stars. (TV-PG)
WEDNESDAY - 5/7
NewsRadio (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): This funny but often overlooked sitcom is featuring back-to-back episodes. Jerry Seinfeld guest stars as himself in the second, airing at 8:30 p.m. (TV-PG)
Knots Landing: Back to the Cul-De-Sac (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): It's only been four years since this "Dallas" spinoff ended its long run, which began in 1979. But the residents of Knots Landing are still up to their old tricks. Troubled marriages, illegitimate children, ruthless business deals - they're all here. The major difference is that most of the problems get resolved in this two-parter, rather than making you wait for future episodes. Concludes Friday. (TV-PG)
American Masters (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Many fans of David Letterman and Jay Leno have probably never heard of Jack Paar. But without his contribution to talk TV, the late-night landscape might not look the way it does now. He "created the first real talk show where people talked," says this worthwhile profile of an early host of "The Tonight Show" (1957-62). Paar conducted masterly interviews with celebrities like Judy Garland and Jonathan Winters and politicians like John F. Kennedy.
THURSDAY - 5/8
Friends (NBC, 8-8:30 p.m.): Amid dating controversies, the friends find time to hang out at Central Perk, where the conversation of two newcomers Chris and Tomas (guest stars Robin Williams and Billy Crystal) has them all ears. Williams's and Crystal's appearance is conveniently timed to the opening of their new movie, "Fathers' Day." (TV-PG)
Suddenly Susan (NBC, 8:30-9 p.m.): The season-ender features a glut of guest stars, as Mr. T, Donald Trump, John McEnroe, and San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown join the gang for poker. (TV-PG)
The Royal Opera House (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Anyone who thinks an evening at the opera is about as exciting as a Best of C-Span marathon should watch this fascinating six-part documentary. The show, chronicling a season at London's Covent Garden, brought the house down when it aired in Britain last year. In Part 1: What do you do when your diva collapses on opening night? That's the crisis facing the House when Denyce Graves has to bow out after her first performance as Carmen. Next week's episode explores why it's probably not a good idea to commission the same set designer for two productions that are opening almost simultaneously. And general director Jeremy Isaacs comes under fire from both the board of directors and his cabby for failing to keep costs down.
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