BOSTON — TV highlights for the week of August 3-9. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available (see explanation box below).
PICK OF THE WEEK
Tuesday, Aug. 5, 9-10 p.m.
*MONDAY - 8/4
Vibe (UPN, midnight-1 a.m.): Late night just got a little more crowded. Two new talk shows targeting African Americans are looking to pick up the mike where Arsenio Hall left off. Quincy Jones has produced "Vibe," based on the magazine by the same name and hosted by stand-up comedian Chris Spencer. Also entering the talk-show arena is The Keenen Ivory Wayans Show, (Fox, 11:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m.). Wayans, former star of Fox's "In Living Color," plans to have guests star in comedy skits, la "Saturday Night Live."
*TUESDAY - 8/5
Hitchhiking Vietnam (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): This visually stunning documentary was designed for armchair travelers. Karin Muller spent 7-1/2 months touring the Communist country via boat, motorbike, bus, train, and Army truck from the rice paddies along the Mekong to the tribes in the mountains. Muller's genuine enthusiasm and knack for finding interesting people in out-of-the-way places more than make up for her occasionally flowery prose. The best part about letting Muller do the globe-trotting: letting her eat such local delicacies as boiled silverfish, pickled pigeon eggs, and sliced white fat.
P.O.V. (PBS, 10-midnight): Anyone cynical about politics will be even more so after tuning in to "A Perfect Candidate," a well-done look at former Lt. Col. Oliver North's unsuccessful bid for Senate in 1994. Double talk and backbiting in back rooms top the campaign agenda, along with cheap jokes about North's competitor. Sen. Charles Robb's alleged affairs provide endless amusement for North's campaign workers. Washington Post reporter Donald Baker provides the documentary's defining moment. When asked the last time his faith in a politician had been justified, he shakes his head and says, "I can't remember."
*WEDNESDAY - 8/6
Faces of Addiction (HBO, 8-9 p.m.): The final segment of HBO's three-part series looks at efforts to fight drugs in Kansas City, Mo., where in 1995, 90 percent of homicides were linked to drugs and alcohol. The documentary gets its title, "27th and Prospect," from the address of a memorial commemorating those who have died since 1993.
Powerful interviews with victims' families are interspersed with community activists, including a comic-book artist who has created African-American heroes and a former-cop-turned-radio-announcer. Contains some graphic footage. (TV-14)
Promised Land (CBS, 8-9 p.m.): The "Touched by an Angel" spinoff moves to its new night. In a repeat episode, Delta Burke, star Gerald McRaney's wife, has a guest role as a former prostitute trying to win back her son. (TV-G)
Garth Live From Central Park (HBO, 8-9:30 p.m.): Taking a page from Simon and Garfunkel's tour book, the award-winning country star is throwing a free concert smack dab in the middle of New York. Those who don't want to join the 500,000 fans expected to pack Central Park can watch the doings from the comfort of their own home. (TV-G)
*FRIDAY - 8/8
Great Moments in Opera (PBS, broadcast day and time vary): Otherwise known as great moments from "The Ed Sullivan Show," the special features performances from the '60s-era variety hour. Beverly Sills, Maria Callas, and Franco Corelli are among the greats who lend their voices to the special.
*SATURDAY - 8/9
Are You Being Served? (PBS, 7:35-9 p.m.): Mr. Humphries (John Inman) hosts a clipfest of favorite moments from the slapstick Britcom. Also, the retrospective provides a prime chance to choose your favorite from the ever-changing rainbow that is Mrs. Slocomb's (Mollie Sugden) hair.