BOSTON — TV highlights for the week of Aug. 1-7. Shows listed are not necessarily endorsed by the Monitor. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
Goodwill Games (CBS, 2-4 p.m.; TBS, 8:05-11:05 p.m.): Women's figure skating and swimming are the top events today. The games conclude on Sunday.
Frank Sinatra: a Man and His Music (AMC, 8-9 p.m.): A tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes. AMC airs Sinatra's 1965 Thanksgiving TV special - a review of his 25-year career - which won an Emmy and set a precedent for numerous other specials. The program includes the songs "I've Got You Under My Skin," "My Kind of Town," and "I Get a Kick out of You." (TV-G)
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (Cartoon Network, 8-10 p.m.): The first feature-length version of "Batman: the Animated Series" (and the network's first-ever feature debut) is a must-see for Caped Crusader fans. The movie introduces several new characters, including a new villain named Phantasm, and offers a glimpse into Bruce Wayne's first love. (TV-Y7-FV)
Linc's (Showtime, 10-11 p.m.): Add this up: Edgy characters, contemporary issues, and a Washington, D.C., watering hole. That's Linc, Showtime's new comedy series. Linc is a bar owned by Linc (Steven Williams of "X-Files"), where a cross section of African-Americans - conservatives, liberals, working class, and working women - meet and banter on sex, politics, and race. The humor is a mixture of Beltway and Brooklyn, and the pilot of the 13 episodes ebbs and flows from funny to feeble. Contains strong language. (TV-MA, L)
War and Civilization (TLC, 9-11 p.m.): This is an ambitious project: two years in the making, 3,500 people for battle reenactments, 15 countries visited, and 102 hours of footage shot. The result is eight one-hour analytical episodes on war - its weapons, strategies, cost, and scope. Much of the inspiration for this work comes from renowned war historian John Keegan. This documentary explores how culture and conflict are inextricably linked throughout civilization - whether in ancient times when tribes fought each other for livestock or the genocidal nationalism of today. The program is narrated by Walter Cronkite, whose familiar sign-off on the CBS evening newscasts was "and that's the way it is." This presentation reflects that sentiment. The remaining episodes air the same time through Wednesday. (TV-PG)
Lolita (Showtime, 9-11:20 p.m.): The controversial film, based on Vladimir Nabokov's provocative 1954 novel, finally makes its debut in the United States. Shunned by US movie distributors, it's the most expensive movie ($58 million) ever to debut on a premium cable channel. The drama stars Jeremy Irons as Humbert Humbert, a middle-aged college professor who falls in love with a 12-year-old (impressively portrayed by Dominique Swain), who resembles a love from his adolescent days. Although the subject matter is both disturbing and shocking, it's dealt with in a sensitive manner. Rated R for sexual situations, violence, and strong language.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? (ABC, 9:30-10 p.m.): Drew Carey hosts this new Americanized version of the British improvisational comedy show. In the weekly series, a quartet of performers, including Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie (from the original series), participate in a variety of unrehearsed sketches before a studio audience. (TV-PG)
Movies (AMC, 8 p.m.-7:15 a.m.): AMC presents a marathon of Alfred Hitchcock movies, including "Strangers on a Train" and "Saboteur."