What's On TV

By , Staff writers of The Christian Science Monitor

The Pick of The Week

THE ITALIAN AMERICANS II: A BEAUTIFUL SONG

Saturday, Aug. 8

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?

date and time vary (PBS)

TV highlights for the week of Aug. 8-14. Shows listed are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times are Eastern; check local listings.

SATURDAY 8/8

Baseball (Fox, 1-4 p.m.): Chasing Roger Maris's record of 61 home runs in one season never looked quite so simple. Today, two of the contenders, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, take to the same field as the St. Louis Cardinals host the Chicago Cubs. It's a tough pursuit. Yet, in their quest, McGwire and Sosa have so far handled the pressure that thinned out Maris's mane as he set the record in the summer of '61.

Rock & Roll Jeopardy! (VH1, 8-9 p.m.): A rock-trivia version of the long-standing series makes its debut. Hosted by Jeff Probst, the categories include "Weird Al Sings," "Story Songs of the '70s," "Girl Groups," and "Rock n' Baseball." (TV-PG)

The Italian Americans II: a Beautiful Song (PBS, date and time vary): There are no Al Capones in this warm documentary, a sequel to last December's well-received "The Italians." The focus is on the Italian-American experience - their strong family values, work ethic, and quirks. The presentation at times seems overtly flattering like the other documentaries in the series, which featured shows on Jewish-Americans, Irish-Americans, and Polish-Americans. Still, like the others, it paints a portrait that can only increase one's appreciation and understanding of Italians. As Paul Sorvino explains in the program, "Life is too short to go through it without being an Italian."

SUNDAY 8/9

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (Disney Channel, 8-10:30 p.m.): For the first time on television, Disney will debut the 1971 classic in its original format, which includes 23 never-before-seen lost minutes. Angela Lansbury, who plays a novice witch in this live-action/animation film, rides a magical bedstead with three waifs to stop the Nazis from invading England during World War II. A delightful children's tale. (TV-G)

Jerry Seinfeld Live: 'I'm Telling You for the Last Time' (HBO, 9-10:15 p.m.): With this live special broadcast from New York's Broadhurst Theatre, Seinfeld plans to retire the material that made him famous. Some classic lines include: "At night, I'm Night Guy. Night Guy's gotta swing. I don't worry about tomorrow morning. That's Morning Guy's problem." And on McDonald's: "Why is McDonald's still counting? Talk about insecure. You've made it!" This special already sounds funnier than the Seinfeld finale.

Intimate Portrait - Gabrielle Reece (Lifetime, 10-11 p.m.): What keeps Gabrielle Reece motivated? Simple: a daily routine. Too bad this special wasn't more than that. The first half is a little too breezy, as it spends too much time on her childhood story. It slowly starts to pick up during the second half when the extreme-sports poster girl talks about her successes as a model, TV personality, and pro volleyball player. (TV-G)

WEDNESDAY 8/12

Tina Turner: The Girl From Nutbush (PBS, date and time vary): Originally broadcast on the Disney Channel, this musical profile of the popular singer from Tennessee features interviews and performances of "Proud Mary," "Private Dancer," and her signature 1980s megahit, "What's Love Got to Do With It?"

THURSDAY 8/13

PGA Championship (TBS, 2:05-8:05 p.m.): Mark O'Meara has made a major difference this year by winning two majors. If he wins this event, the last major of the season, O'Meara will join golf's exclusive one-man club: that of Ben Hogan, who in 1953, became the only player to win three majors in a year. Continues on Friday.

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