What's On TV

Listings are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings.

SATURDAY 8/21

Introducing Dorothy Dandridge (HBO, 9-11 p.m.): Halle Berry stars as the 1950s movie star who was the first black woman nominated for an Academy Award as best actress. Adapted from the 1970 book "Dorothy Dandridge," by Earl Mills (Ms. Dandridge's longtime manager), the movie is tragic at times, but moving and poignant. Despite her turbulent childhood and confrontations with racism, Ms. Dandridge continued to doggedly pursue her career. Berry does a superb job in the starring role.

SUNDAY 8/22

A Cooler Climate (Showtime, 8-9:40 p.m.): Sally Field stars as a divorced middle-class woman who finds her circumstances so straitened she becomes a housekeeper for a rich, unhappy woman (Judy Davis). The friendship that develops between these two is made believable by a decent script and flawless performances by this perfectly matched pair.

The Farmer's Wife (PBS, check local listings): When David Sutherland's documentary aired in September last year, the story about Darrel and Juanita Buschkoetter's struggle to save their farm and marriage struck a chord with viewers. The Buschkoetters have received 13,000 e-mails from viewers, and letters are still pouring in. The series resumes Aug. 29 and Sept 5.

You Know My Name (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): Set in 1924 Oklahoma, this western rides on a sterling performance by Sam Elliott as lawman Bill Tilghman. The oil boom changed the face of the West, and swindlers and machine gun-wielding gangsters have moved in. Tilghman comes out of retirement to bring order to Cromwell, Okla.

MONDAY 8/23

Biography (A&E, 8-9 p.m.): After watching HBO's movie on Dorothy Dandridge Saturday, tune into A&E's biography for more details on this remarkable entertainer.

TUESDAY 8/24

Family Values: The Mob and the Movies (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): This surprising documentary about the actors who play gangsters in the movies does tend to glorify gangster flicks, but the actors bring interesting perspectives on the neighborhoods, the wise guys, and the realities. Hosted by Frank Vincent ("Goodfellas").

WEDNESDAY 8/25

On the Trail of Mark Twain with Peter Ustinov (PBS, check local listings): The Oscar-winning actor traces the footsteps of Twain, the author who traveled around the world in 1897 for his book "Following the Equator." Concludes next Wednesday. (See story, page 20).

FRIDAY 8/27

Influences: From Yesterday to Today (CBS, 8-10 p.m.): As children, actresses Ellen DeGeneres and Fran Drescher loved "I Love Lucy." A host of other actors, writers, and directors reveal what inspired them in this delightful two-hour special hosted by Candice Bergen.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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