Listings are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings.
The Sky's On Fire (ABC, 8-10 p.m.): A moderately entertaining, near-disaster movie about an ozone hole settling over Los Angeles. Scientists have the solution, if only they can get the dull-witted politicians to listen in time.
Extreme surfing (The Learning Channel, 9-10 p.m.) The most extraordinary surfing photography gets right inside the curl for the feeling of the "green room" that surfers revel in. In extreme sports, danger lurks in every event, but in extreme surfing, the beauty of the great waves is gripping.
National Geographic Explorer: Africa's Deadly Dozen (CNBC, 8-9 p.m.): Fangs, forked tongues, venom, and slithering through the tall grass may not entertain everybody, but those who are interested in wildlife, Africa, or National Geographic's fabulous photography will find this snake documentary fascinating.
Happily Ever After: Fairy Tales for Every Child presents Aesop's Fables - A Whodunit Musical (HBO, 7:30-8 p.m., repeated throughout July): This musical episode is sweet and inventive, as this series always is. Someone's stolen the book of fables and must be tracked down.
The Lost Gods of Easter Island with David Attenborough (PBS, check local listings): One of the great mysteries of all time is revisited in this riveting documentary that begins with a small wooden figure and ends with the massive stone carvings of Easter Island. Attenborough is as great a historical detective as he is a naturalist.
Private Screenings: Betty Hutton (TCM, 8-9 p.m.): Betty Hutton, Paramount's biggest star in the 1940s and '50s, turned her back on Hollywood at the height of her career to find herself.
Buena Vista Social Club (television premire on PBS, check local listings): PBS Showcase is a new series that highlights culture and the arts. The film was supposed to air on PBS last November, but that date was postponed so that the documentary could be eligible for an Academy Award nomination - which it received. The film, produced by guitarist Ry Cooder and directed by German filmmaker Wim Wenders, portrays the lives and artistic brilliance of several Cuban musicians, whose playing style will now never be forgotten.
(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society