What's on TV

Shows worth noting for Jan. 26-Feb. 1

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Sunday 1/27

NFL Championships (CBS, 12:30 p.m.; Fox, 4 p.m.): In the first game, the Pittsburgh Steelers host the New England Patriots for the AFC title. Then the Philadelphia Eagles take on the St. Louis Rams in St. Louis for the NFC championship. The winners head to New Orleans for Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3.

Blue Planet: Seas of Life (Discovery, 9-11 p.m., continuing Jan. 28, 9-11 p.m.): This excellent new miniseries explains the importance of the oceans - both their scale and their power. From the blue whale and the frozen seas of the poles to the most primitive creatures that inhabit the ocean floor, the variety of life is staggering. But it's the fantastic photography that really surprises.

My Sister's Keeper (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): The best news about this difficult story is the cast - Lynn Redgrave, Kathy Bates, and Elizabeth Perkins. Based on a true story, the drama is about a woman who has to find a way to care for her mentally ill sister when their mother dies. It isn't a great script, but it is well-meaning and not overly sentimental.

Recommended: Could you pass a US citizenship test?
Tuesday 1/29

State of the Union Address (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS, 9 p.m.): President Bush delivers his State of the Union address in front of a joint session of Congress, broadcast live from the House of Representatives. He is expected to discuss the war on terrorism and the economy.

Fireworks (PBS, check local listings): The ancient art form has become a high-tech wonder. No, you can't directly experience fireworks on TV. But this fine documentary explains the art and technology of this enduring craft - the best use of gun powder ever devised.

Wednesday 1/30

West Point (PBS, check local listings): From the heroes of America's wars to a rogue's gallery of famous or infamous dropouts (Edgar Allen Poe quit the academy early, Benedict Arnold tried to sell the Revolutionary War's plans to the British), the Point has a colorful history. Thomas Jefferson established the school, and Davy Crockett fought to make it inclusive of the truly worthy, rather than the elitist organization it threatened to become. The Civil War pitted its graduates against each other - notably Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. It's a gripping story, a piece of fascinating American history. Andre Braugher narrates.

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