What's on TV

SHOWS WORTH NOTING FOR MAY 11-17

Saturday 5/11

Behind Closed Doors: The United States Post Office (A&E, 8-9 p.m.): Journalist Joan Lunden's series takes a look at one of our most essential service industries. For those who have lost a few letters, this timely documentary inspires respect for the overwhelming obligations of the US mail. After Sept. 11, postal workers have had to deal with a variety of terrorist threats. It's one of Lunden's best stories.

Sunday 5/12

The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards (Sci-Fi, 8-9 p.m.): "Star Wars" fanatic and indie filmmaker Kevin Smith hosts the award show that recognizes fan-made movies, including "Star Wars"-themed spoofs, documentaries, and animated films. Special guest George Lucas will choose his favorite entry.

The Power of Play (Animal Planet, 8-9 p.m.): Purr-fect for animal-loving moms (and everyone else who cares about four-footed creatures). In this episode, animals convey friendly intentions, learn survival skills, and establish hierarchies in play. All little ones play – the surprise is how important play is for adults, too. Wonderful footage and well-written narration make this enjoyable family "edutainment."

Monday 5/13

The Mary Tyler Moore Reunion (CBS, 10-11 p.m.): The old gang is back to reminisce about the show. Since it was one of the most popular in TV history, it feeds into our ongoing nostalgia for the good old days when comedy had to be witty rather than crude to succeed.

Tuesday 5/14

Muhammad Ali: Through the Eyes of the World (PBS, check local listings): What has made the controversial boxer an international icon? This unusual documentary allows others to reveal his image. Viewers see him through the eyes of friends, family, and celebrities as varied as Maya Angelou, Richard Harris, and Billy Crystal. This film is more than a biography. It's cultural history.

Thursday 5/16

Uncommon Courage: Patriotism and Civil Liberties (PBS, check local listings): The story of the "Nisei," Japanese-Americans who volunteered to serve as linguists in the Pacific during World War II while their families were imprisoned in the United States, is well told through interviews, archival footage, and even period anti-Japanese cartoons.

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