What's on TV

SHOWS FOR NOV. 15-22

By , Television critic of The Christian Science Monitor

Friday 11/15

Pumping Iron: 25th Anniversary Special Edition (Cinemax, 8-10:20 p.m., repeats Dec. 10): Touted as the most famous documentary about sports, the 1977 documentary did in fact launch Arnold Schwarzenegger's career. The movie is said to have made body-building a respectable sport. But to actually hear Arnie talk about his nasty strategies to win by betraying his friendships is to wonder just how respectable weight lifting is.

Saturday 11/16

Hunter: Return to Justice (NBC, 9-11 p.m.): Fred Dryer and Stepfanie Kramer are reunited as Hunter and Dee Dee McCall in this long-form film that is heavy on action and short on plot. The bad guys are the Russian mob - again - led by an ex-KGB agent. But for those who liked the original show, there are a few clips from the past and a welcome reunion with the hit series (1984-91).

Sunday 11/17

Wonderful World of Disney: Mr. St. Nick (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): Kelsey Grammer of "Frasier" stars in this goofy comedy about the son of Santa Claus who refuses to take over the family business, since he's doing so well on his own. Naturally, his dad is distressed, as is his mom, Mrs. Claus, who wants to see a wedding and some grandchildren in short order. Grammer ratchets down the arrogant snob routine of Frasier a notch or two, making the family film watchable for all.

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Tuesday 11/19

Nova: The Sinking City of Venice (PBS, check local listings): As the sea attacks the city's weaknesses, the water wears away the bricks of great buildings. New solutions include a mobile gate system that may save the city. But the gates have not yet been built. There have been 35 different governments since the early '60s, so inertia has set in. Dramatic storytelling makes this a fascinating film.

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