What's on TV

SHOWS FOR JAN. 12-17

Sunday 1/12

America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story (TBS, 8-10 p.m.): It doesn't matter if you're a believer in Camelot or someone who never understood the Kennedy mystique, this telepic is to be avoided. The plot alternates between leering at John's (Kristoffer Polaha) peccadilloes and sympathizing with the pressures he faced from his mother (Jacqueline Bisset) and the everpresent press. Portia de Rossi ("Ally McBeal") fares somewhat better as Carolyn Bessette. TV-PG

My Uncle Silas II (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): That rascal Silas is back with new adventures. Albert Finney plays the old character as a glutton for life with all its pleasures. Set in Northamptonshire in 1900, the first of the five tales based on short stories by H.E. Bates begins with Silas helping a friend court the farm maid of his dreams. In another, he outfoxes a braggart. Funny, flirtatious, and always in trouble with his housekeeper, Silas mends broken tiles, fences - and hearts. TV-PG

Monday 1/13

American Music Awards (ABC, 8-11 p.m..): Ozzy, Jack, Sharon, and Kelly Osbourne host the 30th annual awards show from L.A.'s Shrine Auditorium.

Benedict Arnold: A Question of Honor (A&E, 8-10 p.m.): Aidan Quinn plays the volatile General Arnold, a hero of the decisive battle for Saratoga and friend and confidant of George Washington. He marries a loyalist, Peggy Shippen, who plays on his weaknesses and turns him from the cause he had so bravely fought for. It is a heartbreaking spectacle. This investigation into the motives of our first enigmatic traitor falls a bit short of revelatory. What it does do, however, is whet the appetite for more information. TV-PG

Chicago: City of the Century, Part 1 (PBS, check local listings): Chicago was the world's biggest lumber producer and home to the world's largest railroad hub in the late 19th century. But it was also a smoky and dangerous city steeped in corruption and crime. The insightful three-part series covers the city's triumphs and struggles from its revolutionary architecture to its reckless growth. TV-PG

The It Factor (Bravo, 9:30-10:30 p.m.): Less than 1 percent of the actors in L.A. are stars. This show is about the other 99 percent. The cameras follow nine actors as they hustle from audition to audition, keep up their spirits despite repeated rejection, and hope they can hang on long enough for that elusive "big break."

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