What's on TV

SHOWS FOR FEB. 15-21

Sunday 2/16

The Simpsons (Fox, 8-8:30 p.m.): The satirical cartoon family has never met its match, possibly because it has the most amazing cast and writers in the genre. An equal-opportunity offender, it has made fun of everything under the sun, including TV and itself - even its host network. The 300th episode tonight finds Bart suing his parents for divorce.

Deacons for Defense (Showtime, 8-10 p.m.): Most of us know about Martin Luther King Jr.'s belief in nonviolence during the civil rights movement. And nonviolence worked in the big cities where the media presence could show how badly African-Americans were treated. But in smaller communities, neither TV nor the country outside the city limits understood the power of the Ku Klux Klan. The Deacons for Defense, however, protected civil rights workers, black and white alike. This uneven film is fascinating for the story it tells, despite its flaws. Forest Whitaker stars with Ossie Davis and Jonathan Silverman.

Open House (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Christine Lahti stars as a housewife whose husband leaves her for greener pastures. As she starts her life over with a new set of china and silver, she learns that she has missed out on life. The man (Daniel Baldwin) who wakes her up is a genius in love with all of life's details. It's a predictable story, and the screenplay is not as wise and wily as the novel by Elizabeth Berg, but it's still strangely encouraging and downright entertaining.

Monday 2/17

The White House: In Tune With History (PBS, 10 p.m., check local listings): What's the best perk about being president? Having your own White House band, of course. The fascinating special provides a backstage pass to concerts and events rarely seen by the public. Musical tastes varied with each president, from classical to country to pop and jazz. Teddy Roosevelt requested that trumpets always play to announce the president. Franklin Roosevelt liked the Big Bands, and Jackie Kennedy wanted music in every room of the house.

Tuesday 2/18

The Three Stooges 75th Anniversary Special (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Slap, bonk, nyuk, nyuk. Woody Harrelson hosts this special that features interviews with family members and celebrity fans. The best parts, though, are seeing Larry, Curly, and Moe in action.

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