THURSDAY World in Action (A&E cable, 8-8:30 p.m.): Seen in Great Britain for 27 years, this noted investigative-news series - call it Britain's ``60 Minutes'' - makes its US debut complete with an American host, Bill Kurtis, and with shows selected for timeliness and relevance for their new audience. The opener focuses on neo-Nazis operating in - of all places - the USSR. SUNDAY The Civil War (PBS, 8-10 p.m.): Award-winning filmmaker Ken Burns takes on a familiar but immensely challenging subject in a major series - airing five consecutive nights - that begins the new PBS season. To show how the epic events shaped the nation itself, the documentary uses archival footage, paintings, and - something less often seen - newsreel footage of Civil War veterans. Historian David McCulloch narrates, and a host of distinguished figures - like Garrison Keillor, Arthur Miller, and Julie Harris - read from diaries and other sources of the times. This first program takes a look at the conflicting forces of slavery, the Union, and states' rights. WEDNESDAY Mike Wallace, Then and Now (CBS, 10-11 p.m.): The man himself narrates this look at his own 40 years as one of TV's most visible, gutsy, and sometimes controversial reporters. He reminisces, comments, and offers still-dramatic clips of his impressive career - from his live days in the '50s interviewing people like gangster Mickey Cohen through his current presence on ``60 Minutes.''

Please check local listings for all programs, especially on PBS.

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