Please check local listings. Programs subject to preemption by Persian Gulf coverage.


Ironclads (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): It took massive logistics and a passion for detail to recreate the first and only clash between the ironclads Virginia (formerly the Merrimac) and Monitor for this Civil War drama. Behind the action - in this production at least - lay intrigue and a love story with a startling twist. But the real stars are the two ships that ushered in a new kind of naval warfare.

People's Choice Awards (CBS, 9-11 p.m., E.T.): Before you call this event a poor man's Oscars, remember its big asset: Not producers, not Nielsen ratings, but a public vote determines the winners in TV, film, and music categories. It's aired live from the Paramount Studios in Hollywood, with Burt Reynolds as host.


Splendid Stones (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Mining, cutting, selection, selling - they all go into the mystique of the precious gems people have been coveting for at least 5,000 years. This National Geographic special - narrated by Richard Kiley - went to five continents to explore the origins of gems and their current role in society.


Tchaikovsky's 150th Birthday Gala (PBS, 8-9:30 p.m.): Take a break from your Mozart anniversary celebrations to see this salute to another hugely popular if admittedly lesser composer (and who isn't?). At the Great Hall of the Leningrad Philharmonic, an awesome roster of artists performs Tchaikovsky favorites - yes, including the 1812 overture, with church bells, cannons, and fireworks over Leningrad's Square of the Artists.

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