SUNDAYThe Silk Road (The Monitor Channel, 9-10 p.m.): Marco Polo took it all the way from Italy to China - and it was already an ancient route, the vital commercial pipeline between Medieval Europe and the East. This 42-part weekly series retraces that fabled path, rediscovers its fascination and variety, and explores the art, religion, and history of the peoples living along it. Ten years in the making at a cost of some $50 million, the series is the first big coproduction between China and the outside world and has been seen in 25 countries, garnering praise and recognition. In Japan it racked up the highest ratings ever for a TV documentary. Longtime Monitor correspondent Takashi Oka introduces each week's show, beginning with "The Glories of Ancient Changan." Paul McCartney: Going Home (The Disney Channel, 9-11 p.m.): You rock around the world in this documentary as it follows McCartney's 1990 tour, catching numbers like "Jet" before a crowd of 180,000 in rainy Rio de Janeiro, and ending in his home town of Liverpool, where he offers three songs in memory of John Lennon. In between, McCartney talks about his Beatle days and his feelings about being on the road again after 13 years.

WEDNESDAY Metropolitan Opera (PBS, 8-11:40 p.m.): The days of the live Met on PBS are over - you now have to pay some $35 per view on cable. But you can still see taped productions like Rossini's "Semiramide" done Dec 22, 1990, with June Anderson in the title role and Marilyn Horne as Commander Arsace. James Conlon conducts and F. Murray Abraham - remember him as Salieri in "Amadeus"? - is host.

Please check local listings, especially on PBS.

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