The Dinosaurs! (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): They are superstars of prehistory, the archeological darlings of the media. They get more press, and better, than most living species (how many of today's animals have their own prime-time network series like ABC's `Dinosaurs,' with 10 million or so homes tuning in weekly?) Public fascination with the creatures started back in 1822 with the discovery of a giant tooth, and more recently their image has been reshaped from clumsy and cold-blooded to lively and almost lovable.
In pulling together many new findings, this four-part series - airing on consecutive nights - focuses as much on the researchers as on the dinosaurs themselves. It details the work of a new generation of continent-hopping scientists who are piecing together not just how the reptiles looked, but how they lived. Filmed on location in North and South America and Europe, the shows use animation and graphics to visualize the dinosaurs' world, along with the usual interviews with experts. Actress Barbara Feldon narrates.
The American Experience
(PBS, 9-10 p.m.): "Last Stand at Little Big Horn" takes a fresh look at one of American history's most myth-laden and misunderstood events. General Custer and his 210 soldiers were wiped out by Plains Indians, but the media converted "Custer's Last Stand" into a national legend of heroic sacrifice. To native Americans it was the beginning of the end: They were soon forced onto reservations. The show uses film clips, animated maps, interviews, Indian drawings, and more to view the battle from both sides.
Please check local listings for all programs, especially those on PBS.