WORTH NOTING ON TV
Nightly Business Report (Public stations - please check local listings for days and times): China is not only the world's most populous nation, but it also has the world's fastest-growing economy, after some 40 years of economic semi-isolation. In a three-part series airing nightly through Thursday, this program visits China to see what impact the growth is having on the Chinese people's standard of living. It also considers the future of the Chinese way of life as business evolves there.
The Cronkite Report (The Discovery Channel, 10-11 p.m.): School prayer, the Christian right wing, separation of church and state, the African-American Christian church - these and other aspects of Christianity in the United States today are the subject of ``Christianity Reborn: Prayer and Politics.''
As usual, the latest installment of this documentary series has the advantage of host Walter Cronkite's authority and credibility. Christianity that ``unites religious fervor with political agendas'' is how he describes the program's topic, and in exploring the movement, Cronkite visits churches in Atlanta, Chicago, and Kansas, and pays special attention to Evangelicalism.
In Atlanta, for instance, the program looks at Iconium Baptist Church and its minister, who takes issue with any comparison between the kind of activism his church represents and that of the so-called Christian right. Interviews with scholars like Dr. Martin Marty, a theologian at the University of Chicago, provide context for the program's findings.
Atlanta Symphony Gospel Christmas (PBS, 8:30-10 p.m.): Take the Grammy-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Add the 225-voice All-Atlanta Chorus, boasting some of the best gospel choirs and soloists from the Atlanta area. Throw in the Pointer Sisters.
The result is a heady mix of classical, gospel and other music, and they make this holiday concert more than a little different - a welcome variation among the spate of musical specials on TV at this time of year.
Please check local listings for these programs.