TV highlights for the week of Nov. 10-16. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
PICK OF THE WEEK
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century
Sunday through Wednesday
9-11 p.m. (PBS)
SUNDAY - 11/10
A Goofy Movie (Disney, 7-8:30 p.m.): The first full-length movie to star the lovable oaf, while not on the order of "Beauty and the Beast," is still a sweet, funny look at father-son relationships. Goofy decides he and his son, Max, aren't spending enough time together, so he packs the two of them off on a road trip. Bonding and much slapstick ensue.
The Man Who Captured Eichmann (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): Robert Duvall delivers an enthralling performance as Adolf Eichmann, the architect of World War II's "Final Solution" - transporting Jews to the death camps. Duvall's Eichmann is a loving family man who nevertheless destroyed other people's children. Duvall's performance aside, this made-for-cable movie about Eichmann's capture in Argentina after World War II is solid, if not particularly brilliant. More historical detail - such as how Eichmann escaped to Argentina with his family in the first place, would have provided needed depth.
Pandora's Clock (NBC, 9-11 p.m.): Taking a cue from Hollywood blockbusters, this miniseries is a thrill ride fueled by government paranoia, nonstop action, and lots of star power. Richard Dean Anderson, Jane Leeves, Daphne Zuniga, and Robert Loggia star in NBC's crown sweeps-month offering, based on John J. Nance's bestseller. A plane full of US citizens trying to get home for the holidays become pariahs when it's discovered a passenger may have been exposed to a nasty bit of German biological weaponry. Capt. James Holland (Anderson) and CIA virologist Dr. Roni Sanders (Zuniga) must battle quarantine, world panic, an ex-KGB agent, and gray-haired bureaucrats. While marred by patchy dialogue and the unwarranted shooting of a woman by US troops, the show doesn't run out of gas until the final scene, when it takes a sharp turn that ruins what could have been a three-point landing. (The series concludes on Monday.)
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Producer Blaine Baggett and historian Jay Winter have delivered a remarkably comprehensive look at World War I, which continues through Wednesday. Combining poetry, letters, and diaries with famous actors la Ken Burns, the result is a thoughtful look at "the war to end all wars." Armchair historians may be the only ones to remain riveted through the eighth and final hour, but Episode 1, which details the complicated alliance system that catapulted the entire continent into war, is well worth watching. As one historian noted, "It wasn't in the interest of any of the great powers to go to war in 1914, and yet they all did." Also fascinating are segments on the Christmas truce of 1914 and French socialist Jean Jaurs, who was murdered by an ultranationalist convinced the great orator would keep France out of the war.
Four Weddings and a Funeral (ABC, 9-11:30 p.m.): This 1994 film put Hugh Grant on the map. He stars as a young Brit who meets the woman of his dreams (Andie MacDowell) at a wedding. An affair ensues, as does a lot of sexual innuendo. Good acting by all the British thespians makes MacDowell seem a bit out of her league, but some funny and touching scenes are also to be found in this movie.
MONDAY - 11/11
Biography (A&E, 8-9 p.m.): On Sunday, one of the pioneers of TV journalism signs off after more than 40 years on the air. The next day, "Biography" takes a look at David Brinkley's career, which has spanned the existence of television. According to his own estimates, the North Carolinian has reported more than 2,000 weeks of news; interviewed 12 presidents; and covered 20 political conventions, four wars, three assassinations, and one moon landing. Narrated by Sam Donaldson.
TUESDAY - 11/12
Mad About You (NBC, 8-8:30 p.m.):
To celebrate this hit series' 100th episode, Carol Burnett and Caroll O'Connor make a special appearance. Jamie (Helen Hunt) and Paul (Paul Reiser) play host to Jamie's parents (Burnett and O'Connor), who are planning the trip of a lifetime.
WEDNESDAY - 11/13
NBA at 50 (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): Denzel Washington hosts this golden-anniversary show about the National Basketball Association's first 50 years. More than 100 NBA greats are featured.
THURSDAY - 11/14
Nova (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Did Russian pilots really engage US planes in dogfights during the Korean War? For the first time on film, a high-ranking Russian pilot admits to the clash between cold-war enemies in this show on Russian aviation.
Mystery! (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): Agatha Christie's picky but brilliant Belgian detective solves one last case for "Mystery!" In "Hercule Poirot's Christmas," a two-parter, an elderly diamond baron asks Poirot (David Suchet) to stay with him for the holidays when he thinks his life is in danger. Of course, the not-well-liked scoundrel soon turns up dead with a houseful of relatives - all with excellent motives. There are enough clues here that you might figure out this whodunit before Poirot, but the red herrings will keep you guessing. The second half airs the following week.
FRIDAY - 11/15
College Basketball (ESPN, 7-11 p.m.): Slam-dunk action is the name of the game as the NCAA kicks off its season with a double-header in Indianapolis. The matchups: Indiana takes on UConn, and Clemson faces Kentucky.