TV highlights for the week of Jan. 5-11. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
BOSTON — PICK OF THE WEEK
Here's Looking at You, Kid
Monday, Jan. 6-Sunday, Jan. 12
(Turner Classic Movies)
SUNDAY - 1/5
AFC Playoffs (NBC, 12:30-4 p.m.): Football's New England Patriots have the home-team advantage in Round 2 when they take on the Pittsburgh Steelers at Foxboro Stadium.
NFC Playoffs (Fox, 4-7 p.m.): Defending Super Bowl champs the Dallas Cowboys travel to North Carolina to face the Carolina Panthers at Ericson Stadium in second-round play.
Humphrey Bogart: the Untold Story (TNT, 8-9 p.m.): Despite sentences such as "Humphrey Bogart is the quintessence of some ideal in American hero that reverberates around the world," this clip-heavy documentary, narrated by Bogart's son, Stephen, offers some insight into Bogart's complicated personality. The documentary is peppered with tidbits about Bogart's personal life and features interviews with film critic Ty Burr, the late director John Huston, and actress Lauren Bacall, Stephen's mother. The program kicks off a Humphrey Bogart film marathon on Turner Classic Movies (see
Masterpiece Theatre (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): Colin Firth, Brian Dennehy, and Albert Finney are among the stars that illuminate a three-part adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel "Nostromo." Set in a fictional South American country during the 1890s, the story revolves around an Englishman who returns to run his family's silver mine.
Intimate Portrait: Sean Connery (Lifetime, 10-11 p.m.): Although silly opening comments by Kim Basinger and Alec Baldwin may prompt you to change the channel - don't. Narrated by actress Natasha Richardson, this ultimately entertaining portrait takes viewers through the life of one of the most popular actors of the century. Its major assets include its interviews with the rather private (and devoutly Scottish) Connery, his wife, Micheline, and scenes of their home in Spain. The self-taught actor got his start in the chorus of "South Pacific" in the early 1950s, and in 1962 he launched his career for real when he became the first James Bond.
MONDAY - 1/6
Here's Looking at You, Kid (Turner Classic Movies, round the clock through Sunday, Jan 12): It's all Bogie, all week - 50 of his films back to back. The dizzying display includes classics such as "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," his Oscar-winning performance in "The African Queen," and, of course, "Casablanca." Not to mention Bogart's portrayals of hard-boiled gumshoes in "The Maltese Falcon" and "The Big Sleep," with wife Lauren Bacall.
Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher (ABC, 12:05-1:05 a.m.): Host Bill Maher describes his show as a "no-holds-barred debate among people who never should have met in real life." While occasionally degenerating into the equivalent of a verbal food fight, the show covers a wealth of topics ranging from the Mideast to O.J. After four years on Comedy Central, the show is finally getting a wider audience on network TV. Opening night roundup includes rapper Coolio, G. Gordon Liddy, and Roseanne.
TUESDAY - 1/7
Frasier (NBC, 9-9:30 p.m.): Frasier's pop, Martin (John Mahoney), gets a new gal when actress Marsha Mason joins the cast in a recurring role.
Spin City (ABC, 9:30-10 p.m.): Mike Flaherty (Michael J. Fox) is suddenly single when his girlfriend (Carla Gugino) puts her career before her heart to take her dream job in Los Angeles. Hopefully, this will keep the otherwise smartly written series out of the bedroom and in the office, where Flaherty can plot and scheme to his Machiavellian heart's content.
WEDNESDAY - 1/8
Great Performances (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): Americana steps into the spotlight in "Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing." The baritone and a cast of friends that include Marilyn Horne and Frederica Von Stade travel to New York, Walden Pond, and Walt Whitman's home to perform songs by Stephen Foster, Leonard Bernstein, and others.
Orleans (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Larry Hagman joins the plethora of stars returning to TV this year in a New Orleans crime drama that hopes to offer big fun on the bayou. Hagman's Judge Luther Charbonnet is a protective patriarch with a penchant for gambling and horses. In the series opener, a senator is murdered outside his daughter's casino, and his son, the district attorney, prosecutes the case.
THURSDAY - 1/9
Mystery! (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): A London publishing house is the backdrop for this intriguing adaptation of P.D. James's novel "Original Sin." The deaths of several employees, and threats to several others, provide detective Adam Dalgliesh (Roy Marsden) with an opportunity to flesh out yet another culprit. The cast of the three-part series also includes Amanda Root ("Persuasion").
FRIDAY - 1/10
The Merrow Report (PBS, 10-11 p.m., broadcast day and time vary): Public schooling began 150 years ago in Massachusetts. Since then, it has been molded by a number of events: the wave of immigrants in the early 1900s, civil rights in the 1950s, and the 1983 government report "A Nation at Risk." John Merrow, former education correspondent for the "MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour," offers an enlightening look at the history of public schools and the continuous debate over how to improve them.