What's On

TV highlights for the week of Feb. 9-15. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available (see explanation box below).

SUNDAY - 2/9

NBA All Star Game (NBC, 6-9 p.m.): Hoops, anyone? Now that football is behind us, basketball heads into the spotlight with a game played by some of the sport's greats. Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, Charles Barkley, and Hakeem Olajuwon are among those who will hit the floor at Gund Arena in Cleveland for the annual event.

Old Man (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Movies made by the networks often have little to recommend them. But this one, from the Hallmark Hall of Fame, is refreshingly different. Based on a short story by William Faulkner, it centers around a convict and the pregnant woman he rescues when the Mississippi River (called "Old Man") floods in 1927. The movie has a slow pace and sparse dialogue, but stick with it, for it has many charming parts - as when the pair encounters a French-speaking houseboat dweller, and the subtle, sweet conclusion. The gentle convict is played thoughtfully by Arliss Howard, and Jeanne Tripplehorn, who starred in "Waterworld," is right at home on the river. Adapted for TV by Horton Foote. (TV-G)

Masterpiece Theatre (PBS, 9-11 p.m.): This long-running program offers gritty, contemporary fare in its latest "Prime Suspect" installment. Part 1 opens in Manchester, England, where detective superintendent Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren, reprising her Emmy-winning role) has recently been transferred. Her first case pits her against a violent drug dealer who is at the center of an unrelenting murder investigation. Aside from accents that are occasionally indecipherable, the program is well done. Part 2 airs Feb. 16.

Three Minutes to Impact (Discovery, 9-11 p.m.): NBC is airing a fictional miniseries on asteroids later in the month, but first the Discovery Channel takes a scientific look at the history and current concerns about such space rocks.

Intimate Portrait (Lifetime, 10-11 p.m.): Queen Latifah is a Grammy-winning rapper, star of movies and Fox's sitcom "Living Single" - and worthy of a profile. The twenty-something was known first for her music, which reflects her positive outlook and addresses race and feminist issues. Too bad little of it is included. What is here is good, including interviews with Latifah (which means "delicate and sensitive"). (TV-G)

MONDAY - 2/10

Third Rock From the Sun (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): If you missed the hour-long season premire, catch it now on a special night. Dick (John Lithgow) battles his evil replacement, and the NBA's Dennis Rodman guest stars as (what else?) an alien. (TV-PG)

Payback (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): Meant to be a reunion for "Mary Tyler Moore Show" actors Moore and Edward Asner, this program can't keep its head above the TV-movie mire. Moore plays a woman who is harassed after she testifies against a cop she saw beat someone. Asner, also an executive producer, stars as the internal-affairs officer who convinces her to come forward and tries to protect her. At points, Moore has been critical of the show - sometimes publicly. (TV-14)

TUESDAY - 2/11

Nova (PBS, 8-10 p.m.): Britain's Stonehenge and the temples of the Incas in South America are covered in the first two parts of "Secrets of Lost Empires," which looks at ancient engineering. Parts 3 and 4, on Egyptian obelisks and Rome's Colosseum, air on Wednesday.

Home Improvement (ABC, 9-9:30): The show has a Valentine's Day theme and a funny guest star to boot - comedian Janeane Garofalo ("The Truth About Cats and Dogs"). (TV-PG)


Star Trek: Voyager (UPN, 9-10 p.m.): Those nasty Borg from Star Trek's "The Next Generation" TV show and movie are infiltrating a new series. The Voyager crew has its "first contact" this week. (TV-PG)


Friends (NBC, 8-8:30 p.m.): That's what popular couple Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) will be after this episode. (TV-PG)

FRIDAY - 2/14

Tony Bennett Live By Request: a Valentine's Special (A&E, 9-11 p.m.): Mr. Bennett provides the music for your romantic celebration - and he'll even let you choose the tunes. The crooner once again accepts phone and e-mail requests for love songs during his live performance. Last year's show earned him an Emmy.


US Figure Skating Championships (ABC, 8-11 p.m.): Pairs and women's skating will be featured, as teen champ Michelle Kwan returns to defend her title.


Old Man

Sunday, Feb. 9

9-11 p.m.


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