PICK OF THE WEEK
100 Greatest Episodes Marathon
Monday-Friday 10 p.m.-1 a.m. (Nickelodeon)
TV highlights for the week of June 29-July 5. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available.
* SUNDAY - 6/29
A Day With ... (Lifetime, 10-11 p.m.): Hard-hitting journalism it's not. But if you feel trapped in the time bind, spend a day (or at least an hour) with three very busy working mothers: actress Rene Russo, designer Vera Wang, and journalist Cokie Roberts. The hour-long program attends a charity function with Russo, sits in on a bridal fitting with Wang, and takes a peek inside Roberts's refrigerator. (TV-G)
* MONDAY - 6/30
Historic Traveler (Travel Channel, 7-7:30 p.m.): Get ready to sway as this series debuts with a visit to the "Birthplace of the Blues." Journey through the Mississippi Delta learning about juke joints (originally houses on plantations where field hands gathered), how bluesman Muddy Waters got his name (he often got dirty while fishing as a boy), and what inspired Carl Perkins to write "Blue Suede Shoes."
The World Beneath the War (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): After their Vietnamese village was pounded with as much as 50,000 tons of US firepower, the people of Vin Moch sought refuge in the only safe place they could find: underground. "The World Beneath the War" explores the tunnels that housed the 1,200 villagers, and interviews survivors who stayed there so long, as one puts it, "we forgot we were living underground."
100 Greatest Episodes Marathon (Nickelodeon, 10 p.m.-1 a.m.): A week of can't-miss episodes from the network that has raised that summer staple, the rerun, to an art form. Tonight showcases "Chuckles Bites the Dust," the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" episode recently crowned by TV Guide as the greatest half-hour of television of all time. Check out the competition during this week-long marathon of classics, including Bette Davis's guest turn on "Gunsmoke" (ranked No. 28) as a widow out for retribution, and the "Dick Van Dyke Show" episode where Rob goes nutty over walnuts (No. 15).
* TUESDAY - 7/1
P.O.V. (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Fourth-grade teacher-turned-filmmaker Laura Angelica Simn documents the impact of California's Proposition 187 on Hoover Elementary, the largest in Los Angeles. The idea of denying public education to the children of illegal immigrants has divided her school, which Simn poignantly demonstrates through interviews with teachers, parents, and children.
* WEDNESDAY - 7/2
Great Performances (PBS, 8-10:30 p.m.): No fancy duds or tickets are needed to hear tonight's feature, "Madame Butterfly." The Italian opera was made into a well-received 1996 film, airing for the first time on US television. Puccini's moving story of a Japanese bride (Ying Huang) and her unfaithful husband (Richard Troxell) is beautifully presented. But some viewers may prefer their opera live, with no subtitles.
* THURSDAY - 7/3
Wimbledon (NBC, 1-5 p.m.): A full weekend is on order for tennis fans as the Grand Slam event winds up. Today, the women semifinalists square off. The men take a turn on Friday (12 noon-5 p.m.). Saturday (9 a.m.-1 p.m.), the top two women take to the grass for their final.
* FRIDAY - 7/4
Mickey's Greatest Adventures (Disney, 10 a.m.-11:35 p.m.): That American icon, Mickey Mouse, and friends kick off the Fourth with a day-long cartoon festival. Programming includes "Vacationing With Mickey," "Superstar Goofy," and "Pluto and Friends." (TV-G)
Pops Goes the Fourth! (A&E, 7:30-10:30 p.m.): Roberta Flack and Miss America Tara Holland help conductor Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops celebrate Independence Day. (TV-G)
A Capitol Fourth 1997 (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): Along with favorites like Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture," this year's gala includes a medley of songs from the musical "West Side Story," now celebrating its 40th anniversary.
TV-Y All Children
TV-Y7 Directed to Older Children
TV-G General Audience
TV-PG Parental Guidance Suggested
TV-14 Parents Strongly Cautioned
TV-M Mature Audience Only