PICK OF THE WEEK
A Touch of Frost: True Confessions
Tuesday, July 29, 9-11 p.m. (A&E)
TV highlights for the week of July 27-Aug. 2. All times are Eastern; check local listings. Ratings are listed for shows when available.
* SUNDAY - 7/27
Big Guns Talk: the Story of the Western (TNT, 8-10 p.m.): James Garner ("Maverick") saddles up as host of this retrospective about the horse opera. In addition to clips of classic westerns dating back to "The Great Train Robbery" (1903), the show rounds up guests Clint Eastwood, Kris Kristofferson, Charlton Heston, Sharon Stone, and Tom Selleck. Also featured: a tough look at the genre's depiction of minorities and some of the liberties taken with the history of the Old West. (TV-PG)
Prohibition (A&E, 8-11 p.m.): Billed as an exploration of "13 years that drove the country to drink," this documentary traces the effort to dry out the United States - from its origins in women's prayer groups to the constitutional amendment that took effect in 1920 and its ultimate repeal. If anything, the program says, Prohibition only increased the country's appetite for "demon rum."
Ordinary people seemed quite willing to become criminals for the sake of a drink, and government efforts to enforce the law were halfhearted at best (each Prohibition agent had to cover 2,000 square miles of territory). So bootleggers stood to make incredible fortunes. Some of the colorful figures profiled include: Carry Nation (and her bar-smashing ax), "dry boss" William Wheemer, Joseph Kennedy Sr., and Al Capone. (TV-PG)
Stargate SG-1 (Showtime, 8-9:30 p.m.): Richard Dean Anderson ("MacGyver") stars in this spinoff of the 1994 science-fiction hit. (TV-14)
* MONDAY - 7/28
Win Ben Stein's Money (Comedy Central, 7:30-8 p.m.): This new game show plays trivia for laughs. Host (and contestant) Ben Stein tries to hang on to his paycheck - which also serves as the prize money. Co-host: Los Angeles radio personality Jimmy Kimmel. (TV-G)
Evening at Pops (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): British singer Elaine Page ("Evita") guest-stars on a lively "Evening at Pops." Keith Lockhart directs.
* TUESDAY - 7/29
A Touch of Frost: True Confessions (A&E, 9-11 p.m.): Britain's most popular sleuth is hanging up his magnifying glass. "True Confessions" is A&E's last planned outing for Inspector Jack Frost (David Jason). Fine acting and a satisfyingly twisty story line about falsified evidence and the murder of a cheating wife carry the series out in style. Plus, that old mystery staple - the sanctity of the confessional - is played with a twist. (TV-PG)
P.O.V. (PBS, 10-11:30 p.m.): "Blacks and Jews" examines the often-adversarial relationship between the minorities, beginning with coverage of the 1991 Crown Heights riots, which erupted in Brooklyn, N.Y., when a Hasidic Jew ran over an African-American boy. The documentary also looks at the 1960s, when the Jewish and African-American communities united for a time to battle real estate speculators in Lawndale (an area of Chicago).
The documentary concludes with director Steven Spielberg's 1994 visit to Castlemont High School in Oakland, Calif., after its highly publicized field trip to see "Schindler's List" when students were thrown out for laughing. In addition to providing a historical perspective, filmmakers Deborah Kaufman, Bari Scott, and Alan Snitow also include efforts by members of the minorities to work together.
* WEDNESDAY - 7/30
Chinatown (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): Director Felicia Lowe's documentary examines the history and rich cultural heritage of San Francisco's Chinatown, for decades the largest community of Chinese outside of China.
* SATURDAY - 8/2
The Love Bug (ABC, 8-10 p.m.): Disney's 1969 slapstick comedy stars a lovable Volkswagen with a mind of its own. Dean Jones, Michele Lee, and Buddy Hackett star. (TV-G)
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