THE 70TH ANNUAL ACADEMY AWARDS
Monday, March 23
9 p.m.-midnight (ABC)
TV highlights for the week of March 21-27. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
NCAA Basketball Tournament (CBS, 3:30-8 p.m.): The road to next weekend's Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, starts today with two regional finals. Tomorrow's other regional finals (starting 2:30 p.m.) will complete the lineup.
Always Outnumbered (HBO, 9-11 p.m.): Directed by Michael Apted ("Gorillas in the Mist," "Extreme Measures"), the story concerns an ex-con who finds himself making a difference in his community after prison. Well-written and gripping, the made-for-TV movie offers an unsentimentalized portrait of a local hero. Laurence Fishburne is excellent, the issues the picture tackles are tough ones, and their resolution unusual. Mature subject matter, some strong language, and some violence. (TV-MA)
Damon (Fox, 8:30-9 p.m.): Unfortunately for Fox, this sitcom is doomed to fail, with crass sexual dialogue and off-color humor. Damon Wayans is reunited with his "In Living Color" buddy David Alan Grier. In the opener, undercover cop Wayans poses as a pimp in an attempt to bring down the head of a Chicago escort service involved in illegal activities. (TV-14, DL)
Blood on Her Hands (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): Susan Lucci has always been the bridesmaid of the much-coveted Emmy Award, and this movie shows why. In this blend of soap opera and murder, Lucci plays a woman who feeds off rich men. Predictable and silly. (TV-PG, S)
Hollywoodism: Jews, Movies and the American Dream (A&E, 9-11 p.m.): Based on Neal Gabler's acclaimed work, this engaging documentary recounts how Jews reinvented American culture even as they reinvented themselves. Paramount, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., and MGM were all founded by Jews. What's Hollywood? A narrator offers a compelling perspective: "Hollywood was a dream dreamt by Jews who were fleeing a nightmare." (TV-G)
Independent Spirit Awards (Bravo, 8 p.m.-12:30 a.m.): Want to maximize your award-show viewing? During the Oscar commercial breaks, Bravo will air highlights of this program that honors independent films, hosted by Roger Ebert. Films nominated for Best Feature include "Chasing Amy," "The Apostle," "Loved," "Ulee's Gold," and "Waiting for Guffman." If you want to see the award show in its entirety, tune into the Independent Film Channel Saturday, March 21, at 4:30 p.m.
The 70th Annual Academy Awards (ABC, 9 p.m.-midnight): The envelope please. "Titanic" heads the list of blockbusters and big names that dominate this year's Oscar nominations. Billy Crystal hosts the ceremony, which will present an honorary Oscar to director Stanley Donen ("Singin' in the Rain," "Funny Face").
Mystery! Death Is Now My Neighbor (PBS, 9-10 p.m.): This two-part mystery opens with the fatal shooting of a young woman at her home. When her next-door neighbor is killed at the same time the next morning, Detective Morse (John Thaw) and his partner Lewis (Kevin Whately) discover that the murders are connected - but to what? For longtime Morse fans, this will be a treat: His first name is finally revealed. Part 2 airs April 2 at the same time.