Pick of The Week
IN THE WILD: ORANGUTANS WITH JULIA ROBERTS
Wednesday, May 20
8-9 p.m. (PBS)
TV highlights for the week of May 16-22. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
The Wonderful World of Disney: Miracle at Midnight (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): A fine family movie that demonstrates the principle of "love thy neighbor" with poignant performances by Sam Waterston and Mia Farrow. (See story above.) (TV-PG)
The X-Files (Fox, 9-10 p.m.): X-philes have been waiting for this one, the season finale, which promises to bring the threads of the mystery together, leaving us cliffhanging and speculating about the movie - which will begin where the cliffhanger leaves off. Mulder (David Duchovny) and Agent Spender (Chris Owens) spar for investigation rights when the life of a young chess genius is threatened. Mimi Rogers guest-stars. (TV-PG, V)
Visions of Grace: Robert Redford and 'The Horse Whisperer' (Lifetime, 10-11 p.m.): Robert Redford gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at his new movie, which is based on the bestselling book by Nicholas Evans. The special also features interviews with co-stars Kristin Scott Thomas and Dianne Wiest and introduces viewers to the real "Horse Whisperer," Buck Brannaman.
In the Wild: Orangutans With Julia Roberts (PBS, 8-9 p.m.): Sometimes she sounds a little precious, perhaps, but eventually Julia Roberts wins us over as host. She has a way with orangutans. And though the documentary seems too focused on the actress, she does manage to inform us about their lives, intelligence, and affections. We see her too afraid of spiders to sleep, lost in affection for a four-month-old baby orang, and casually comfortable with an orang matron who wants to help her wash clothes. But the best moment comes when she meets a 400-pound male orangutan who tries to cuddle her. (TV-PG)
CBS: the First 50 Years (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): With so much to say in relatively little time, this retrospective on the Tiffany network looks like a pogo-stick act. Yet as the presentation jumps from show to show, there's much nostalgia. Among them: the Beatles on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and newsman Walter Cronkite's "wow" when man set foot on the moon. There's trivia too, as in, who shot J.R? In the end what stands out is that not so long ago there was something called wholesome, clean TV. (TV-G)
The 1998 Essence Awards (Fox, 8-10 p.m.): In essence, this is a celebration honoring the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, Patti LaBelle, Wynton Marsalis, and Will Smith. Performers include Michael Bolton, Mariah Carey, and Celine Dion, with tributes by Whitney Houston and Oprah Winfrey, among others.
Mystery! An Unsuitable Job for a Woman: A Last Embrace (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): In Part 1 of this two-part series, the wife of a wealthy hotel owner hires private detective Cordelia Gray (Helen Baxendale) to find proof of her husband's infidelities. Complications arise, however, when detective Gray becomes attracted to her subject. Part 2 airs 9-10 p.m., Thursday, May 28.
Where It's At: The Rolling Stone State of the Union (ABC, 9-11 p.m.): The rock 'n' roll/pop-culture magazine marks its 30th anniversary with interviews and performances by Fiona Apple, Bruce Springsteen, Marilyn Manson, Jewel, Beck, and Sean "Puffy" Combs. (TV-14, DL)