What's On TV

TV highlights for the week of June 13-19. All times are Eastern; check local listings.

Pick of The Week


Wednesday, June 17, 10-11 p.m. (PBS)


Saturday Night Live (NBC, 11:30 p.m.-1 a.m.): A special episode pays homage to Phil Hartman by airing clips of the ex-cast member's funniest sketches and most memorable characters. On Tuesday and Wednesday, NewsRadio (NBC, 8:30-9 p.m.) honors the late Hartman by airing a two-part episode in which his character, Bill McNeal, takes over as news director. (TV-PG)


America's Great Parks (Discovery, 8-10 p.m.): Sitting in front of the TV for two hours sometimes might be the best way to plan a vacation. This engaging documentary treks through three of America's most popular vacation spots: the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite. But this isn't picture-postcard stuff; it is more about their geological beginnings and complex ecosystems. Narrated by James Brolin. (TV-G)

L.A. Lifeguards (TBS, 9-10 p.m.): Although "Baywatch" would have you believe otherwise, being a lifeguard is more than just looking good and running around on the beach. A group of 220 hopefuls swim in a bone-chilling race, and only the fastest 50 qualify for the Lifeguard Training Academy. Viewers also meet lifeguard Greg Bonnan, who turned his experience into the popular TV series "Baywatch." The one-hour show is breezy, but it sheds some light on what lifeguards go through.


The X-Files Movie Special (Fox, 8-9 p.m. ): "X-Files" movie co-star Martin Landau hosts a preview for the movie's opening June 19. Segments include an examination of the TV series' devoted following, clips from the film, and interviews with stars Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny. (TV-PG, V)


AFI'S 100 Years ... 100 Movies (CBS, 8-11 p.m.): Jodie Foster, Sally Field, and Richard Gere host this three-hour countdown of the 100 greatest American films, chosen by a panel assembled by the American Film Institute. The list of 100 movies is being kept a secret until show time, but the special also features clips and comments from actors, directors, and politicians, from Woody Allen to President Clinton. (TV-PG, V)

The Real World (MTV, 10-11 p.m.): The seventh cast of the popular MTV soap opera arrives in Seattle, where the seven roommates live in a funky loft on a pier and work at a radio station. (TV-PG)


The Face of Russia (PBS, 10-11 p.m.): If the cold war froze Russian culture in ignorance, this documentary splendidly brings it to awareness. It's a colorful canvas on Russian art and how it imitates Russians' lives. It explores how the country has been shaped by its natural surroundings, its Christian heritage, its contacts with the West, and the great changes under way. Today's episode, "The Face on the Firewood," recounts the history and revival of Christianity in Russia and has some excellent footage of the Monastery of the Caves in Kiev and the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin. Next Wednesday's "The Facade of Power" is about two of Russia's most famous women, the empresses Elizabeth and Catherine the Great. In the final episode the following Wednesday, "Facing the Future," looks at Russia's contribution to music and film. (TV-G)


Remember WENN (AMC, 10-10:30 p.m.): In the season-opener, the gang pretends the previous year, 1941, never happened so they can help a shellshocked staffer. When the story left off last December, Betty (Amanda Naughton) had just learned that the acting manager was a German spy - and that Victor (John Bedford Lloyd) had been brainwashed by the Nazis. Scene-stealer Melinda Mullins plays Hilary Booth. (TV-G)

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