TV highlights for the week of Nov. 28-Dec. 4. Shows listed are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times are Eastern; check local listings.
Aldrich Ames: Traitor Within (Showtime, 8-10 p.m.): He longed for respect, married a woman with expensive tastes, and ran up huge debts. Timothy Hutton gives a credible performance as Ames, the turncoat who turned over CIA documents to the KGB for millions of dollars. An interview with Ames airs afterwards.
Cab to Canada (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): Maureen O'Hara reprises a real incident that happened this year - a dainty woman takes a cab ride that starts in Malibu, Calif., but twists and turns take her to Vancouver. Driving Miss O'Hara may lack the sensitivity of "Driving Miss Daisy," but this movie is feel-good at heart. (TV-G)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (CBS, 8-9 p.m.): Rudolph gets a makeover. The animated classic features footage that hasn't been seen in 34 years including the full-length version of "We're a Couple of Misfits." It will be broadcast in digitally remastered form, with the original color. (TV-G)
CMA 40th: A Celebration (CBS, 8-10 p.m.): A gala event honoring the 40th anniversary of the Country Music Association. Includes performances by Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Chet Atkins, Alabama, and Reba McIntyre.
The Ultimate Guide: Horses (Discovery, 9-10 p.m.): This engaging documentary offers more than just horse sense. Interesting snippets of information and computerized graphics are presented in gallops. (TV-G)
Tug of War: The Story of Taiwan (PBS, 9-10:30 p.m.): This compelling 90-minute primer documents Taiwan's long and difficult road to democratization (martial law was repealed in 1987) and its relationship with the mainland since Chiang Kai-shek set up his government on the island in 1949.
Before He Wakes (CBS, 9-11 p.m.): In this empty thriller, Jaclyn Smith plays a woman who lies, cheats, and commits murder to maintain the faade of a rich lifestyle. Timothy Carhart plays the unfortunate basketball coach who marries her. (TV-PG, V)
NYPD Blue (ABC,10-11 p.m.): Goodbye Jimmy Smits. Hello Rick Schroder. He'll play Det. Danny Sorenson, Sipowicz's new partner. (TV-14, L)
Christmas in Rockefeller Center (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Ring in the holiday season with this live broadcast of the 66th annual tree lighting at Manhattan's Rockefeller Center. Garth Brooks, Jewel, Babyface, and Cyndi Lauper supply the music; Kristi Yamaguchi skates; and the Rockettes perform "Dance of the Wooden Soldiers." (TV-G)
Peanuts - A Charlie Brown Christmas (CBS, 8-8:30 p.m.): In this endearing perennial favorite, Charlie Brown and Linus find the true meaning of Christmas. (TV-G)