What's On TV

SATURDAY 9/25 Ryder Cup (NBC, 8 a.m.-6 p.m.): Participants have done just about everything during this event: Dance, weep, hug, sing, putt, drive, chip, even swim. Tensions sometimes run high, as in 1991, when golf came close to becoming a contact sport.

Freaks and Geeks (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): Excellent writing and marvelous performances by the most natural teen actors since "My So-Called Life." Set in 1980, high school is seen for what it is - and was. In the funny opener, Lindsay Weir (Linda Cardellini) wants to break away from her straight-A image; her brother Sam (John Daley, pictured) tries to avoid the school's bullies and pursues a cheerleader. Will appeal to both adults and teenagers.

SUNDAY 9/26 Felicity (The WB, 8-9 p.m.): The wait is over. Fans will find out how Felicity (Keri Russell) spent her summer vacation: Did she drive to California with Ben or fly to Berlin with Noel?

Fooling With Words With Bill Moyers (PBS, check local listings): Moyers travels to the 1998 Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival in Waterloo, N.J., for a series of nine half-hour close-ups of various poets featured at the fest. (See story, page 18).

Saturday Night Live - The 25th Anniversary (NBC, 9-11:30 p.m.): It's "Saturday Night Live" ... on Sunday. From Chevy Chase to Cheri Oteri, the live comedy series celebrates its silver anniversary with former hosts and cast members.

MONDAY 9/27 Red Files (PBS, check local listings): In a compelling four-part series, PBS explores the Soviet view of recent history. The first night examines the pool of Americans who helped the Soviet Union obtain US atomic secrets. On consecutive Mondays through Oct. 18. (See story, this page).

TUESDAY 9/28 Ally (Fox, 8-8:30 p.m.): David E. Kelley's half-hour version of the popular "Ally McBeal" makes its debut. The new series, which will focus more on relationships and less on the courtroom, is made up of previously aired scenes from the show's first season, along with footage that never made the earlier cut.

PICK OF THE WEEK Wednesday 9/29 Garth Brooks in the Life of Chris Gaines (NBC, 8-9 p.m.): The top-selling artist plays the role of a fictional pop star, Chris Gaines (a character developed by Brooks for a coming feature film). The special previews a new album, "Garth Rocks!" In this role, he performs what are essentially new songs echoing every great stage of rock from the past four decades.

THURSDAY 9/30 Mystery! (PBS, check local listings): The series kicks off its 20th season with "Second Sight," a gripping and chilling thriller about the murder of a college student. Clive Owen ("Bent") stars as detective Ross Tanner who is leading the investigation and is also losing his sight. Catherine Tully (Claire Skinner), his perceptive partner, becomes his "eyes." Second part airs Oct. 7.

FRIDAY 9/31 NHL Hockey (ESPN, 8-11 p.m.): The coolest game on earth skates into a new season as the Pittsburgh Penguins face off against the Dallas Stars.

(c) Copyright 1999. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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