The following are not necessarily recommended by the Monitor. All times Eastern, check local listings.
Ladies and the Champ (ABC, 7-9 p.m.): This Wonderful World of Disney family picture is awfully slight, but it's fun to see Olympia Dukakis and Marion Ross together in an affectionate comedy. Two elderly friends take in a young homeless man and train him to box. Then, out of motherly concern, they both decide it's too dangerous for him.
Nero Wolfe (A&E, 8-10 p.m.): There's a new detective in the neighborhood each week, and buffs of the witty old-style mystery will appreciate the tongue-in-cheek and pleasant puzzles this reclusive detective offers. The new series is based on last year's hit TV film "The Golden Spiders." Maury Chaykin stars as the cool Wolfe and Timothy Hutton as his hard-bitten leg man. The first episode is "The Doorbell Rang," about a rich lady who is tagged by the FBI and wants them off her trail. There's a murder in there somewhere too.
Our Spirited Earth (Sundance Channel, 9 p.m.): Oscar-winner Faith Hubley's animated films are a delight, and this one captures the sense of lively movement all over the earth. It's a bit didactic, but its lessons about the environment are meant to encourage respect for life. The world premiere is followed by two environmental documentaries, "Baraka," and "The Charcoal People" in honor of Earth Day.
Coming to Light: Edward Curtis and the North American Indians (PBS, check local listings): American Masters does it again with this excellent documentary about the proto-anthropologist and artist who photographed tribe after tribe of native Americans. His 20-volume "The American Indian" records tribal regalia and the powerful faces of many Indians whose history might have been lost altogether. Contemporary descendants of those he photographed comment on the importance and meaning of the pictures. Curtis was and still is a controversial figure in the realm of science. But in the end, American history would be seriously bereft without his contributions.
American Comedy Awards (Comedy Central, 8-10 p.m.): This program will likely tend toward the outrageous. George Carlin receives a Lifetime Achievement Award, and comics as diverse as Kelsey Grammer, Sandra Bullock, and George Clooney vie for a variety of categories on stage, TV, and film.
(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor